This morning I’ve spent some time browsing BC Hydro’s Green Guide.

I think practising efficient energy consumption is a responsibility all homeowners and tenants should consider. Here are the top 4 reasons I can think of for Going Green in your BC home:

1. Being Energy Efficient is Affordable

Even though buying an energy efficient home or upgrading your current or new home to become more energy efficient has varying levels of upfront costs the long-term energy savings make your investment worthwhile. For many energy upgrades the future savings pay for (and more) the upgrades.

2. Going Green Means Significant Cost Savings

Well-designed homes with energy efficient features will save you money in several areas: heating, lighting, cooling, refrigeration, laundry, hot water and so on.

3. Smart Energy Consumption Means Comfortable Living

Not only is paying your energy bill each month more comfortable for your bank account but living in an energy efficient home provides more even temperatures, fresher air, proper moisture balance and comfortable lighting.

4. Doing Your Part to Protect Our World

Even if you “go green” to save money or live more affordably you are also doing your part in saving energy and protecting our environment. You will be doing your part to lessen your footprint.

These are all great reasons to go green and make your home eco friendly. Now how do we practically do this?

40 Tips for an Energy Efficient Home

There are several key areas we can improve the efficiency of our home including lighting, heating, cooling systems, water, appliances and electronics:

Energy Efficient Lighting

  1. Turn of lights when you don’t need them.
  2. Upgrade to energy efficient light bulbs.
  3. Use natural light or candles when able.
  4. At Christmas upgrade to LED holiday lights.
  5. Upgrade outdoor lightbulbs which are often left on for hours to energy efficient bulbs.
  6. Use task lighting to focus light only where you need it.
  7. Replace traditional light switches with dimmers or hi-lo switches for more lighting options.
  8. Place floor lamps in the corner of rooms so that light reflects from the two walls.
  9. Add motion sensor lights or timers to outdoor lighting for extra security.

Energy Efficient Heating

  1. Stop drafts from your front door and backdoor.
  2. Carefully monitor the use of your thermostat.
  3. Upgraded to energy-efficient windows (great rebates available for these!).
  4. Install blinds or curtains to keep heat in the winter.
  5. Add more insulation to your walls and ceiling.
  6. Redo caulking and seals around doors and windows.
  7. Purchase child saftey plug covers to use on electrical outlets not in frequent use.

Energy Efficient Cooling Systems

  1. Close your blinds or shades in the summer to block heat out.
  2. Use smart landscaping to provide shade to your home.
  3. Install ceiling fans.
  4. Turn off heat generating appliances (computers, flatscreen tvs etc) when not needed.
  5. Install or upgrade an ENERGY STAR air conditioner.
  6. On warm days generate as little heat indoors and cook oustide on the BBQ and hang clothes to dry. 

Water Energy Savings

  1. Wait to run full loads of laundry.
  2. Install low flow showerheads.
  3. Fix faucet leaks as soon as they are noticed.
  4. Take shorter showers
  5. Install a rain barrel and reuse water to water plants and gardens.
  6. When washing dishes by hand turn of tap between rinses.
  7. Keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge rather than running the faucet for cold water.
  8. Defrost food in the microwave or in a pot of cold water, not under running water.

Energy Efficient Appliances

  1. Replace old refrigerators and freezers (these appliances use the most energy)
  2. Use the energy saver mode on your fridge if an option.
  3. Let hot foods cool on the counter before putting in the fridge.
  4. Wash only full loads of dishes in your dishwasher or adjust water levels for smaller loads as needed.
  5. Add an extra spin cycle for larger loads to reduce time in the dryer. 
  6. Upgrade to a front loading, energy efficient washing machine and matching dryer. Front loaders reduce water consumptino by up to 40% and electricity by up to 65% and can old up to 30% larger capacity. 
  7. Keep the inside of your microwave clean to reduce cooking time.

Electronic Energy Consumption

  1. Completely turn off and unplug electronics when not in use.
  2. Buy “green” electronics when an option.
  3. Use rechargeable batteries.
  4. Use a laptop which has a maximum power consumption of 15 watts compared to a PC with 150 watts. 
  5. Upgrade to a flatscreen monitor which uses less energy and is easier on the eyes. 
  6. Donate old unwanted appliances or return to a recycling depot.

Note: This list has been adapted from BC Hydro’s Green Your Home guide. Visit the online guide for what you need to know for each of the above tips.

For more information about energy efficient homes or for how to look for energy efficient homes for sale in White Rock, Surry, Vancouver or the Fraser Valley please contact me at 778-316-4290 or by email at