Buy ENERGY STAR® and read product labels
When it's time for new lighting, or a new appliance, computer, TV, audio or video device, always look for the ENERGY STAR label before you buy. The dollars you spend upgrading to an energy-efficient product will pay off in lower electricity costs for years.
If you’re in the market for upgrading major appliances in your home consider ENERGY STAR front-loading clothes washers which can cut water use by nearly 40% and electricity use up to 65% compared to a conventional top loader. Replacing a fridge that's 10 years old or older with a new ENERGY STAR rated model could save $40 or more per year.
ENERGY STAR LEDs can help you save on your lighting costs because they use at least 75% less energy than incandescent lighting and last a minimum of 15,000 hours, or 15 years based on average household use.
That life span is about 15 to 20 times longer than incandescent lighting, and about three times longer than CFLs.
ENERGY STAR light fixtures use 75% less energy than standard incandescent ones. And there are now a wide variety of ENERGY STAR-approved light fixtures, from desk and floor lamps to hardwired lighting, offering choices to suit your needs and décor, indoors and out.
By switching to energy-efficient lamps, such as compact fluorescent floodlights, metal halide or high-pressure sodium lights, you can reduce the energy you use. For example, high-pressure sodium lamps use 70% less energy than a standard incandescent floodlight and last up to 10 times as long.
See our guide to outdoor lighting for safety and security [PDF, 810 KB] for more information.
Decorating your home with LED lights could reduce holiday lighting electricity use by up to 90%.
Each hour that an unneeded light operates represents an unnecessary expense. Having your lights on dimmers or timers, and some appliances on timers, can increase comfort and safety in the home. And motion sensors are a good choice for controlling outdoor security lighting.
Heating water accounts for 90% of the energy consumption of washing machines. An ENERGY STAR front-loading machine can cut water use by nearly 40% and electricity use up to 65% compared to a conventional top loader.
Electric clothes dryers are estimated to account for 12% or more of total electricity costs for the typical household. While dryer efficiency is improving, and ENERGY STAR rated dryers are now available, hang-drying clothing at least part of the time is the best way to save money on drying laundry.
Replace a fridge that's 10 years old or older with a new, more efficient ENERGY STAR-rated model to reduce your energy use. Unplug and remove an old, second fridge or freezer to save even more.
You can save about 15% of your dishwasher's electricity use by selecting the air-dry cycle or opening the dishwasher door instead of using the heat drying cycle. Also, consider replacing your older model dishwasher with a new ENERGY STAR one.
If you require a stand-alone freezer, there are two options: upright (front-loading) and chest (top-loading) freezers. Chest freezers are about 25% more efficient than uprights.
Laptops or desktops labelled with the ENERGY STAR symbol use between 30 and 60% less energy than conventional models, depending on how they are used. ENERGY STAR laptops are the most efficient option.
Also consider the size of your monitor. A 17-inch monitor uses 30% more energy than a 15-inch monitor. Look for ENERGY STAR labeled monitors, as they are more energy efficient.
ENERGY STAR rated televisions use at least 30% less electricity than their counterparts. Only choose the TV size as large as needed by following this calculation to determine for you: distance between the screen front and the couch ÷ 2.5. For example, if you sit approximately 8.75 feet (105 inches) from your TV, choose a 42-inch HDTV to get the most out of your viewing experience.
Newer game consoles, such as the PS5 and Xbox Series X, require more electricity because of their increased capabilities. Many of these devices also use significant amounts of "standby" electricity while supposedly in off mode.
When being used for watching television and movies, game consoles can require 35% to 40% more electricity than other media streaming devices.
A set-top box, more commonly known as a PVR, is the box you rent or purchase and connect to your TV in order to receive signals from your TV service provider. Most new set top boxes feature PVR capability and function as 24/7, always-on components that, on average, cost about $25 a year to operate.
ENERGY STAR set-top boxes are at least 30% more efficient than conventional models, and the ENERGY STAR model TELUS has chosen for the B.C. market is at least 50% more efficient than conventional models.
Heating & cooling
A heat pump is an energy-efficient alternative to other types of home heating systems, such as a natural gas furnace or electric baseboards. Plus, a heat pump can provide both efficient heating and cooling to help keep your home comfortable year-round.
ENERGY STAR air conditioners are comparably priced to standard models and they tend to be higher quality as well as more efficient to save you money in the long term. Set your air conditioner to 25.5°C (78°F) or higher, as you can save between 3% and 5% in your home cooling costs for every degree you raise it.
Electric heat pump water heaters can save up to 50% or more of a home's water heating energy use. They use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly. A heat pump water heater pulls heat from the surrounding air and transfers it into the tank to heat the water.
If you're looking for electric water heating, see our hot water tank sizing guide [PDF, 18 KB] to help determine what size and wattage you'll need.
Home energy monitors can provide you with real-time information about your household's electricity use – in kilowatts, and dollars and cents.
You may already be using our online electricity tracking tools to stay on top of your daily electricity use, but energy monitors track the electricity you and your family are using in real-time.
If you're looking to upgrade or install energy-efficient windows, always look for the ENERGY STAR symbol. ENERGY STAR certified windows can save an average of 8% of your energy bills as compared to a standard window.
To reduce standby power use, consider using an advanced power strip, which does what traditional power bars can't. It switches off power to devices when they are not in use, and through the use of different types of outlets, can switch off some components while others, like your PVR, stay on to record your favourite T.V. show.