The following are some energy saving tips and tips to help you shift your energy use to take advantage of Time of Use pricing:
- Cut your air conditioning costs. Making wise use of your air conditioner will have the biggest impact on your summer energy bill. Set your air conditioner a few degrees higher than you normally would, and turn it off when no-one is home. You can also help your air conditioner work more efficiently:
- Replace or clean the filters once a month.
- Use a ceiling fan to circulate the cold air. This will allow you to raise the thermostat setting by a few degrees without a noticeable difference.
- Close shades and curtains on the sunny side of the house.
- Try setting your dishwasher to start after 7:00 p.m. when off-peak prices begin. If your dishwasher has a timer use it.
- Clothes dryers consume a lot of energy. Wait until evening or the weekend and you’ll pay a third of the cost.
- Electric water heaters can really make electricity use spike as they refill and heat water. If you reduce the amount of hot water you use during peak periods, you also reduce the amount of electricity you use during these times.
- If you have a pool, run your pump and heater during off-peak hours. You may only need to run your pump for six or eight hours a day.
- If a room is not occupied for ten minutes, shut the lights off to reduce operating hours.
- Reduce the lighting in highly lit or unoccupied areas. A four-lamp fluorescent fixture uses more than 11 cents worth of electricity in an eight-hour day.
- Replacing incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps in light fixtures and exit signs produces the same amount of light and uses a quarter of the energy.
- Reduce air conditioning energy usage by one watt by eliminating three watts of lighting energy.
Air Conditioning & Heating Tips
- Set thermostats at 24C (76F) for cooling and 20C (68F) for heating.
- Install automatic thermostats on all heating and cooling equipment. This reduces cooling and heating requirements, and could produce savings of up to 10%.
- To reduce air conditioning load by as much as 30%, install solar film on windows exposed to direct sunlight.
- Have your heating and cooling systems checked annually. A properly maintained system will save energy and extend the life of equipment.
- Your electric stove is also a high energy user but there are a lot of simple ways you can minimize these costs at peak times:
- Match the pots to the element size, make sure the bottoms of your pans are flat and put the lids on.
- Minimize the pre-heating time for your oven. Unless you are baking, you may not even need to pre-heat.
- Better yet, use a crock pot, toaster oven or a small microwave you’ll use less energy, and you won’t be creating extra heat in the house on hot days.
- If you have electric heating, your overall costs to heat your home are unlikely to change significantly. In fact, recent smart meter pilot projects have shown many customers with electric heat can save with TOU rates.
- Even the small losses of electricity add up. The average Canadian home has 25 electronic devices that use standby power which can add up to 10 per cent of household electricity consumption. Plug these devices (TVs, VCRs, etc..) into a power bar, which cuts off the supply of electricity.
- Turn your computer monitor off if you are not going to use it for 20 minutes, and turn your computer off if you’re not going to use it in the next two hours.
- Fix water leaks and drafts, clean filters on air conditioners and furnaces and generally keep your appliances in good working order.
- Buy Energy Star rated products for your home. Switching to the most energy-efficient products can save you hundreds of dollars in energy costs.