While some consumers are in the market for energy plans for their small businesses, farms, or large commercial operations, the vast majority of Canadians looking to lower their energy bills are on the market for residential energy plans.
In this case, “residential energy plans” refers to electricity and natural gas plans which are designed to fulfill the energy consumption that occurs where people spend most of their time: at home.
Electricity Use at Home
Here’s a fact list of some of key statistics regarding residential electricity consumption in Canada, based on research over the last decade:
- In 2014, the average Canadian household used 11,135 kWh of electricity per year.
- The average household in Alberta uses 7,200 kWh per year. (This lower figure is offset by a higher usage of natural gas.)
- The average Ontario household uses about 9,500 kWh of electricity per year.
- According to Toronto Hydro, the single most expensive household appliance to run is a central air conditioner. Water heaters, portable electric heaters, and ovens are also major energy consumers.
- A water heater for a family of 4 will consume roughly 415 kWh per month, assuming 118 hours of use. In comparison, a 14 watt CFL bulb will consume 10 kWh in one month if left on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So, while remembering to turn the lights off will save you a bit of money, taking a slightly shorter shower will save you much more money.
Natural Gas Use at Home
- In Alberta, the average household uses 110 GJ of natural gas per year, comprising about 77% of total energy consumption (including electricity, natural gas, wood, and wood pellets).
- In Ontario, the average household uses 90 GJ of natural gas per year, accounting for about 58% of total annual energy consumption.
- According to Natural Resources Canada, space heating accounts for about 63% of total annual household energy consumption.
Common Causes of Costly Residential Energy Bills
Older homes often have poor or aged insulation in the walls, ceilings, and floors. This allows heat energy to radiate through the walls and outdoors. These homes also tend to have single pane windows, worn or no weather stripping, and other areas of concern which ultimately result in the loss of large amounts of heat, significantly increasing the amount of time that a furnace or electric heater has to run during cold winter months.
See our tips pages to find more ways to keep your electricity costs low and cut your natural gas bill. Taking the time to remedy the issues described above—as well as adopting some good household habits—can save you a ton of money on your energy bills.