Vancouver has made international headlines recently as the global warming dilemma threatens to cause irrevocable damage to the local climate. In fact, recent findings from utilities research and innovation for Metro Vancouver, has led researchers to predict that Vancouver’s infamously beautiful and dynamic climate could instead be reminiscent of that of San Diego by the 2050s. Naturally this has caused great concern among locals as well as environmentalists worldwide. While the Canadian government, as well as local municipalities, have been championing legislation aimed at combating environmental issues for years, there is undoubtedly a renewed sense of urgency among Canadians since the news of this research broke.
As area residents have begun taking strides to reduce their own carbon footprint, a new industry of sorts has emerged. Businesses across a myriad of verticals are finding new and innovative ways to help their customers go-green. Among these area businesses, leading Vancouver electricians are doing their part to help customers choose electrical upgrades that reduce energy waste and deliver cost savings and while still offering all of the convinces modern consumers are seeking.
Popular Green Electrical Upgrades
As the general public’s understanding of the impact of climate change continues to grow, many are taking strides to reduce their carbon footprint where possible. Monthly utilities bills serve as a constant reminder of our energy consumption and often motivate property owners to seek solutions to reduce use while uncovering savings.
While there are many upgrades consumers can make to improve their energy efficiency, there are a handful that currently rank among the most popular with climate conscious property owners. If you’re looking to modernize your home with leading edge tech while reducing your carbon footprint, we encourage you to consider these popular electrical upgrades:
Car Chargers/EV Chargers
When the Tesla was first introduced to the market, early adapters had to invest in a rather expensive panel upgrade to support an in-home car charger. However, today’s advancing tech means a licensed electrician can integrate an EV charger box without the need for a service upgrade. Between the lower cost to install home car charging stations and the introduction of a wide assortment of electric cars, at varying price points, more and more consumers are making the switch to electric cars. This is great news for the environment as well as our air quality! For those ready to make the switch, it’s important to speak with a licensed electrician about outfitting your home for an EV charging station before driving your new car off the lot.
Another electrical upgrade that was once costly, installing LED lighting is now incredibly affordable and actually saves money in the long run. If you looked into LED lighting installation just a few years ago, you probably found that the fixtures themselves were much more expensive than traditional lighting. However, today LED fixtures are often sold at the same price point. That’s right, the next time you upgrade a light fixture, you are likely to find that you are facing no additional costs to upgrade to a greener, more efficient LED fixture. Hence why this electrical upgrade is so popular among the eco-conscious, as well as those simply looking to save on their monthly energy bill.
Smart thermostats have changed the way many property owners manage their energy consumption in recent years. The Nest is the most popular Smart thermostat on the market today. The Nest, and other leading Smart thermostats, teach themselves how to be more energy efficient over time. Not only do they will deliver a report on your energy consumption via email each month, they will learn to reduce energy output when you’re typically not home. Though the Nest will learn your behaviors, you can also customize your settings to ensure optimal comfort and energy efficiency. A Smart thermostat is another electrical upgrade that will pay for itself in energy savings over time, while adding a value to your property.
Home automation is a buzz word we’ve all heard in recent years but for many property owners, home automation sounds like an ambiguous concept that comes at a high price point. The truth of the matter is, automating your home can be achieved through simple, inexpensive upgrades. An easy way to get started is to invest in an Amazon Echo, a Google Home or an Apple HomePod. These Smart speakers simply plug in and are available to help you play your favorite song on demand, Google virtually anything or even look up a recipe. Your Smart speaker can then serve as the hub of your Smart home. By upgrading dimmer switches, motion sensors and timers with Lutron Caseta or Lutron Radio Ra2, you can control your home’s lighting from virtually anywhere. Whether you’re dimming the living room for movie night or turning on lights while you’re away for security purposes, your Smart home can all be controlled from your phone. Now that’s smart!
Because your home automation tech can be synced with your Smart phone and your Smart speaker, bringing your home into the 21st century is simply a matter of hiring a licensed electrician to install your Smart switches. If you’re ready to learn more about this cost effective and simple way to upgrade your home, contact your trusted, licensed electrician today!
Home Energy Monitors
Home energy monitors enable you to track your power usage in real-time and identify areas of opportunity to reduce waste. For a nominal cost, British Columbia residents can order a home energy monitor and connect it via their BC Hydro smart meter. With this information in hand, many residents are reaching out to area electricians to complete upgrades that will have a direct impact on their energy waste. Through this innovative program, BC Hydro is helping their customers better manage their energy consumption and reduce overall strain on the grid; a win, win for British Columbia as a whole! Find out if you’re eligible for home energy monitor and take your first step toward going green!
Vancouver Goes Green
Beyond these Smart electrical upgrades, area residents are finding a multitude of methods, big and small, to reduce their carbon footprint. Ready to take small steps today to make a big impact? Here are a few ideas:
The City of Vancouver has been adding new bike lanes for years. Car lanes are getting smaller to make way for bikers throughout the city and residents are getting onboard. In taking cars off the roads, air quality is improving, and traffic is also declining. Consider biking to work, even one day a week, to do your part.
The Canadian government offered an incentive years ago to encourage consumers to make the switch to electric cars. Though the incentive is no longer available, residents are continuing to make the switch, especially now that manufactures such as Mitsubishi and Chevrolet are offering more affordable electric models. If you’ve been considering an electric car, perhaps now is the time to take one for a test drive!
Straw and Styrofoam Ban
Vancouver made headlines, in May of 2018, when residents voted to pass a ban on the distribution of plastic straws, as well as foam take-out containers and cups by June of this year. Though the ban has been postponed to next April, to give small businesses time to comply, the effort is nonetheless underway. In reducing the use of these single use products, Vancouver is setting a precedent that will hopefully inspire change in other municipalities worldwide. Why wait until next April? Skip disposal straws and takeout containers whenever possible!
Possible Ban on Plastic Bags
In an effort to further reduce waste, Vancouver is also considering a ban on plastic bags. In fact, the City of Vancouver ran a public survey which commenced on July 30 of this year to determine if residents are in agreement that plastic bags should be outlawed. With roughly 2 million plastic bags being thrown away each week within the city, this type of legislation would undoubtably keep hundreds of millions of single use plastic bag out of area landfills each year. Again, there is no need to wait for legislation to pass, supply your own reusable bags whenever possible. From visiting your local farmers’ market to shopping at your neighborhood grocer, be sure to bring your bag along and do your part to reduce plastic bag in our local landfills.
The Future is Bright
The news of the climate crisis threatening to directly impact Vancouver so dramatically sent shockwaves through area residents, climatologists and environmentalists the world over. However, swift action on the part of residents, property owners, government agencies and business owners has already begun to have a positive impact. If you’re ready to do your part, we encourage you to educate yourself about the efforts you can make, small and large, to reduce your carbon footprint. Not sure where to start? Be more vigilant with recycling, purchase products package responsibility, cut out single use plastics and complete an energy audit to determine how you can make your home greener; to name a few. Together we can make a difference!
Contact TCA Electric Today
As certified distributers and installers of Nest thermostats as well as Lutron Caseta and Lutron Radio Ra2 systems, TCA Electric is leading the charge among Vancouver electricians to help property owners go green. Ready to do your part? Contact us today to allow one of our licensed Vancouver electricians to help you make your home more energy efficient!