With Ontario Hydro rates going up, what can we do to keep them low. That all depends on the what time of day you’re using electricity and what season you’re using as well. The best scenario is to use electricity only on weekends, holidays or at night as the electricity is billed at “Off Peak” rates all day.
- As “On Peak” rates are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (That’s when our air conditioners are being used the most), use a programmable thermostat to raise the temperature during this time. Then use the thermostat again to cool the house back down early evening and again in the early morning. By reducing usage during peak times, you will be using electricity that is billed at a considerably lower rate.
- Pools add to energy usage as they are motors running all the time. Best to put them on a timer so they run only at night when rates are lowest.
- If you’re using an air conditioner close your window coverings during the day to keep the sunlight from heating up your house. And at night close your window covering to keep the cool in.
- Peak Usage is reversed from summer usage, rates are highest from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and again from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Even if you are using gas for heating instead of electricity, your furnace fan draws electricity and using it during “Off or Mid Peak” periods will help with your costs. Use your programmable thermostat to control when the furnace is being used most. Set your thermostat to 18 degrees while your asleep or away from home. For every degree you set lower can reduce your heating costs by 10 percent (gas and hydro usage)
- Keep the cold out during the night and let the warm in during the day. Use window covering to keep the cold from coming in during the night by closing them and open them during the day to let sunlight in.
- Use carpeting or rugs to help in heat retention during the winter months
- Use your microwave or toaster oven for cooking as they only require 1/2 the power.
- Use a BBQ for cooking, as this will keep your house from getting hot and you won’t incur any electrical charges.
- When doing a laundry, do it after 7 p.m. on weekdays or wait for the weekends or holidays as they are only charged as “Off Peak” rates. Wait until there is a full load. Laundry accounts for 25 per cent of all hot water usage. If you use cold water for washing and rinsing you could save enough energy for about 200 showers. A typical load of dryer uses 3.3 kilowatts of power over 45 minutes. Here is approximately what you’d pay for a load of laundry at various “Peak” periods.
Off Peak: 29 cents/load • Mid Peak: 43 cents/load • High Peak 60 cents/load
- It’s hot outside, so use a clothesline instead of your dryer. Remember your electric dryer accounts for about 12 percent of the typical Hydro bill.
- Using your dishwasher during “Off Peak” hours can save you 1/2 the cost of electricity verses “Peak” hours. Also, don’t use the heat to dry your dishing, use air dry instead.
- Reduce Phantom Power: Electronics such as televisions, television boxes or recorders, computers, portable phones and any electrical device that uses a transformer draws power even though the devices are not in use. Many are in standby mode for quick activation. Many of these phantom power devices can be connected to a power bar and turned off when not in use ie: when you’re asleep or away. You can even put them on a timer so they turn off and on automatically.
- Use a dimmer switch or purchase LED light bulbs. Remember not all LED bulbs are dimmable so check first for buying.
- Look into putting in light sensor switches which will turn off your lights when no one is in a room.
- Set your furnace fan to auto.