Hydro rates in Ontario are quite high, especially in rural areas. While we have little control on the rates we pay, we can control how much hydro we use. In addition to taking advantage of time-of-use pricing, there are many other ways you can save on electricity. Whether you are a homeowner or renting and paying your utilities, these tips will save you money. Not only are these tips going to reduce your hydro bill but they are also environmentally friendly.
Compared to CFL and incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs use less energy to power. LED bulbs last longer and will not have to be replaced as often (LED bulbs can last up to 50,000 hours). Less replacement bulbs means more savings for you and less waste for the environment. In addition to switching to LED bulbs, consider installing dimmer switches to save even more energy.
In order to reduce phantom power, consider installing timed power bars. Power bars with timers will automatically turn off electronics at times of the day they are not likely to be used. Timed power bars detect when electronics go into sleep mode and will shut off when this happens.
If you are in the market for new appliances, consider installing energy efficient ones. Be sure to run your appliances as effectively as possible, for example only running your dishwasher and doing your laundry when there is a full load.
Weatherstripping your home is a great investment as it keeps cold air out in the winter and in the Summer, it keeps the cool air from your air conditioner inside. Weatherstripping will prevent your heating or air conditioning system to work harder than it has to, leading to energy savings which will reduce your hydro bill in the long run.
A programmable thermostat will keep your house at a comfortable temperature while your home and depending whether your heating or cooling, it will increase or decrease the temperature at the times you are gone during the day. You can connect some to your smart phone so you can adjust the temperature during the day if you need to come home earlier than expected. In the winter, you can program it to be cooler at night and use a warmer blanket. A programmable thermostat will keep your house comfortable when you need it without using unnecessary electricity when you are not there.
In the summertime try to only cool your house to 78 degrees. It won’t be a big difference in comfort but it will make a big difference in savings. Same goes for the winter time. Put on a sweater and heat your house to 68 or 70.
Try to BBQ as much as possible in the Summer. This will avoid your Oven heating up your house and causing your air conditioner to work harder than it has to.
Once in a while, try to plan meals that don’t require any cooking like salads. This is great for any time of the year since for that one day of week you avoid turning on your stove, oven or microwave.
Whenever possible, turn off lights and open your curtains or blinds and let in the natural light. If you are building a new house or looking to buy one, you can always consider choosing a house with bigger windows which will allow more light to come in.
In the Summer try to avoid using your dryer and opt to hang your clothes up to dry instead. You can also use a drying rack inside for the colder months or if you live in an apartment or condo.