Gateway Gazette

New Online Tools Help Albertans Tap into Savings

New web-based tools will help Albertans save hundreds of dollars in their homes by fending off “vampire power” and other common household energy traps.

Two online interactive sites show how easy it is to cut down on utility bills – using smart power bars, thermostats and dimmer switches – while outlining rebates that can save hundreds of dollars on up-front costs.

The Home Efficiency Tool walks users through their home, outlining specific ways homeowners can cut long-term energy use while accessing up-front savings. In the process, it introduces them to concepts like so-called “vampire power”, which refers to electricity consumed when electronic appliances and devices are turned off but still plugged into wall outlets.

The Learn About Lighting Tool showcases differences between bulbs and the advantages of LED lights over fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. Both tools are accessible through tablets, laptops and desktop computers on the Energy Efficiency Alberta website.

“Albertans love choice, and these tools showcase a few practical ways that you can cut your bills and make your home more efficient.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office

“These new interactive tools are a great way to see for yourself what Energy Efficiency Alberta has to offer. You’ll learn about energy efficiency and ways you can save energy.”

Monica Curtis, CEO, Energy Efficiency Alberta

The tools showcase products available through the Residential Retail Products Program, which includes home improvement rebates for windows, water heaters and insulation, online rebates for appliances and instant in-store rebates on a wide variety of products.

Smart power bars

  • What they do: Keep devices like TVs, stereos and gaming consoles from drawing excess power while not in use.
  • Long-term energy savings: In standby mode your TV consumes 222 kWh each year, or roughly $13.50 in additional energy costs, while a gaming console adds 147 kWh and nearly $9 annually.
  • Available rebates: With an in-store rebate, you’ll save $18 on a new power bar that costs approximately $70.


  • What they do: For every degree you lower the temperature (over eight hours) in your home, you’ll save two per cent on your heating costs.
  • Long-term energy savings: With an in-store rebate, you can save $15 on a new programmable thermostat that costs around $50.
  • Available rebates: A smart thermostat (a Nest system, for example) has the features of a programmable thermostat and costs $200 to $350, but it can be accessed anywhere using your phone.

LED lights

  • What they do: LEDs use 85 per cent less energy than traditional bulbs, turn on instantly and last up to 22 years.
  • Long-term energy savings: Replacing a conventional light bulb with an LED can pay for itself within one year.
  • Available rebates: With an instant rebate you can save $3 to $6 each on bulbs that normally cost between $4 and $20.

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