A Lower Hydro Bill: Without Trading Comfort for Cash
Have you ever found yourself avoiding touching the thermostat to try and save money on your monthly hydro bills? I sure have! This heat wave has made it next to impossible to avoid the A/C while staying comfortable in my own home! Did you know that the average person’s hydro bill is their second highest home-related expense annually? It has become a mission of mine to figure out better ways to save money on these bills without sacrificing comfort.
Heating & Cooling
The biggest savings when it comes to hydro typically are found in managing the thermostat, though this doesn’t necessarily mean not using it! Look into a programmable thermostat that can be scheduled to change temperatures throughout the day when you aren’t home. The ‘Nest’ thermostat can be scheduled, will regulate home temperatures when you are away, and can even be controlled remotely, should you unexpectedly be coming home throughout the day. The ‘Nest’ is said to reduce heating bills by approximately 10-12% while reducing cooling bills by up to 15% with its smart technology. That’s a few hundred dollars per year!
On the topic of changing your usage throughout the day, you should look into the costing scheme for your hydro company! Orangeville hydro, for example, has a peak hours system where electricity usage is more expensive at certain times of the day. Consider adding this information to your hydro bill reduction plan. Below is a diagram for the timing that peak hours are in effect here in Orangeville.
Hydro costs 52% less during off peak hours of what it would cost when it is on peak. These are huge savings that are easy to take advantage of and plan around – particularly if you can automate or program the usage!
Another way to help the thermostat situation would be updating windows, doors and window coverings. Newer windows and doors are designed to be more energy efficient and to leak less through the use of more insulated materials, better fitting and multiple panes of glass. Energy efficient window coverings typically let less sunlight bleed in and therefore will help keep a room cooler! All of this means less tampering with the thermostat on a day to day basis and a more stable temperature in your home.
Appliances & Electronics
More great ways to save on hydro is by updating appliances and electronics in your household. Energy star certified appliances can be up to 50% more efficient than non-energy efficient appliances. Appliances typically last up to 20 years as well, which means making an investment in the interim will save in the long term! Changing lighting fixtures is also a great way to save money. Historically, pot lights look amazing but use a ton of power! Now there are more energy efficient clip-in recessed pot lights that will cut your spending! Even newer electronics like TVs for example are much more efficient than older televisions. This means that you don’t have to cut back on using the things you love to relax in order to save more.
An additional savings opportunity when it comes to hydro is unplugging electronics while they aren’t in use! Though the electronics are turned off, they are typically still idly drawing power. This standby power can account for up to 10% of your home’s electricity use; and, it is another easy way to cut costs! This is one of my favourite options. It doesn’t cost anything to do; and, no change is required in your home. It is certainly the lowest input, highest output option when it comes to saving on hydro.
Finally, another great way to save on the hydro bills is to manage water usage. Using less water, at a lower temperature is a great opportunity for savings. Dialing your showers back by a minute or two – at a cooler temperature, not running the water when you are brushing your teeth or washing your hands and doing laundry in cold water can all really add up in the long run. The best part about these options is they all are habits that you can easily form if you put your mind to it!
With a few of these key tactics in place, I have managed to save on my monthly hydro bills without having to sacrifice comfort or convenience in my own home. We urge you to try at least one of these ideas if you want to save some money each month! And if you want to go the extra mile, here is a list of additional ideas for saving on hydro!
Turn off unnecessary lights
Use energy efficient light bulbs
Make use of natural light when possible
Use a lamp instead of room lighting
Use a laptop instead of a desktop computer (laptops use battery and are not constantly drawing power)
Fix leaky faucets and ensure you don’t have slow leak in your toilets
Reduce heat in the kitchen (BBQ or microwave food more in summer months to avoid heating the house up)
Hang dry laundry
Use a dry towel with your wet clothes in the dryer to reduce cycle time