It’s a common dilemma – you want to make a difference to the environment (and save some money along the way), but you’re not sure what to do.
A good place to start is by looking at how much energy and water you’re currently using in your home. Many homeowners are wasting a lot of energy and water (and money) without even knowing it.
Below we present the best tools on the Web for calculating how much energy and water you’re using in your home. If you know of any other good ones, please let us know.
- Appliance Use Calculator If you’re looking at buying a new appliance, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has an excellent online tool for calculating the cost of operating the appliance over its lifetime.NRCan also has an online tool for calculating the operating cost of your old appliances.
- Refrigerator Retirement Savings Calculator This calculator is on the U.S. Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR website, but is still a handy tool for Canadians to estimate how much they can save by replacing an old fridge with an ENERGY STAR-qualified one.
- Home Heating System Cost Calculator This online calculator (also by Natural Resources Canada) lets you estimate the amount of money you’ll save by switching from a low-efficiency to a high-efficiency heating system. (Don’t be discouraged by the number of boxes you have to fill out – once you provide a couple pieces of information, some of the boxes are automatically filled in for you.)
- Water Use CalculatorEnvironment Canada has put out a comprehensive tool that allows you to estimate how much water your household uses. (Warning: because the tool looks at water use in your whole house, it takes about ten minutes to complete the questionnaire.)
- One Less Tonne Total Energy Use CalculatorThis is a really neat little tool that lets you see how much money you can save, and how many greenhouse gas emissions you can reduce, by making changes to your lifestyle (by changing how you use energy and water in your home, travel to work, etc.). Highly recommended!