Electric bills can run pretty high in the cooler months of the year, which can mean a serious hit to your finances, especially if you are dealing with bad credit and have limited resources to draw from. But there are measures you can take to reduce your power bills if you are willing to conserve. The following tips will help you learn how to save money on electricity in Ontario, where the price of electricity has skyrocketed by 65% in recent years.
Time of Day
Most Ontario residents pay for electricity based on the time of use. The period with the highest demand, which boosts prices, is weekdays from 11 am to 5pm from May 1 through October 31. The peak periods shift to 7am to 11am and 5pm-7pm from November 1 through April 30. By restricting your use of power-hungry appliances like your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer during these peak hours, you can save money on electricity.
One of the key ways to cut your electric bill is to replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights. Prices for these lights have steadily dropped over the years to under $3.00 per lamp. Fluorescent lights use one fourth the power of incandescent lights and last 7 to 10 times longer.
Alternative Cooling and Heating Methods
Since air conditioning can be very expensive during the summer months, think about using alternative cooling methods, such as ceiling fans and portable fans. Only use an air conditioner if you are sensitive to heat stroke, have heart problems or other medical conditions which require such cooling. If you do use an air conditioner, make sure that it is turned off when no one is at home. Ceiling fans can help force rising hot air out of open windows in the summer and toward the floor in the winter.
Window shades and curtains are useful in the summer for blocking sunlight and heat into a room. Those same window coverings have a reverse effect in the winter, keeping heat trapped within the room. Another idea for savings is to wear lighter clothing in the summer to stay cool and heavier clothing in the winter to stay warm.
Turn Off Computers and Appliances
Computers, printers, and other electronics can be notorious for running up electricity bills if you always leave them on. It’s better to turn all computers off when they are not in use. The same holds turn for electrical appliances. You do not have to turn off small items like clocks but you can save money by keeping TVs and DVD players off when not in use. It’s also helpful to keep certain appliances unplugged when not in use to avoid paying for “trickle charges.”
Smartphones have become a popular way how to save money on electricity and access the internet. You can save money by using your smartphone more than your desktop. In general, small appliances use less energy than large appliances. Microwave and toaster ovens use less energy than conventional ovens. Refrigerators use a lot of energy, which is why you need to keep the door shut as much as possible.
It may sound old fashioned, but cleaning dishes by hand can save money instead of running an electric dishwasher. You will also be saving money on water. When you do your laundry use full loads to reduce the number of times per week that you use the washer and drier. Finally, your water heater can be a huge energy hog but you can save money by wrapping the tank and pipes in a blanket that retains heat.