Ways to save money on hydro
Something cool that HydroOne is now sending customers is a: Your Home Energy Dashboard.
This dashboard is a brief comparison report and trend about your hydro usage. It compares your electricity use with your “efficient” neighbours. There is a defined reporting period (about a month) and this report provides you with a 12-month trend. “Efficient” neighbours are considered the most efficient 20% of all neighbours profiled in your area; approximately 100 homes. Here are my stats in case you’re curious:
So, we’re “Good” of late but not quite as “Great” as we once were. That means we’ll need to make some changes to get us back at the top.
Here are some ways to save money on hydro
- Reduce phantom power
Keeping electronics like TVs, computers, tablets and other devices plugged in all day draws electricity even if the devices aren’t in use. To reduce the draw, for devices you use on-demand, consider using a power bar. Simply turn off the power bar when devices are not in use.
We use lots of power bars in our home and will continue to do so. We just need to turn them off more often.
- Dishwashers and laundry
You might already know there are, in Ontario, different hydro rates applied to different times of day. It’s called Time-of-Use pricing. That pricing model breaks down as follows:
To save money, consider running expensive appliances like dishwashers and laundry machines in off-peak hours, including weekends. When running these appliances, do only full loads. If you’re in the market for a new appliance, go with an Energy Star model.
We have for many years, used our dishwasher, washer and dryer predominantly after 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.
- Use LED bulbs
According to HydroOne and included in my recent hydro bill statement “CFLs use 75% less energy and last at least six times longer” than convention light bulbs. LED lights are even more efficient. Consider replacing your entire house with LED bulbs. Although there are increased costs for these bulbs, LEDs last longer, stay cooler and save you money over time.
LED bulbs are in every possible spot in our home.
- Use a programmable thermostat
HydroOne says setting up your programmable thermostat, properly, can save you a solid 10% on your home heating and cooling costs. These savings can occur as you reduce energy consumption when at home or while you are away.
We have for many years, used a programmable thermostat. We also have a programmable thermostat for our Heat Recovery Ventilator, used between November and March every year.
- When in doubt: use fans, windows, and curtains and appliances off
We spend the majority of our electricity dollars controlling the temperature of our home, and in our summers, that means keeping our house cool. Try these low-cost and no-cost alternatives:
- In the morning open windows to let cool air in. Close windows (and curtains) later in the day to keep the hot sunshine out.
- Let fans cool the air throughout your home. Fans don’t use much electricity and reduce the need for air conditioning until late in the day after the sun heats up your home.
- In the summer consider using the BBQ more (we love BBQ….) and avoid turning on your heat-producing appliances in the kitchen. In the summer it’s a double-whammy: ovens produce lots of heat AND cost you money!
There are many more ways to save money on your electricity bill but these are great ones to start with. Try these to help your wallet and our environment.
How do you save money on electricity? How does your hydro bill compare to ours?