Understanding how to save energy can feel overwhelming with all the information out there. But as the weather gets cooler in New Brunswick and our energy needs increase, it's important to understand there are many simple ways to use less energy at home.

This article explains how to conserve energy by making small changes to how we do everyday things. We'll also share ways to make your home more energy efficient. Combining energy saving habits with energy efficient home upgrades (that can be as simple as changing light bulbs) is the best way to save energy at home all year round.

Start with small energy-saving habits

Imagine your energy-saving plan as a pyramid. Small changes, like turning off lights, are at the bottom. These small changes are the foundation for bigger changes later on. So, even though they might seem small, they're really important.

Mid-size changes are in the middle of your pyramid, and bigger changes at the top. Once you have successfully adopted energy-saving habits at the bottom you can move on to more significant changes.

What is energy conservation?

How to conserve energy at home

Energy conservation means not wasting energy. It starts with becoming more aware of how we use energy at home. From there we can begin making small changes in our daily routines. Things like turning off lights when we leave a room or unplugging devices when they're not being used are small but important steps. These little changes add up and help us save energy.

Energy conservation activities

What are some ways to conserve energy? Let's look:

  • Turn lights off when not in use.
  • Shut down or unplug computers, laptops and entertainment systems when you are finished with them.
  • Adjust thermostats in unoccupied rooms or when you leave your house for the day.
  • Use your clothesline or drying rack instead of your clothes dryer.
  • Install a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats learn from your usage and provide energy consumption analytics.
  • Wash clothes in cold water to reduce hot water use.
  • Take shorter showers and fewer baths.

What is energy efficiency?

Energy efficiency goes above and beyond energy conservation.

It involves making changes such as upgrading aging appliances, installing more efficient heating systems, switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and water fixtures. The intent of these upgrades is to use less energy to complete the same task, without sacrificing comfort. 

Energy efficient products and services

An energy-efficient mindset is when we think of ways to go above and beyond energy conservation. It's when we consider upgrades around our homes that use less energy to do the same things. 

Here are five ways to increase your home's energy efficiency:

  • Upgrade outdated appliances to ENERGY STAR® certified models. For example, an ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher uses about 12 percent less energy than non-ENERGY STAR models.
  • Install an efficient showerhead to reduce the amount of hot water you use during your shower.
  • Consider a mini split heat pump if you currently rely on electric baseboards or an oil furnace to heat your home.
  • Make sure your home is well insulated and check out the Total Home Energy Savings Program to find out how you can get incentives to help you with upgrading insulation and the heating systems in your home.
  • Switch to LED light bulbs, for both interior and exterior lighting.

Renewable energy

At the top of our pyramid we have renewable energy resources. Renewable energy sources can help supply power to your home, once you have already taken steps to reduce the energy it takes to run your home, by conserving energy and becoming more energy efficient.

The most common and accessible form of residential renewable energy source in New Brunswick is solar panels (also called solar modules). Solar panels are large, black panels that harness energy from the sun. If you want to explore installing a solar energy system, make sure you consult with a qualified installer. Not all homes are suitable for such systems depending on where they are located and how they are built.

NB Power customers who install solar energy systems or other renewable energy systems can enrol in the Net Metering program. This program allows customers to generate their own electricity to offset their consumption, while remaining connected to NB Power's distribution system – so they can meet their electricity demands when their generation unit cannot.

Before you start any work, visit the Total Home Energy Savings Program for information on possible incentives related to the cost of installing the system.  You can find information about the Net Metering Program here.

Final Thoughts

When we take steps to adjust our approach to energy consumption, we are working to improve our carbon footprint - and may even see these efforts reflected on our energy bills.

Both energy conservation and energy efficiency are critical. Installing a solar panel won't be as effective if we aren't aware of how to be mindful about our energy usage.

For more information about energy-efficient upgrades and rebates, check out the Total Home Energy Savings Program.


What are 5 ways to save energy at home?

  1. Take shorter showers and reduce baths
  2. Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms
  3. Line dry clothing instead of using the clothes dryer
  4. Unplug electronics and appliances when they're not in use
  5. Reduce the temperature in unoccupied spaces

What are energy conservation ideas?

  • Be aware of all the ways you use energy at home.
  • Be mindful of wasting energy, and take steps to reduce energy use each day.
  • Incorporate energy-saving habits slowly if that's what it takes to make them stick.