Appliances and Lighting

You can save substantial amounts on your electricity bill by changing the way you use your appliances and lighting in your house.


Have you ever wondered just how much power one of your appliances is using? Are your appliances more than 20 years old?

Borrow a Kilowatt Meter

The AEA has a number of kilowatt meters for the public to take home and monitor energy use within your home. You simply unplug the appliance, plug the meter into the outlet and then plug the appliance into the meter. An easy-to-read digital display tells you how many kilowatt-hours that appliance uses, and from that information you can determine how much money it's costing you. Kill-A-Watt meters are available at all the Arctic Energy Alliance offices and some Local Housing Offices.


Dishwasher Tips

Water Temperature

Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer's recommendations on water temperature. Many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater to a lower temperature.


Scrape, don't rinse, large food pieces and bones from dishes. Soaking or pre-washing is generally only recommended in cases of burned on or dried on food.  Don't use the "rinse hold" on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.


Be sure your dishwasher is full, but not overloaded.


Try not to locate your dishwasher next to the refrigerator. The heat produced by the dishwasher will cause your refrigerator to work harder.


Let your dishes air dry. If you don't have an automatic air dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open a little so the dishes will dry faster.

Dishwasher Technology

Funding is not available for dishwashers but efficient Energy Star dishwashers still exist and will save water, energy and money. If you own a dishwasher made before 1994 you're paying an average of $40 more on your utility bills each year compared to owning a new Energy Star® qualified model.

Washing Machines

Laundry Tips


Wash your clothes in cold water, using cold water detergents whenever possible.

Load Size

Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water level setting.

Laundry Technology

Purchase an efficient Energy Star® washer. Rebates for washing machines are available through the Energy Efficiency Incentive Program.


Dryer Technology

Energy Star® does not currently endorse dryers as most models are the same in terms of energy efficiency but an Energy Star® washing machine will spin more water out of clothes than older washing machines and therefore require less energy for the drying process.  Dryers with a moisture sensor also reduce energy use since they will turn off when the laundry is dry.   Air drying (using a laundry rack or clothes line) when possible is still the best way to reduce the energy used drying your laundry.

Dryer Tips

Over Drying

Don't over dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.

Residual Heat

Use the cool down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.


Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.

Dryer Vent

Periodically inspect your exterior dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire.

Household Refrigeration

Refrigerator and Freezer Tips

Moisture Control

Look for an Energy Star® refrigerator with automatic moisture control. Models with this feature have been engineered to prevent moisture accumulation on the cabinet exterior without the addition of a heater. This is not the same thing as an "anti-sweat" heater. Models with an anti-sweat heater will consume 5% to 10% more energy than models without this feature.


Don't keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 1° to 3°C for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and -18°C for the freezer section. If you have a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at -18°C. To check refrigerator temperature, place an appliance thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator. Read it after 24 hours. To check the freezer temperature, place a thermometer between frozen packages. Read it after 24 hours.

Keep Full

Keep your fridge and freezer full. Surprisingly, it takes less energy to cool a full refrigerator or freezer than an empty one, provided it is not so jammed that air can't circulate. Fill extra space with gallon jugs of water placed in the back of both the freezer and refrigerator. You can drink the water and use the ice in portable coolers.

Close Doors

Open the refrigerator door less. Every time the door opens, warm air rushes in. Energy must be used to cool it back down. If you're cooking, get all the refrigerated items you need for the recipe at the same time. And when you're finished with them, put them back in the refrigerator at the same time.

Quick Cooling

Food safety requires prompt cooling of most hot foods. Cool foods quickly in a cold water bath, or place small items directly into the refrigerator.

Cover Food

Always cover everything. Humidity escapes from uncovered foods and liquids. The compressor must work harder to remove the excess humidity.

Reduce Appliances

The single most effective way to reduce refrigerator energy costs is to remove or unplug unnecessary refrigerators or freezers. Running a second refrigerator or freezer, particularly an older model, only makes sense when the additional cold storage is needed. Consolidate your fresh and frozen foods into one appliance and you'll see the savings.  You can also keep freezers outside (or in an unheated shed or garage) so it is not necessary to plug them in during the colder months.


Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers. Frost build-up increases the amount of energy needed to keep the motor running. Don't allow frost to build up more than one quarter of an inch.

Maintain Seals

Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator.

Clean Coils

Move your refrigerator out from the wall and vacuum its condenser coils once a year unless you have a "no clean" condenser model. Your refrigerator will run for shorter periods with clean coils.

Fridge and Freezer Technology

Buy an Energy Star® fridge. Make sure to take your old fridge to the landfill. Rebates for Energy Star® appliances are available through the Energy Efficiency Incentive Program.

Industrial Refrigeration

Industrial Refrigeration Tips


  • Perform scheduled maintenance on units.

  • Keep evaporator coils clean and free of ice build-up.

  • Adjust door latches and replace worn door gaskets.


Put glass doors on display cases or at least use night covers on display cases when customers are away.

Anti-Condensate Heaters

Disconnect anti-condensate heaters or install an Anti-Condensate Controller (ACC).

Fill Refrigerators

Keep refrigerators full (water jugs make good fillers).

Walk-In Freezers

Install auto door-closers and strip curtains on walk-in freezers or coolers.

Industrial Refrigeration Technology

Upgrade your industrial refrigeration systems to a more efficient system. New technology like Freeaire® have already been successfully installed in the NWT and have saved substantial amounts of energy. 

Office Equipment

Office Equipment Tips

Phantom Power

Turn off computers, monitors, printers, copiers, and lights every night and every weekend. If you can’t turn off the whole computer, turn off the monitor and the printer.

Paper Use

Implement paper-reducing strategies such as double-sided printing and reusing paper. Use e-mail instead of sending memos and faxing documents.

Office Equipment Technology

Energy Star®

When purchasing computers, monitors, printers, fax machines and copiers, consider ENERGY STAR® models that “power down” after a user-specified period of inactivity.


Use laptop computers; they consume 90 percent less energy than standard desktop computers and virtually all can be connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse when used in the office.


Ink-jet printers consume 90 percent less energy than laser printers, you may be able to use one instead. Purchase appropriately sized copiers for your company’s needs.


Lighting Tips

Turn Off Unused Lights

Turn off the lights in any room you are not using, or consider installing timers, photo cells, or occupancy sensors to reduce the amount of time your lights are on.

Use task lighting

Instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it. For example, use LED under-cabinet lighting for kitchen sinks and countertops.

Reflective Surfaces

Lamps placed where their light can reflect off at least two walls, such as in a corner, provide the most light for your money.

Lighting Technology

LED Bulbs

  • Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) use up to 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
  • LEDs last 3 times longer than CFLs and 25 times longer than incanescent bulbs.
  • LEDs have no mercury, can be dimmable, are very durable, and work well when it is cold.


Use T8 4-foot fluorescent fixtures with reflective backing and electronic ballasts for your workroom, garage and laundry areas.

Night Lights

Consider 4-watt mini-fluorescent or LED night lights. Both lights are much more efficient than their incandescent counterparts.

Motion Sensors

Install motion sensor lights to turn off lights when nobody is in a room.