10 No-Cost Ways to Save Money on Energy
Reduce your hydro bills this summer and save!
Rising energy costs have resulted in many Canadian households experiencing energy poverty. A recent study by the Fraser Institute showed that 10% or more of household incomes are spent on energy. “Because high energy costs take a large bite out of many household budgets, families across Canada pay the price when government energy policies boost the cost of electricity,” said Kenneth Green, the Fraser Institute’s senior director.
Thankfully, you don’t always have to spend money to make money. Sometimes all you have to do is work smarter and when it comes to energy use, these small changes can make a huge difference to your monthly hydro bill.
Each appliance that remains on when you are not using it utilizes energy. Appliances in standby mode can account for 10-15% of your monthly energy bill. You can save up to $100 a year by either switching the appliances off when not in use or by using a smart power bar with a timer that turns energy off when you are asleep or at work.
Adjusting your hot water thermostat can save you 5% of your water-heating costs for every 6 degrees Celsius you reduce the temperature. Your thermostat should ideally be between 55 and 60 degrees Celsius.
Laptop computers use less energy than a desktop computer. If you use your laptop instead of your desktop for two hours every day, you can save $11 on energy every year.
Now that summer is here, use your clothesline instead of the dryer. If you live in a condo and must use a dryer, adding a towel to each load can significantly reduce your drying times.
Untangling clothing before you put a load in the dryer and cleaning the lint trap regularly will make your dryer more efficient.
Natural drying is good for dishes too! Turn off the drying function on your dishwasher and let your dishes air dry to save money.
Reduce the money you spend on running your fridge and freezer by ensuring the vents where cold air comes in to the appliance aren’t blocked. Move these appliances slightly away from the wall to allow for proper air circulation. Brush and vacuum the coils at the bottom or the back of the refrigerator to increase efficiency.
Plan your meals for the next few days and move the food from the freezer to the fridge to thaw. This will help your fridge to stay cool and reduce the number of times you open the freezer and reduce the energy used to thaw items in the microwave.
Think about all the things you will need to make a meal and take them out of the fridge at the same time rather than opening and closing it for each item.
Use the toaster, microwave or toaster oven if you are making smaller meals. If you must use the oven, opt for glass rather than metal dishes as they require less heat.
Check the weather forecast before you leave for work. If it’s going to be a hot day, close the windows and the blinds or curtains. Keeping the sun and hot air out during the day can help to keep your home or condo cool.
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