In a time where costs continue to grow, and resources become increasingly scarce, energy efficiency has become a key component in reducing operating costs while protecting the environment. Energy efficiency is an important cost-effective method to reduce energy consumption, directly impacting utility bills.
Reducing your energy consumption can also help you qualify for energy savings rebates from the government. The good news is that programs are designed to support Ontario residents by offsetting the upfront costs of investing in more eco-friendly solutions to meet their energy needs. Let’s take a look at the details of these programs and how they can help you maximize and save money on your next utility bill.
Ontario Electricity Support Program: What Is It All About?
The Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) is a government initiative that provides monthly on-bill credits for lower-income customers to reduce their electricity bills. The program is designed to help those unable to pay their energy bills, and it is available to customers of all electricity retailers in the province.
To be eligible for the Ontario electricity rebate program, customers must meet certain income criteria and have an active account with an electricity retailer. Upon enrolling, eligible customers will be given credit on their monthly bill according to the number of people living in their household and their income. The OESP is a helpful program for those who need assistance paying their electricity bills, and it can make a big difference in the lives of those struggling to make ends meet.
Why Is My Natural Gas Bill So High?
When natural gas is used for heating, cooling, or hot water, its cost can be quite high. But why do these bills tend to be so high? Natural gas prices vary based on market fluctuations and other factors. Check out these common reasons why your natural gas bill is so high and learn how to cut costs in the future.
Over time, boilers and heating systems can become less efficient as they age. This means that they waste more of the energy they produce, so your bills go up. If you’re using an old, inefficient boiler or heating system, it’s important to consider upgrading to a newer model. Besides saving you money, this will also help you reduce your carbon footprint.
If hot air from your heating system is escaping through cracks, doors, windows, or even the attic and garage, your home is said to have “drafts.” This means that your home is not retaining heat as it should, and you’re likely paying more than necessary to heat your home.
Blocked Vents and Impeded Airflow
If your furniture and appliances are arranged in a way that blocks vents or restricts airflow, your natural gas heating system has to work much harder to heat your home to a comfortable temperature. This can cause your bill to go up significantly. To avoid this, ensure no obstacles are blocking your vents and that there is plenty of space around them for air to circulate freely. Rearranging your furniture and appliances accordingly can significantly affect how much you pay each month.
Seasonal Heating Costs
As the weather gets colder, you might notice that your natural gas bill starts to creep up. It’s hard to control the change in seasons, but there are a few methods you can do to help keep your heating costs down.
- Weatherproofing your home is a good place to start. Making sure that your windows and doors are properly sealed will help to maintain a comfortable temperature.
- You might also want to consider insulating your walls and attic to reduce heat loss further.
Making simple changes around your home can significantly affect how much natural gas you use – and how much you spend on your winter heating bills.
Wintertime Home Habits
Even habits you might not think could make much difference can add up. For example, leaving doors and windows open and letting cool air into your home, or wearing T-shirts around the house even when it’s getting chilly and needing to turn the thermostat up higher. Even using your fireplace frequently can strain your heating system because fireplaces are inefficient, and the heating system must work harder to compensate. So, be mindful of your habits this winter and see if it reduces your natural gas bill.
High Water Temperature
If your water heater is programmed too high, it can consume excessive energy and drive up the bill. Water heaters come with a variety of settings, and the higher ones tend to use more gas. So, if you see unexpected costs on your natural gas bill, it might be time to check your water heater’s temperature. A simple adjustment could make a big difference in your monthly expenses.
Reduced Natural Gas Supply
One possible reason your natural gas bill is so high is that the supply of natural gas in your area has been reduced. This could be due to a wide variety of factors, including insufficient pipeline systems or increased demand for natural gas. If there is insufficient natural gas to meet the needs of all the customers in your area, prices will go up as everyone competes for the limited supply. If you’ve seen a sudden spike in your natural gas bill, it’s worth checking to determine if there has been any improvement in the local supply of natural gas.
Why Is Natural Gas Furnace Better For Heating?
When it’s cold outside, you want to be able to come into a warm home. It is possible to achieve this by installing a natural gas furnace for heating. Here are some benefits of using a natural gas furnace:
While both create original heat, gas systems produce it faster than electric ones. Warmth is provided no matter how cold the outside air gets. This is a bonus, especially in colder climates.
It’s less costly to run a gas furnace because natural gas is less expensive than electricity. Additionally, furnace models have become increasingly efficient over the years so that you can save even more dollars on your heating bill.
Better for the Environment
Compared to oil and coal, natural gas is a cleaner-burning fossil fuel. Using a natural gas furnace can help reduce your carbon footprint.
Overall, there are many reasons why you might want to consider using a natural gas furnace for heating your home. Natural gas has many advantages in furnaces, from faster heating to being more efficient and better for the environment. So if you’re looking for a new furnace, keep these benefits in mind as you make your decision.
Ontario Energy Rebate Program: How To Apply?
The Ontario Energy Rebate Program is open to all homeowners in the province. To be an eligible customer, you must file your income tax and live in the home you are renovating. The rebates are available for various energy-efficient upgrades, including insulation, windows, doors, and air sealing.
So if you’ve been thinking about making energy-saving upgrades to your home, now is the perfect time to submit an application for the Ontario rebate program. To apply, fill out a free in-home energy assessment registration form at ontarioenergyrebates.com and wait for a call.
Are There Other Programs
If you’re an Ontarian having trouble paying your energy bills, you may wonder if there are any programs out there to help. The good news is that there are! The following programs may be of assistance:
- Energy Affordability Program.
- With the Energy Affordability Program, you can save money on your electricity bills by taking advantage of personalized, free energy-saving measures. Those who qualify can reduce their electricity bills by $100 to $1000 a year, depending on their eligibility. As a result, families across the province are saving money on their energy bills and increasing their home comfort.
- Low-Income Energy Assistance Program.
- You may qualify for emergency financial assistance for past-due payments on your electricity or natural gas bills through the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP).
- Rural or Remote Rate Protection Program.
- RRRP program helps eligible customers with electricity costs in rural or remote areas, where the cost of distributing electricity in these areas is typically higher.
While the new program is designed to help residents and companies save money on their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions, it can also help save money on operational costs and operational risks associated with power outages.
The best way to save money on energy is by saving energy, and not only through installing energy-saving measures like water heaters and light bulbs, but also through the purchase of energy-efficient products like refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers, fluorescent lighting, and office equipment. Using energy more efficiently can help reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses and other air pollution, reduce climate change, and help protect our health and the environment.