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Tips and Tools

It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment or a home; or if you rent or own; there’s lots you can do to fight climate change beyond participating in energy-efficiency programs. Here are some tips and tools to help shrink your carbon footprint and put money back in your pocket.

Be Energy-Aware

When it comes to efficiency, small changes can make a big impact. That’s why it’s so important to learn about your usage and get empowered to find better ways to save.

Connect with the many tips and tools that are available to help you calculate, navigate and activate everyday energy-saving strategies. You can use the Ontario Energy Board’s utility calculators to better understand your electricity and natural gas bills:

Next, learn about your usage by plugging into Kilowatt Way. Powered by the Independent Electricity System Operator, Kilowatt Way helps you visualize everyday energy usage and implement easy adjustments that make sense for your home and go a long way in lowering your utility bill.

Get Connected

Bill review

Get connected with information on energy consumption, charges on your bill and smart savings opportunities by talking to your local hydro or gas program provider.

Utility providers are a great resource for understanding your usage. Many provide online access to your consumption profile that you can use to understand when and how you use energy. Some even offer access to privacy-safe profiles of your neighbourhood’s average energy consumption so you can compare how your energy use shapes up. Contact your local hydro or gas provider to find out how you can log on to your account information.

There are also other resources with tips and ideas to help you reduce your energy use:

Change the Way You Get Around

Help cut down on day-to-day greenhouse gas emissions by choosing more energy-efficient transportation — including hybrid and electric cars, public transit, walking or biking and carpooling with coworkers and friends.

Since transportation is Ontario's largest source of emissions, it's an area where you can help make a big difference. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, and there are lots of ways to get started. If just 100 people carpool to work with one other person, we could save 60 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year. Making the switch to electric cars also brings significant GHG reductions.

In Ontario, buying an electric vehicle has never been more affordable. Ontario has one of the best electric vehicle rebates in North America; you can save from $3,000 to $14,000 when purchasing a new electric vehicle depending on the model. There is also a growing network of electric vehicle charging stations across the province, making it easier to commute and travel longer distances using your electric vehicle.

Electric car

Choose Local

Buying local produce

Goods and food made in Ontario require less energy to get to your home. Buying local food helps reduce GHG emissions caused by long-distance transportation and refrigeration.

You can also help fight climate change every day, by composting food scraps and recycling packaging using your organic food waste bin and home recycling bin. If you live in an apartment building or condo that doesn’t offer composting, ask your building property manager for the info and materials you need to get started in your building.

Even choosing tap water over bottled water helps cut back on pollution caused by producing and distributing plastic and glass bottles.

The Big Picture

We can all do our part to fight climate change. By participating in Save on Energy programs, Ontarians reduced their energy use by 6.5 terawatt-hours (TWh) between 2011 and 2015 - enough energy to power a city the size of London, Ontario for two years.

But there’s more to be done to reduce the consequences of climate change. From dangerous weather to disrupted food production, environmental damage and water pollution, these consequences threaten our snowy driveway games, pizza toppings, man caves and fishing seasons. That’s why the Ontario government has established a carbon market that sets a hard cap on GHG emissions. Proceeds are reinvested into GHG reduction initiatives through the Climate Change Action Plan.

Ontario’s carbon market gives businesses and industrial organizations flexible terms for how they can meet their GHG reductions targets. By helping businesses gradually lower their emissions and improve their energy efficiency, this program helps businesses become partners in the fight against climate change.

Ontario is also supporting homeowners, commuters and business owners to gradually transition to a low-carbon economy. Proceeds from Ontario’s carbon market are helping to fund programs like the Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas Home Energy Conservation Incentive Program, energy-saving social housing retrofits, non-profit emissions reduction programs, an expanded network of electric vehicle charging stations and supporting clean technology and innovation.

These programs not only help fight climate change, but also make the air cleaner and healthier for people across Ontario. When Ontario eliminated coal-fired power generation, the province saved approximately $4.4 billion annually in health, environmental and financial costs. Continuing Ontario’s transition to a low-carbon economy will bring even greater savings, while creating good jobs, boosting innovation and reducing the province’s dependence on fossil fuels.