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In Your Home

Utility Usage


Did you Know?

The chart shows energy-use for a typical Canadian home. Your home heating/cooling is usually the largest energy user. Anyone can reduce their energy, waste, and water usage can by making some simple changes.



  • Close windows and doors  when heating or cooling your home
  • Use the sun from south-facing windows to help heat your home during the winter months. Shade the same window during summer months to lower cooling costs
  • Use a programmable thermostat. Adjust it to be lower in the winter and higher in the summer
  • Seal leaky ducts: your home could be losing 20% of heated or cooled air
  • Help keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter: add awnings or shutters to windows
  • Consider installing new insulation or energy efficient windows
  • Open windows when outdoor air temperatures have cooled
  • Make sure your air conditioner is in the shade; it will use 10% less electricity
  • Maintain your air conditioner, check your air filters monthly and replace as needed
  • Reduce your thermostat temperature at night and when you are not home
  • Keep drapes closed after the sun goes down to reduce heat-loss through windows
  • Check your furnace filter monthly and replace it when it appears dirty or per manufacturers specifications. Dirty filters can decrease operating efficiency and cause parts to wear out faster.
  • Space heaters consume a lot of energy: consider buying an energy efficient one or using a blanket
  • Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances that consume less water and energy
  • Place your refrigerator and freezer away from heat sources
  • Make sure your seals are tight on your fridge & freezer to prevent cool air loss
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes
  • Air dry dishes and clothes
  • Empty your dryer’s lint trap after every load to increase dryer efficiency
  • Open your oven door as little as possible: Your oven loses 25 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit each time you open the door!
  • Take what you need for a meal at one time: every time the fridge door is opened, the compressor needs to compensate for the cold air that was lost
  • Use natural light during the day
  • Turn off the lights when you leave the room or if you don’t require lighting
  • Consider occupancy sensors that turn lights on and off automatically and dimmer switches
  • Replace light bulbs with energy efficient LEDs
  • Look for lumens on the lighting label. Lumens indicate light output and watts indicate energy consumed
  • Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) contain a small amount of mercury and should be disposed of safely at an appropriate facility when no longer usable
Smart powerbars
  • Only run your dishwasher and clothes washer with a full load
  • Take short showers instead of baths (1 bath = 3 showers)
  • Change your shower and faucets to low-flow using controls and aerators
  • Purchase a water-saving toilet, dishwasher and clothes washer
  • Tighten taps and check taps, pipes and toilets for leaks. A dripping tap can use up to 50 L a day!
  • NEVER pour paint, used oil, medication or chemicals in sinks or drains
  • Keep a jug of drinking water in the fridge, instead of letting your tap run. You’ll save water and it will be colder than tap water
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a partially filled sink and give them a quick rinse
  • Turn off the tap while brushing teeth and shaving
  • Monitor water bills for unusually high use – this can be a sign of wasteful leaks!
  • When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient rich water to plants

Know where your water comes from


Learn about your watershed

Watershed Info


In Your Yard

  • Adjust mowers to a higher setting during the warm months to shade the roots and hold moisture better
  • Grass cycle! It is easier and can benefit your lawn
  • Choose an energy efficient mower. Running an old gas mower for an hour can create as much pollution as driving your car 500 kilometers!

If using a sprinkler, water your lawn; not sidewalks and driveways


  • Watering lawn too often causes your turf to develop shallow roots, making it more vulnerable to dry conditions. 1 inch (includes rain) per week is plenty!
  • Water early in the morning, or late at night to avoid waste due to evaporation.
  • Avoid using a lawn sprinkler. A single lawn sprinkler spraying 19 litres per minute uses more water in half an hour than 10 toilet flushes, two 5 minute showers, two dishwasher loads, and a full load of laundry COMBINED!
  • Hand-water your lawn or garden instead of using sprinklers when possible – you could cut your water use in half.
  • Use rain a rain barrel to catch rain water for yard use. The soft, untreated water is ideal for use on plants, trees, lawns and gardens and saves money on water bill.
  • DO NOT leave sprinklers or hoses unattended. A garden hose can pour out 600 gallons or more in only a few hours
  • Use a broom to clean sidewalks and driveways instead of a hose



Did You Know?

About 50% of heat loss comes from the top cover of a hot tub.

Use an energy efficient cover to reduce your consumption!

  • Select suitable plants for the growing conditions in your yard, considering temperature, moisture and sun tolerance
  • Place mulch around trees and plants to keep moisture in, and reduce evaporation
  • Group plants according to their water use, to reduce the chance of damage
  • When possible, hand-pick weeds, add edging or physical barriers to reduce the spread of weeds, outnumber weeds with competitive vegetation
  • Dispose of your branches and tree material at our Town Yard.

In Your Community

  • Do not litter! Properly dispose of garbage if you see it
  • Bike, walk or use public transport
  • Bring your own bag!
    • If each household in Devon used 6 plastic shopping bags per week it would generate about 14,000 of these bags per week and 728,000 bags per year! Some studies have shown that these bags can take hundreds of years to decompose. The cloth bags are more durable than plastic grocery bags and can usually carry more goods.
  • Buy local foods and other goods whenever you can. It supports local businesses and can reduce transportation
  • Buy minimally packaged goods or those in recyclable packaging
  • Use a refillable water bottle and coffee cup
  • Take fewer napkins
  • Donate what you don’t use: Recycle Depot or Charity

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