Save Energy & Save Money
There’s a lot to love about living in Ontario. Our monthly hydro bill, however, is not one of them. We pay more for heating, cooling and electricity than any other province. That means it’s especially important to be energy efficient. Here are some handy tips and tricks to cut your hydro bill down to size, and keep more money in your pocket.
Here Comes the Sun
Advances in solar energy have come a long way, even in just the last decade. Solar panels and their batteries are now roughly 80% less expensive than they were in 2008. They’re also so efficient that if they were used everywhere, they could compensate for as much as 50% of our nation’s daily energy use. If that seems too far-fetched for you, just take a look at how much European countries are saving on their energy bill, and you’ll be ordering a solar power system today.
The sun is an incredible source of renewable energy, and a lot of cities around the world allow people to sell their excess solar energy to pay down their hydro energy bill. Using this alternative energy source to power electronics, our homes, and devices is without a doubt one of the best ways to save energy.
Hey, Who Turned off the Lights!? Oh Wait, it was You.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but turning off your lights and devices when you leave a room is an essential component to all energy efficient homes. Leaving any device plugged in while it's not in use (such as toasters, microwaves, computers, and televisions) will increase your household electricity consumption, as they all draw power from the grid when in standby mode. So unplug that blender, turn off the lights when you leave a room, and save energy as well as hard-earned cash.
LED Lights Means Doing it Right
If you’ve been looking for more ways to save money, then look no further! Energy efficient lighting is both cheap and effective. Compared to incandescent bulbs, LED lights are 70%-90% more effective and will jumpstart your energy conservation initiative at home. Start your energy efficiency brigade with this first step and become a conscientious energy saver!
Cold on to Your Money
Did you know that most of the energy consumed by your washing machine is used to heat up water? Every time you wash your clothes on the cold water setting you’re cutting energy consumption by 90%! With the cost of electricity being what it is, this money-saving method will have you feeling proud of your energy solutions.
Don’t Throw Your Money out the Window
Vinyl windows are all well and good if the temperature stays above freezing year-round. Here in Canada however, those vinyl windows will contract in the winter and then expand in the summer, putting pressure on the glass, and causing seal failure. What this means is a complete failure of the window’s energy efficiency. Fibreglass windows are a big step up from vinyl, but even they will expand and contract over time. For truly energy efficient windows you’ll need a composite material that will withstand fluctuating temperatures.
Upgrading your home with energy efficient windows is a great way to save on electricity costs. To reduce the cost of renovations, you can also get a rebate from the Government of Ontario.
Being Green is Both Hot and Cool
By upgrading your home with one of the many energy efficient heaters available on the market today, you can significantly reduce your monthly energy consumption. The same goes for energy efficient air conditioning units as well. What’s more, similar to the window rebate program, the Government of Ontario is offering a massive rebate to all homeowners who upgrade their heating and cooling systems with more energy efficient models.
Small Appliances, Big Savings
Using your oven draws a lot of power from the hydro grid. To save on your monthly bill try using your microwave or toaster oven instead. These two energy saving products will not only help you save money, but they’ll also cook your food faster! Save money, live better.
Know how Your Meter Flows: Get an Energy Audit
To better implement your energy-saving efforts it’s best to get an energy audit performed on your residence. This way you can learn about your home's specific inefficiencies. Check out the Ontario Audit Funding Initiative to see if you qualify, and have part of your costs paid for by the Government.
Tips and Tricks
Here are few more ideas on how to save money via energy solutions.
- Keep your drapes closed on hot sunny days, and open in the winter to help mitigate hot or cold energy loss
- Only run your dishwasher outside of peak hours
- Don’t open the oven to check on your food. Use the window instead. Every time you open the oven door 25℃ is lost and the oven has to use more electricity to heat up again
- Install a programmable thermostat and create programs based on your daily habits to help manage your home’s energy consumption
- Use low-flow shower heads and faucets
- Regularly clean and/or replace dryer and A/C filters in your home
- Keep furniture away from vents and intakes
- Seal air leaks with caulking on an annual basis to limit energy loss
These power saving methods will help you better manage your home’s energy consumption. Even without a small renovation like a new heater, or a solar panel system, there are lots of things that you can do to cut your hydro bill down to size. Going green isn’t just trendy, but will actually save you money.