How to Save Money on Hydro
Check out these 15 awesome tricks and strategies to reduce your household’s energy consumption and keep more money in your wallet! (Part II of II)
Last week I outlined the first 5 tricks and strategies I used to cut my household’s hydro bill by $384. In case you missed it, be sure to check it out at the link below – it’s loaded with 5 key strategies you do NOT want to miss!
So now, without further ado, here’s Part II of How to Save Money on Hydro!
How to Save Money on Hydro (Part II): Cut Corners to Cut Your Bill
6) Eliminate ‘phantom’ energy use. Many electronic devices like mobile phone chargers, desktop computers, lamps, TVs, etc. draw a minimal amount of power when they’re plugged in, even if they aren’t turned on; this is often referred to as ‘phantom’ energy use. Try to remember to unplug these when they aren’t in use, or connect them to a power bar you can easily switch on and off when you need to. (My UK readers will know this is actually pretty much a standard over there – in addition to ON/OFF switches on their electronics, the actual outlet in the wall also has an ON/OFF switch, which is essentially what I’m recommending regarding the power bar).
7) Use the ‘vacation’ setting on your hot water heater to lower the temperature when you go away on holiday. Obviously do the same with your thermostat. Also – if you rent your hot water heater, you can ask the company to send out a serviceperson to make sure it’s functioning efficiently!
8) Fix leaky faucets right away. One faucet dripping once per minute will waste close to 130 litres/34 gallons of water a year!
9) Install low-flow kitchen and bathroom sink faucets to save water. Turn off the water while you soap your hands or brush your teeth. Low-flow toilets (that allow you to choose – ahem – how much water your ‘deposit’ needs to flush) and shower faucets help too. Also, if it’s yellow, let it mellow. 😉
10) Update your small appliances: I loved my old school stovetop kettle because I’m a geeky history nerd who likes that kind of thing 😜 But then I discovered how energy INefficient they are. I highly recommend you use an electric kettle to boil water, instead of on your stovetop. The same goes for steaming vegetables – buy a cheap electric countertop steamer to use instead. These gadgets use way less energy than the stovetop, and you can find very reasonably priced decent quality ones. The price has dropped dramatically on these in the past couple of decades because they ARE so much more energy efficient.
11) Turn off the ‘heated dry’ setting on your dishwasher. It may be hard to find, but it’s there, and the default setting is probably ‘ON’! I have it from my energy efficiency guru (my brother, an engineer) that this simple, tiny change can save you about $20/year in energy use. Seriously.
12) Use ceiling and stand-alone fans in the summer, if you have them. You can also get them on places like Facebook swap and sell groups, Kijiji and Craigslist for super cheap. Only turn on your air conditioning if it’s really necessary. Remember: AC is meant to take the edge off the heat, not refrigerate your entire house!
Also, close the vents in any rooms and hallways you don’t often use. The same goes for heat during the winter – your air system will redirect that cool or hot air back to the open vents where you actually need it! Again, my mantra: your goal should be to only pay for the hydro you need, when and where you need it!
13) During sunny months, close your blinds and curtains during the day. Leaving them open heats up your house with sunlight and puts additional strain on your air conditioner to keep up.
14) Match the right size pot to the size of the burner and the amount of food you’re cooking. For instance, using a 6inch pot on an 8inch burner can waste up to 40% of the burner’s heat!
15) Use the cold water setting on your washing machine to reduce energy consumption big time! Most laundry detergent brands now have a ‘cold water’ version for this purpose. I’m not sure exactly whether it’s just marketing or whether there is any actual difference in the formula… But since the ‘cold water’ versions are the same price as the regular ones, you’re not losing anything by opting for the cold water detergent. 😉
Well there you have it! The 15 tricks and strategies we used to cut our yearly hydro bill by $384! What are your energy-saving strategies? Do you have any other great suggestions? Which of these are you going to try? Let me know in the comments! I’m ALWAYS eager to pick up more tips and tricks to save money!
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