With the colder months approaching, many Canadians are looking for ways to conserve energy and lower their hydro costs. Here are 10 simple things that you can do each day to lower your hydro bill.
1. Cut Down on “Phantom Power”
Electronics that are plugged in all day continue to draw power even when they’re not in use. Fortunately, lowering phantom power is easy – simply plug all your electronics into a power bar, then switch the unit off once you leave the house.
2. Try a Programmable Thermostat
During the colder months, setting a thermostat to 18°C while you’re sleeping can lower your heating costs by almost 10 per cent. In fact, you can save up to 3 per cent for every degree you lower your thermostat.
3. Take Advantage of Natural Light
If your home contains south-facing windows, consider opening up the drapes instead of relying on a lamp. Turning off just one 60-watt light bulb for four hours each day can save you up to $9 every year.
4. Use Cold Water for Laundry
Approximately 25 per cent of all household hot water is used for laundry. Using cold water for washing and rinsing can save enough energy for the equivalent of 220 showers.
5. Run Dishwashers During Off-Peak Hours
Cleaning your dishes during off-peak hours can also help lower your hydro bill. You can also use the air-dry setting or leave the appliance’s door open to let the dishes dry naturally. So consider turning on your dishwasher later in the evening before you go to bed.
6. Take a Shorter Shower
Hot water can be costly. If all family members cut their shower time by just one minute each, you may be able to save $30 or more on hydro costs.
7. Cook with Small Appliances
Small appliances like microwaves, toaster ovens, and crockpots use less energy to heat food. Try these devices instead of your oven and save up to $20 per year. Think about that the next time you turn on your oven to cook a single baked potato.
8. Adjust Your Refrigerator
The ideal temperature for a fridge is between 2°C and 3°C while the freezer should be kept at -18°C. Setting these temperatures can help reduce your electricity costs.
9. Ditch Your Desktop
Exchanging your desktop for a laptop computer is a great way to increase your energy efficiency. You can save up to $11 each year by making the change.
10. Unplug the PVR
Going away for a few days? Disconnect the PVR to save energy if you don’t have any recordings scheduled.