There doesn’t have to be a continental grid-wide power failure to make you want to conserve energy. Your hydro bills will be lower and your ecological footprint smaller if you follow these steps: ===At work:=== * Avoid large photocopying jobs. * Close doors to the outside to keep in cooler air. * Turn off lights when offices are not in use and turn off any signage and systems not necessary for operations, security and safety. * On hot days, draw the curtains and/or shades to keep the sun out. * Turn off office equipment or set it to “power down” when not in use. * Set office thermostats to 25 degrees Celsius or higher. * Check to ensure doors to coolers and freezers remain closed. * Take the stairs instead of the elevator. * Shut off all “frills” such as outside advertising billboards and signage, decorative fountains, pools and waterfalls. ===At home:=== * Keep the air conditioner off or use it sparingly. Even better, spend time outside and open the windows. * Turn off the lights in any room not in use. * Shut off all non-essential appliances except the refrigerator. * Postpone using dishwashers and washing machines for as long as possible; hang clothes to dry. * Unplug electronic devices and chargers - many electronic devices use electricity even when switched “off”. * Use energy efficient lightbulbs. * Allow food to cool before putting leftovers in the refrigerator. * Avoid frequent or prolonged openings of the refrigerator and freezer. * Use your microwave instead of your oven for cooking whenever possible. * Eat cool - consider salads, sandwiches and other cold foods. * Fill plastic containers to three quarters with water and freeze them. If your power goes out, move the frozen water containers to the refrigerator to help keep the refrigerator cool. * For electrical hot water heaters turn the breaker “off” during peak hours. The water will stay hot for several hours in the tank. * Take the stairs instead of the elevator. * Turn off your pool filter and automatic cleaning sweep. ===Conserve Water:=== * Take showers, not baths; they use less water. * Postpone using dishwashers and laundry appliances. * Don’t water the lawn. * Don’t wash the car. ===Conserve Gasoline:=== * Don’t drive unless you have to. * Consider carpooling.