High electricity bills got you down? Here are some of our top tips for saving money on your utility bills
Look for a better deal.
Did you know that in Alberta you have a choice of who provides your energy supply? Learn more about the different options for your electricity and gas supply...you may be find a better deal and save money on your monthly bills!
Turn off the lights on incandescent bulbs
Choosing energy-efficient compact fluorescent (CFC) lightbulbs or LED
Switch to energy-efficient appliances
Learn more about EnerGuide and EnergyStar, and how they can help you save money!
Watch out for energy vampires!
Change your furnace filter
Keeping your furnace in good condition will help it run more efficiently and will also prolong its lifespan. Regularly changing your furnace filter (once a month during the winter, or once a month throughout the year if the filter is used for air conditioning as well) will allow the furnace motor to run more smoothly and with less energy.
Use your fridge/freezer wisely
Your fridge can use more electricity than all of your other kitchen appliances combined! To make sure that it is running in top condition, make sure to brush and vaccum the coils twice a year - some say that this can improve the fridge's energy efficiency by 30 - 50%! Remember to keep approximately 5cm of space around your fridge and freezer to allow heat to escape from the coils.
Good news for pack-rats: your refrigerator works best when it is full! Some suggest keeping ice bags in the freezer and water containers in the fridge in order to help keep the temperature constant. Don't set your freezer any lower than -18oC - any colder wastes unnecessary energy.
Lower your water heater temperature setting
It costs money to keep water heated and ready for when you want to use it! The US EPA estimates that homeowners can save about $30 - $60 by reducing their water heater's maximum temperature from 60oC to 50oC. You can save even more money by turning down your water heater when you go on vacation.
Turn down the heat on your washing machine
Did you know that heating water accounts for 90% of the energy used by a washing machine? Washing your clothes in cold water is not only better for your budget, but also for keeping your clothes bright. Doing laundry in cold washes could save you about $30 per year!
Be energy smart about your appliance use
Did you know that your toaster oven uses less energy than your microwave? Using your cooking equipment wisely can help save some extra cash for your next meal out! Find out how much energy different appliances in your home use.
Ditch the dryer...
Clothes dryers are the second-highest energy consumers in the average home after the refrigerator. Air-drying your clothes not only saves you serious cash, but also is gentler on your clothes, reducing wear and tear and prolonging their life.
...Or at least use it wisely
Here are a few energy saving tips when using your dryer:
- Choose an EnergyStar model when buying new
- Clean the lint trap each time you run a load of laundry: not only is a clogged lint trap a fire hazard, but obstructing air flow requires the dryer to work harder and use more energy.
- Similarly, make sure your dryer vents are clean and unobstructed from the outside
- Fill, but don't overload your dryer - overloading it uses more energy than necessary
- Do back-to-back loads of laundry to take advantage of the dryer's heat
- Use dryer balls - they separate clothes better and can shorten dry times by up to a third
Making sure that your windows and door frames are well-sealed will reduce the amount of energy you lose when heating/cooling your home, and will save you money.
Lower your thermostat
Using a smart thermostat that you can program based on your daily activities will mean that your house is warm when you need it to be - and not unnecessarily hot. Also, reducing your thermostat by a degree or two can work out to more than enough savings to pay for a new sweater or scarf!