Cut Down on Heating and Cooling
According to Hydro One, up to 60% of your home’s energy use goes to heating and cooling. While it can be challenging to lower heating costs in a cold climate, small changes can make a big difference on your energy bill. BC Hydro suggests lowering your thermostat by 2 degrees to save 5% on your Hydro Bill. Programming your thermostat so you’re not heating your home unnecessarily while you’re at work or asleep will save you loads of money on your hydro bill each month.
Ditch the Dryer
The dryer is a huge suck on your energy bill, and is often used unnecessarily. Drying clothes in the dryer causes them to wear out faster than hang drying . Invest in a drying rack and hang dry as many loads as possible. For items like towels that you don’t want to hang dry, throw a dry towel in with the load to cut down on drying times.
Make the Most of Your Fridge
Fridges are big energy users, but there are a few things you can do to make them run as efficiently as possible. First off, ensure your fridge and freezer are set to an optimal temperature. Fridges should be set between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius, and freezers at –18 degrees Celsius. Freezers operate most efficiently when they are 2/3 full – fill an old ice cream pale with water and store it in your freezer if you find your freezer is often less full. Another way to save energy with your fridge is to make sure you only have one. By unplugging your second fridge, you could save up to $90 a year, according to BC Hydro.
Switch out your Lighting
Lighting accounted for about 14% of a household energy bill in the U.S. in 2010. Incandescent bulbs produce a lot of wasted energy through heat (ever wonder why they get warm?!). The most efficient bulbs you can choose are LEDs. LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last a minimum of 25,000 hours or 25 years. Always look for energy-star certified bulbs to ensure that they have been tested by a third party to last as long as they say they will!
Probably the easiest way to save energy is to unplug electronics you’re not using. Loads of household items, from kettles to laptop chargers continue to draw energy when they are not in use. Anything with a display screen or built-in clock draws energy when plugged in. When added together, this “phantom energy” can account for up to 10% of your energy bill.
If you’re inspired to take bigger steps to save energy, consider looking into available rebates for renovating your home to be more efficient, replacing inefficient appliances with Energy Star Certified ones, or getting an Energy Advisor to perform an EnerGuide home evaluation