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Hot weather and the cottage: Energy saving tips from Ontario's Chief Energy Conservation Officer

Friday, June 6th 2008 12:11:45pm

Every Kilowatt Counts - Even at the cottage!
Easy ways to stay comfortable and save money this summer

When you take off for cottage country this summer, don't leave energy conservation behind! Remember, you're essentially running two households, so make sure you use energy wisely both at home and the cottage. With over half a million cottages across Canada, cottagers can make a very positive impact.  

Many of the energy-saving ideas that have worked around your home will work just as well at the cottage. Before you pack up the van and head up north, make sure to:

Close the drapes, turn the central air up to 28 degrees and hit "hold" so the air conditioning doesn't come on.

If you leave lights on for security, consider putting them on a timer so they're not on all the time. Same for exterior lights - either a timer or a motion sensor.

Don't take your old, inefficient fridge up to the cottage. Instead, the Great Refrigerator Roundup program will pick up your old, energy wasting fridge for free!

Once you get to the cottage:

Switch your incandescent lights to CFLs.  Consider buying CFL bug lights, as well.

Use ENERGY STAR® qualified ceiling fans to stay cool and comfortable on those hot, muggy days

Use solar-powered lights for outdoors.  If you really need hardwired lights, go for LEDs and put them on a timer.  

It might seem like you have unlimited water to use, but remember - water takes a lot of electricity to pump.  If your well has supply problems, consider a low-flow toilet.

A "check" valve on your sump pump outlet will save electricity, because the water will only be pumped once.

Wrap the hot water pipes with insulating pipe wrap, and the hot water tank, as well.  Remember to follow manufacturer's instructions!

See if your cottage is suitable for solar panels, either to heat your water, or provide electricity.

Replace your old cottage fridge with an ENERGY STAR qualified model - and if your cottage has road access, you may be able to have your old fridge picked up by the Great Refrigerator Roundup.  At the very least, unplug it when not in use.

Use blinds on south-facing windows to reduce heat buildup on sunny days.

On a rainy day, spend some time caulking and weather-stripping your cottage.  It will help to keep the cool air in…and the insects out.

For energy saving tips and information about incentives and rebates on energy saving devices, visit our website at www.everykillowattcounts.com.