Easy Home Maintenance

52 Tips & Tricks to Stop Wasting Money On Your Hydro Bill!

We've put together a thorough list of ways that you can save money on your hydro bills. Some of these money saving techniques are more expensive than others, but things like 'buy a new energy efficient fridge' didn't make this list since that's not always a practical solution.

Hydro (or electric for the non-Canadians who are reading) is expensive and costs are only going up so if you implement only a couple of these ideas in your home, you'll definitely see the difference on your bill.

We've separated it into categories for you. We recommend picking one or two from each category to really see a difference in your monthly bill.

And of course, if you need some help around your house with some of these - we know of some professionals you can call.


Use CFL lights to save money on your hydro bills.

Lighting

  1. Turn off lights when not in use.
  2. Maximize natural light throughout your house.
  3. Use task lighting. Meaning use lighting for the specific thing you’re doing rather than overhead lighting all of the time.
  4. Use LED lightbulbs - much more efficient and last longer than CFLs.
  5. User lower watt bulbs where possible. Do you really need that 100W bulb when 60W might do?
  6. Dust your lamps and light fixtures regularly since the dust limits the efficiency.
  7. Paint your rooms light colours to help reflect light and make it seem brighter.
  8. Use motion sensors on outdoor lighting so they are only on when needed.
  9. Make sure your Christmas lights are LEDs.
  10. Install outdoor timers for outdoor lighting.
  11. Make sure you’re using outdoor specific CFL bulbs.


    An energy efficient power bar makes it easy to turn on and off groups of electronics.

Electronics

  1. Unplug electronics you’re not using. In areas where you’re using multiple electronics at once (i.e. around the television) use an efficient power bar so you can easily turn the entire system on and off with a single switch.
  2. Switch from a desktop to laptop. Unplug your laptop charger when you’re not using it.
  3. Printers can be serious energy sucks. If you have one, keep it unplugged unless you’re using it.
  4. Recycle your old TV. New TVs are significantly more efficient.
  5. Keep fridge & freezer at ideal temperature.
  6. Fill your freezer. A full freezer is more efficient than an empty one.
  7. Use the microwave instead of the oven. It uses much less energy to cook than the conventional oven.
  8. Reduce kitchen heat while cooking. It can mix up your thermostat.
  9. Use copper bottomed pots that use heat more efficiently.
  10. Match your pot size to the burner size to use heat efficiently. Don’t heat a big pan on a small burner, or a small pan on a big burner. Use a pan that is the appropriate size for what you’re cooking.
  11. Run dishwasher during off peak hours.
  12. Skip the dry heat setting on the dishwasher.
  13. Run full loads of laundry rather than several small ones.
  14. Wash laundry in cold water.
  15. Hang laundry to dry.
  16. Add towel to dryer to absorb some of the moisture in your clothing. It will dry faster.
  17. Remove lint from the dryer after every use to improve efficiency.
  18. Don’t use the maximum setting on your hair dryer. The medium setting will only take a few more minutes to dry your hair and will use much less energy.
  19. Only vacuum during off peak hours.


    An ecobee or other app controlled thermostat will help you control the temperature of your home while you're away!

Heating/Cooling

  1. Manage thermostat (lowering your thermostat by two degrees can save 5% on your heating bill). Here's the ideal temperature settings for your home, depending on what you're doing:
    21° C (70° F) when home relaxing
    20° C (68° F) when working or exercising
    18° C (64° F) when sleeping
    16° C (61° F) when away for an extended period of time
  2. Get your furnace or air conditioner serviced regularly so that you know it’s working at its maximum efficiency.
  3. Install an ecobee, or other kind of thermostat that can be controlled while you're away from your house.
  4. Move your air conditioner to a shaded area.
  5. Close heating/cooling vents in rooms you don’t use.
  6. Seal ducts so that you’re not losing heat or AC before it even gets to you.
  7. Open windows at night to let cool air in, close them and blinds during the day to keep cool air in.
  8. Install energy efficient doors & windows.
  9. Add storm windows as a cost effective way to avoid fully replacing all windows.
  10. Replace the weather stripping on your house around all windows and doors.
  11. Check basement and attic for drafts and get them fixed by a professional.
  12. Insulate the attic well so that you’re not losing heat out of the top of your house.
  13. Use ceiling fans and make sure they are rotating the correct way for the season. They should be rotating counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter. The warmer it is, the faster it should be spinning.
  14. Cover all bare floors since carpets and rugs insulate much better than hardwood or tiled floors.
  15. Plant trees strategically to provide shade for your house.
    When not in use, close the fireplace damper so air doesn’t escape.
  16. Seal fireplaces that are not used completely.


    Taking shorter showers will reduce the energy required to heat the water you're using.

Water

  1. Take shorter showers.
  2. Turn off water when shaving, brushing teeth, washing face, etc.
  3. Fix the leaky faucet, especially if it’s hot water that’s leaking.
  4. Adjust hot water heater (no lower than 55ºC and no higher than 60ºC).


    Visit saveonenergy.ca to find coupons that will help you save money on

Other

  1. Use Save on Energy coupons. They have coupons for weatherstripping, light bulbs, advanced power bars, outdoor timers, and much more, which are valid for savings at lots of major retailers across the country.


Make your home more efficient. Save money.

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Katherine Wellman

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Toronto, Ontario http://jiffyondemand.com