Tips for Saving $1,000 a Year on Energy

A few small changes can make a big difference to your bank account

Electricity prices in Canada continue to rise with Ontario having one of the highest rates in North America. Ontario hydro rates have increased over 140% in the last eight years and consumers must look to conservation to reduce their bills. Here are some tips to help you save up to $1,000 on energy every year.

  • On average, lighting accounts for 11% of every Canadian hydro bill. Switching your incandescent light bulbs to LEDs can reduce that to about 3% and save you between $100 and $150 a year.
  • Reduce the cost of your laundry by switching to a cold wash cycle and save $136 a year.
  • Your HVAC system works more effectively when you regularly change the air filters. With proper maintenance, you can reduce your heating and cooling costs by 5-15% with a saving of up to $330 for the average household.
  • Another way to make your HVAC system more efficient is to invest in a smart thermostat. These turn your heating and cooling down during times when you are asleep or at home. Smart thermostats can save you about $131-145 a year. They are pricy, so you’ll need at least two years to recover your costs before your savings set in and you must learn to program it correctly in order to see significant changes in your energy consumption.
  • Forgo the AC on all but the hottest days by installing a ceiling fan and save up to $20 a month. Reversing the direction of the ceiling fan in the winter will help to evenly distribute heat which makes your HVAC system work less so you save more.
  • Water heaters are responsible for about 17% of the energy bill for the average Canadian household. Lowering your water heater to 49°C (120 degrees F) won’t make a big difference to you, but it will reduce your bill by $25 to $42 per year.
  • Up to 10% of your energy bill is taken up by ‘vampire loads’—those appliances that aren’t in use, but are on stand-by mode. You can save money by turning these appliances off, or investing in a smart power bar which has a timer to turn off your appliances when not in use.
  • Your fridge accounts for a large chunk of your energy bill, but there are ways you can make it more efficient. Lower the temperature by a couple of degrees and save $22 a year. Cleaning the coils allows for greater efficiency which could save you $4.50 a year while using an ice tray rather than an ice maker will save you up to $18 annually.

Find out which energy-saving investments will best suit your home or condo. Use the Scotiabank Home Energy Savings Calculator to see where you can save the most on your hydro bill. You can get rebates for everything from ceiling fans to smart power bars. See the rebates offered in your province here.

Do you have an idea for an article?

Tell us what’s on your mind and your eco-friendly suggestion might be turned into a story.