How the Winter Chill Affects your Bills
As things get chillier in Alberta, we want to help keep your family warm—without getting burned by your energy bill. While harsh winter weather is no surprise for Albertans, we want to make sure that you’re ready to combat the cold and understand how it impacts energy use.
To keep your home toasty and cozy in the cold, it costs energy to generate heat. This means that when cold snaps strike, it takes more energy to warm households in the winter.
In Alberta, the average home uses a lot more natural gas and electricity during the winter. The colder it gets, the more energy you need to keep your home comfortable. So, when temperatures drop down to -40°C for days on end, you can imagine the extra costs it takes to fight the freeze and heat your home. (We’re looking at you, 2019, with the coldest recorded February in decades.)
WINTER ENERGY MAGNIFIERS
As much as we don’t want extra expenses, nobody wants to be shivering at home when tundra-like temperatures take over. Not only is more energy needed to heat up spaces, but the home can guzzle up energy in other ways.
Alberta winters mean the days get colder AND darker. Less natural light means more lights switched on for longer. Colder days can also call for longer, hotter showers that use up more of your utilities than usual. Besides that, improperly insulated homes and inefficient water heaters may be notorious enemies devouring energy.
If your household is using up more energy, then you can bet that all your other neighbours—who are experiencing the same cold as you—are using more energy too. A classic case of supply and demand: higher demand means higher prices.
At the end of the day, you're not the only one baking winter comfort food or relaxing in a warm evening bath. High usage in peak times across neighbourhoods increases demand and strains the supply system. Winter storms can also be culprits in disrupting energy generation or transmission.
While there’s no avoiding the cold in Alberta and there’s no way to control the weather, you can control the way you consume energy, and we have tips to help you curb your bill as much as possible.
INSTALL A SMART THERMOSTAT
Instead of cranking up the temperature and cranking up your energy bill too, consider getting a smart thermostat that maximizes your home’s energy efficiency. Our Rümi experts are happy to help you set up a new thermostat that gets your heating system working smart instead of hard.
Save yourself energy costs and possible problems in the future by tuning up your furnace. Have a furnace specialist assess your system or install a new one that is more energy efficient.
CHECK THE WATER HEATER
While it helps limiting your singing performance in the shower, the performance of your hot water tank might be the thing to check up on to keep you from writing unnecessary cheques.
Consuming up to 25% of your home’s energy use, it’s important to maintain your water heater or maybe even replace it with an environmentally and wallet-friendly tankless system. Make sure you get the job done right with reliable repair and replacement services.
INSULATE & SEAL YOUR HOME
Like a kid lacking the right winter wear, improperly insulated homes lose their heat and can cost even more to keep things warm. Proper insulation and sealing up cracks where heat escapes can save the load on your furnace and energy bill. A virtual home check-up with Rümi can set you up for winter by pinpointing those spots and offering recommendations.
Just as Albertans prepare themselves every year for harsh winter weather, it’s important to understand how the cold impacts everyone’s energy bills and what you can do to control your consumption. (Your energy consumption that is. Because cookie consumption is at your discretion.)