Most of us remember mom reminding us to turn off the lights when we left the room or to make sure the door was shut properly when we came in from the cold. It turns out she was right.

With just a 10 degree drop below zero, a typical Albertan household could see their electricity consumption go up by about eight per cent and natural gas consumption go up by about 40 per cent.

January brings on short days and colder temperatures, and that means we’re using more electricity to keep the lights on and more natural gas to heat our homes. To help customers prepare for the cold weather season, ENMAX has launched Winter Wise, a collection of easy energy saving tips and resources to help take control of energy use this winter.

“We know that our customers care about managing their energy footprint. Last February, Alberta was caught in a polar vortex and experienced the third-coldest February on record in Calgary,” said Corry Poole, vice-president customer experience at ENMAX. “As a result, the ENMAX Customer Care Centre received close to 30,000 calls and inquiries about increases in energy consumption.”

ENMAX’s Winter Wise campaign offers easy, low-cost actions customers can take today to help keep energy consumption down. Taken together, they can have a positive impact on reducing the size of a household’s energy footprint.

Here are five quick and easy energy-saving tips:

Clean up Finding change in pockets is great, but energy savings can add up in more significant ways with three simple changes to your laundry routine: running the washer on cold, hanging your laundry on a drying rack, or throwing a dry towel in the dryer to help your clothes dry faster.

Join the slow food movement Preparing meals in a slow cooker instead of on the stove is a great way to save energy. It’s also super convenient. Plus, making stews, chilis or other winter comfort foods in larger batches means leftovers that can be easily warmed in the microwave, which also uses far less energy than your stove.

Don’t heat your heater Make sure there isn’t a vent or heating source close to your thermostat. This will cause your thermostat to misread the true temperature in your house and result in you turning up the heat higher than needed to compensate.

Pull back the covers Make sure that furniture, rugs or other items haven’t been placed over your vents. Air flow is a key for heating efficiency. If a vent must be under furniture, purchase an air deflector to send the warm air out into the room.

Harness the sun Alberta towns and cities rank among Canada’s sunniest. Make the sun work for you in winter by opening your blinds and curtains during the day. This will enable the sun’s energy to help heat your home and take some of the load off your furnace. At night, close your blinds and curtains to help keep the heat from escaping too quickly.

For more tips, information and resources, visit enmax.com/winterwise.