Small Changes Around The House Could Save Albertans At Least $600 On Energy Bills

Direct Energy offers seven steps to help homeowners concerned about winter heating prices

CALGARY, Alberta, Nov. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - Small changes really can make a big difference according to data released by Direct Energy today. The company calculated that if homeowners performed seven tasks around the house, ranging from sealing leaks to replacing an old furnace this fall, it could save them as much as $600 on their energy bills annually.


"Now is the time for homeowners to take action on home energy efficiency and make those small changes around the house. Costs are always higher throughout the winter and the mercury is starting to drop," said Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas for Direct Energy. "We visit thousands of homes each year in Alberta and we see so many simple fixes homeowners could do to reduce their energy bills."

Using data from several sources including a 2011 joint study conducted by Direct Energy and the University of Toronto and HOT2000 software (Natural Resource Canada's recognized standard tool for use by trained and certified energy auditors), Direct Energy calculated the savings associated with seven energy efficiency tips. Savings are based on a typical Canadian home defined by the Canadian Real Estate Association, Statistics Canada and Natural Resources Canada as 1,860 square feet, 40 years old and two stories.

Albertans are urged to take these seven simple steps to savings this winter and put their money to better use.

Direct Energy's efficiency tips

What you could save*

Use the savings for these activities instead:

Replace your furnace filter every 3 months to keep your furnace running efficiently


Enjoy the winter and hit the slopes! Put the $53 in savings toward a lift pass.

Seal leaks around doors, windows and exterior wall electrical outlets to keep the warm air in


Canadians love their coffee! With the extra savings from sealing leaks, Albertans can enjoy 22 more cups this year.

Insulate your basement to improve the overall comfort of the basement and prevent warm air escaping along the joist cavities


Leave the cold temperatures to the athletes in Russia. Insulating your basement could save you enough to buy a Canadian Olympic sweatshirt.

Insulate your attic to cut down on heating costs. You should have a minimum of 12 inches of insulation


Whether you're inside or outside, keep your family warm this winter. By insulating your attic you could save enough to buy four pairs of mittens.

Lower the temperature setting on your thermostat by two degrees


By lowering your thermostat just two degrees, you could save enough to buy yourself the cashmere scarf you've always wanted.

If your furnace is older or experiencing frequent breakdowns, upgrade to a high efficiency furnace


Join the snowbirds in Florida and escape the winter cold altogether! $197.60 in yearly savings from upgrading your furnace can be used towards a plane ticket to the sunny south.

Clean your ducts to remove dust and debris and help your furnace work more efficiently


After you clean your ducts, you could save enough to buy a handful of new books to cozy up on the couch with.

*based on typical older Canadian home as described above and gas prices ($2.427 per GJ for natural gas and $8.188cents/kWh for electricity)

While not every homeowner can undertake all seven steps this fall, even just implementing three easy changes - sealing leaks, changing the furnace filter regularly and lowering the thermostat by two degrees – could add up to $240.90. In Alberta, with more than 883,000 single-detached homes**, these changes could amount to more than $212.7 million in energy savings across the province.

"We hope to show Albertans that they really can make a difference this year to their own pocket and to the environment," says Walton. "Start small with air filters and adjusting the temperature to see these savings and to keep your equipment running properly."

Additional tips from Direct Energy:

  • Add a humidifier: Adding a humidifier to your heating system lets you turn the thermostat down and be comfortable at lower temperatures.
  • Let the sun in: Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from colder temperatures. Consider installing insulating window treatments to further reduce heat loss.
  • Change the direction of air flow on your ceiling fan. For cold winter months the blades should operate in a clockwise direction helping to push the warm air from the ceiling down into the room.
  • Have your furnace maintained in the fall to ensure it works efficiently and safely throughout the winter, especially if it's 6 years or older.

About Direct Energy
Direct Energy is North America's largest provider of heating & cooling, plumbing and electrical services and a leading energy and energy-related services provider with over six million residential and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit


SOURCE: Direct Energy

For further information:

For further information on home energy efficiency tips or to book an interview with Dave Walton, please contact: Jeff Lanthier, Direct Energy,, 905-943-6260; or Kelly Ornelas, or Becky Brescacin High Road Communications for Direct Energy, or, 416-644-2235 or 416-644-1398


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