The hot summer months can wreak havoc on your hydro bill! Check out these 10 Easy Ways to Save Money on Hydro During the Summer to reduce your energy consumption and keep more money in your wallet!
How to Save Money on Hydro During the Summer
Last year, one of my most-read posts (and one that went viral on Pinterest!) was a two-part series about how to save money on hydro.
Why was it so popular? Simple: in most regions, hydro is expensive AF. Next to groceries, the cost of hydro puts the most strain on families’ household budgets. And adding insult to injury, in many places there is only one hydro service provider. Without competition in the market, you’re stuck having to either pay their fees, or go without heat, electricity, and water. It’s not like a mobile phone company or bank, where you can shop around for the best rates. So when you don’t have any control over the rate you’re paying, you want to do everything you can to reduce the amount you’re consuming and in turn reduce your bill.
In today’s post, I’m going to bring back some of the tips and tricks I outlined in my How to Save Money on Hydro posts last year, and propose a few new ideas too, all related specifically to summer living and the impact it can have on your budget. So here’s 10 easy ways to save money on hydro during the summer.
10 Easy Ways to Save Money on Hydro During the Summer
1) Invest in a ‘smart’ thermostat. This super cool piece of tech allows you to program when you want your air conditioning to kick in and what temperature you want it set at for any time of day. It’s an investment of about $60 at the front end, but it will pay for itself FAST! After that, it’s all savings in your pocket, baby!
Here’s the schedule for our smart thermostat during the summer months:
9am: Temperature warms up to 24C/75F (usually meaning the AC kicks in a few times throughout the day just to take the edge off the heat)
4pm: AC kicks in to cool the house off to 22C/72F in preparation for us getting home from work all sweaty and dreaming of a cold beer!
9pm-9am: Temperature lowers to 21C/70F for sleeping – we are both hot sleepers and find this the most comfortable. It then stays cool while we’re running around getting ready for work in the morning before going back up to 24C/75F once we leave the house.
Obviously if my husband and I are both on holiday and at home, we adjust this program accordingly to keep ourselves comfortable. It’s a fantastic system that helps you really only pay for the hydro usage you need, when you need it.
2) Check your insulation! Invest some money in having an expert come out to assess your home’s insulation. If this is your forever (or forever-ish) home, it’s worth the investment to replace windows, doors, or attic/wall insulation. Insufficient insulation is allowing air conditioning (and money!) to escape your home like water through a strainer.
If you can’t afford any insulation renos at the moment, use caulking, weather stripping, and window plastic in the meantime to help keep energy in your house and cash in your bank account.
3) Abide by your region’s time-of-use schedules, if available. Where I live, our local hydro supplier charges different rates for energy use at different times of day. They refer to these time brackets as Peak, Mid-Peak and Off-Peak. Energy use is more expensive during the 9-5 hours when businesses are all in full swing and sucking energy off the grid to cool their offices (Peak). It gets cheaper around dinner time and in the morning, and is at its cheapest from 7pm through to 7am and on weekends and holidays.
So we use our energy strategically to pay the least amount we can on our hydro bill. We save turning on our dishwasher or showering until after 7pm, and we do all our laundry and weekly cooking sprees on the weekend. As you’ll see from #1 above, we try to line up our smart thermostat with this rhythm too!
4) Line dry all your laundry! In the spring, summer and into the fall, kick it old school like your Granny and hang your laundry on a laundry line in your backyard to save money on the dryer cycle. If you live in an apartment, you can pick up folding laundry hangers for cheap at IKEA, Walmart, etc. It takes up a bit of space in your apartment, but the whole place smells like fresh laundry, which is kind of nice 😉
5) Use the ‘vacation’ setting on your hot water heater to lower the temperature if you go away on holiday. Obviously do the same with your thermostat.
6) Use ceiling and stand-alone fans if you have them (you can also get them second-hand on sites like Kijiji and Craigslist for super cheap).
7) Close the vents in any rooms and hallways you don’t often use. Your air system will redirect that expensive cool 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.
8) 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.
9) Only water your garden in the evening. If you water in the blazing heat of the afternoon sun, more of the water will evaporate before it really gets a chance to sink into the soil and nourish your flowers and veggies. Watering in the evening will also benefit you if your region has a time-of-use schedule where hydro is cheaper later in the day.
10) Finally, you can implement all these tips and strategies to lower your bill, but there’s still one very important thing to keep in mind: only turn on your air conditioning if it’s truly necessary for your health or comfort. Remember: AC is meant to take the edge off the heat, not refrigerate your entire house!
Do you have any other strategies for how to save money on hydro during the summer? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.