Several factors influence your energy consumption at home, including the size, type, and age of your home, the number of people living there, the age and type of appliances you own, and how well-insulated your house is.
To gain more insight into how much energy you use, you can figure out your home’s energy consumption per square foot. Tally your electricity and natural gas bills for a 12-month period and divide each total by the square footage of your home. Alberta averages based on housing type are listed below for comparison.
|Housing Type||Annual Electricity Use||Annual Natural Gas |
|Single Detached house||5.2 kWh/ft2||0.045GJ/ft2 |
|Row house||6.2 kWh/ft2||0.05GJ/ft2|
|Apartment (950 sq. ft)||5.9 kWh/ft2||0.063GJ/ft2|
What does this mean for your household budget? The average regulated rate of electricity over the past year was 3.85 cents/kWh and the average regulated rate for natural gas was $2.53/GJ. Unfortunately, calculating your exact utility bill isn’t quite that easy. There are a number of different additional costs related to administration, transmission, and distribution that are added to your bills, some of which fluctuate based on how much energy you use each month (variable costs). So the more you can do to reduce your energy use, the better for your pocket book.
Knowing how much energy you use and where it is being used is valuable information. Whether you’re creating a monthly budget, planning to renovate, or thinking about buying something new, understanding your energy use allows you to better estimate and manage your monthly utility bills. The image below shows a breakdown of energy use in the average Canadian home.
With every LED lightbulb or energy efficiency upgrade you make in your home, you can start shrinking pieces of the pie.
A professional home energy evaluation is a great way to pinpoint where your home can become more energy efficient. There are a number of licensed agencies that offer the EnerGuide home evaluation, which gives you in-depth insights into your energy use, how your usage compares to that in other homes, and which improvements would be the best investment for you.
When you know more, you can do more. Do a bit of research and a bit of easy math, and you’ll have the information you need to make better energy decisions at home. Check out our blog post Next Steps for suggestions on how to improve your energy efficiency at home.