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Tips to Save Electricity
and Pay Less for Home Service

Saving Energy

The Independent Market Operator (IMO) is a not-for-profit organization whose job is to keep the lights on in Ontario and deliver the benefits of a competitive marketplace in order that consumers can have the best possible prices for electricity. 

Did you know that during the Earth Hour (March 28, 2008) there was a significant decrease in the use of Electricity in Ontario as indicated by the Hourly Market Demand Curve from 8.30. - 9.30 pm

Click Here to check on how much electricity Ontario
 is currently using right now!

So, you make the choice! 

What Can I Do to Save Electricity at Home?

General Rule - 

If you aren't using it - shut it off and that includes radios, computers, air conditioners, television sets, stereos, and lights. 

In Ontario, daytime demand is more than twice that of the night and thus electricity costs more during the day than at night. The low prices are at 6.00 am, peaking at noon and slowly falling during the afternoon and leveling off after midnight. (example - 3.00 pm - 7.9 cents/kwh and at 6.00 am 3.6 cents/kwh) 

Electricity is also less expensive on the weekends because of lessened business and industrial demand for power.

If you have things that require lots of electricity like a drying clothes or lights for indoor gardening - Purchase a timer and set it to do your clothes drying after midnight.   If you are cooking a roast or baking bread with a bread maker- set your timer and do it at night.  What better way of waking up in the morning and smelling freshly cooked food. 

If Your Electricity Supplier in Eastern Ontario is Ontario Hydro
and You are on a "Time-of-Use" (TOU) electricity pricing system


The price you pay for their electricity will now be based on the time of day it is used.

The power will cost 9.9 cents per kilowatt/hour during the so-called "on-peak" period, eight cents during the "mid-peak" and 5.3 cents in "off-peak" hours.

On summer weekdays (May 1-Oct. 31) on-peak will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., mid-peak will be from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., while offpeak will run from 9 p.m. through 7 a.m.

On-peak and mid-peak times will interchange on weekdays during the winter months (Nov. 1-Apr. 30), while weekends and statutory holidays remain offpeak throughout the year.

And if you use a dishwashing machine, set the timer to do the dishes while you sleep. 

Just doing these things will reduce your monthly electricity bill.

Tips to Save ElectricityAir Conditioning - Shut your A/C down when you are out of the house and only turn it on when you return. It shouldn't take that long when you return to cool your place down. 

And what is wrong with opening some windows and sitting in front of a fan - it costs a lot less than an air conditioner to operate.

For some homes, where heat accumulates in the attics - consider installing roof ventilation fans to get rid of trapped hot air.  Getting rid of trapped hot air will make a huge difference in the use of your air conditioner and save roofing problems in the future. 

A tree or shrub that shades your central air conditioner can improve its efficiency by up to 10 per cent

Tips to Save ElectricityCooking - Here are a few neat tips to save electricity -

Cook extra food in your oven when you have it heated. A squash for tomorrow's dinner, potatoes to fry for breakfast. Use the oven space in which you heat to good use. 

Clean your oven if it is self-cleaning while it is still hot from cooking."

Also, if you are cooking anything on top of the stove - Use a cover for your frying pan or pot. Not only does it prevent spattering but it keeps the heat where you want it - right in the cooking container. Besides things cook faster and you don't even have to put the stove on "High". 

And don't forget to put the pot or frying pan in the centre of the burner - It sure helps in making things cook a lot faster. 

Cook stir fried food... Turn up the heat on your electric stove for a short time at the beginning and then simmer.  It saves a lot of electricity as compared to baking, boiling or roasting.

A typical microwave oven consumes 1.6 kW of electricity to produce 600 W of microwave power. However the much reduced cooking times mean that electricity consumption is typically reduced by 50 70% compared to conventional ovens and stove heating elements, particularly when cooking small quantities or just heating things up.

Sundays are the most inexpensive day during the week to do your cooking on an electric stove.  If you want to prepare meals for the whole week then this is the day to do it.  For recipes for Sunday see Sunday Dinner

Tips to Save ElectricityComputers - When you are not using it - At least shut off the screen.  60 % of the power used from a computer is used by the display screen; the other 40 % is used to keep your hard drive spinning and to power the electronics. 

Tips to Save ElectricityLights - In places where you have lights that are always on - think about using low energy compact  fluorescent lamps (CFL's).  A 15 watt  CFL can often supply as much light as a 100 watt incandescent bulb. Hey, 85% savings isn't that shabby.  

For more information about CFL's 

And for those places where you need instant light, replace all those low cost incandescent bulbs with more costly energy saving higher voltage bulbs. They last longer, use less power and give you the same illumination or better than the cheap ones.  Besides, they light just as quickly as the old ones. 

And check the wattage when bulbs need to be replaced. 

Can a 60 watt bulb do the job that the 100 watt  that you are presently using? 

Tips to Save ElectricityClothes Dryer - Drying clothes outside (if possible)  is an environmentally sound choice in contrast to an electric clothes dryer which uses "big time" energy. (It's the easiest way we can use solar energy, too!) Outside drying weather may extend from May to October depending on where you live.  Besides, clothes dried outside smell a lot better than those dried using an electric clothes dryer.

A good idea for those considering buying a new dryer.  Get one that uses gas - it's a lot cheaper. 

Tips to Save ElectricityClothes Washers - Do not  always use hot water in your electric clothes washer.  Warm wash cycles generally clean clothes perfectly well, and  with proper detergents and pre-soaking, cold water washing may be fine.  And if you really need to clean certain clothes in hot water go to a public Laundromat and use their washers and dryers.... In the end, it is less expensive. Ref. Washing Machine Temperatures

According to Consumer & Corporate Affairs Canada, cold-water detergents are as effective as hot-water detergents provided the water is 15C (59F) and above. However, they also report that hardly any community in Canada has cold water above 15C in the dead of winter. (Ottawa Citizen, April 5, 1989) 

A warm-water wash/cold-water rinse uses two-thirds of the energy needed for hot wash/warm rinse. Try cold/cold too, keeping the winter caution in mind.  Besides the cost savings from not using your hot water heater, the brightly coloured clothes stay bright. 

If you and in the buying mode for a new washer, think about getting the ones that go up and down instead of round and round like the ones in the laundromats.  They use less water and do a great job at getting the clothes clean. 

Tips to Save ElectricityElectric Heating Systems -  

If you heat with base board heaters - sixty per cent of the money you spend on energy for a home goes to heating it. 

20C is a very comfortable temperature for living spaces while 16C is sufficient for bedroom areas.

Dress more warmly in winter and turn down the heat -- especially when you're going out for a few hours. It's far cheaper to let the house cool and warm up later than to keep it warm. A programmable thermostat will help if you want it warm when you come home.

Most of us know that the most efficient central heating systems are not base board heaters.  But, sometimes they are the only alternative.  So if you do have baseboard heating systems check them to make sure that the thermostats are set to not exceed the guidelines for heat as indicated in the previous paragraph. 

Turn Down the thermostat - For every degree you lower your heat in
the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you'll save up to 5% on heating
costs. Wear warm clothing and set your thermostat to 68 degrees or
lower during the day and evening, health permitting.

If certain rooms are not used or very rarely used - turn the heat down in those rooms to about 10 - 12  degrees C.  Do not lower them much lower as any lower temperature might put too much stress upon drywall surfaces and cause cracks when the temperature rises. 

Insulate the walls and especially the attic of your house.  Your attic insulation should be at least 12 inches deep. This will pay big dividends for less energy consumption when the outside temperature is extremely cold or when it is very hot. 

Replace old windows or recaulk if they are letting cold air in.

Tips to Save ElectricityHot Water - If you have an electrical hot water tank heater like most North American homes, then this is the main source for your electricity usage.  Storage-type hot water heaters lose heat all day long (and all night too!). They consume more energy than any other appliance in your home except electric space heaters.

To reduce your monthly bill, this is where you can save the most.

First, do not use hot water for anything that cold water can do the same thing. 

Some examples, cleaning vegetables, and rinsing dishes before you put them into your dish washer.  Even when washing your hands in the summer time. Use the cold water tap. 

Then make sure your hot water tank is covered with a blanket of insulation.  Where possible, insulate the exit pipes that go to your sinks, shower, bathtub, and washing machines.  You can tell how much your pipes are insulated by how long it takes to feel warm water when you turn on the hot water tap. If this takes more than 30 seconds - then get some insulation on those hot water pipes. 

Hydro One Energy Cost Calculator

Here is a great tip that will save big time cash and not cost a lot of money. 

You will need two 24 hour timers each capable of handling 220 volts.

Connect each one to the power lines connected to the upper and lower heaters of your hot water tank.

Set the lower heater thermostat to be about 120 - 130 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Set the upper heater thermostat to be about 100 - 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Set the 24 hour timer for the lower heater to start at 3.00 am and run until 6.00 am.

Set the 24 hour timer for the upper heater to start at 6.00 am and
run until 11.00 pm.

If you do this, your water will be mostly heated using less expensive night time electricity and the hot water will be stored in your well insulated hot water tank. 

During the day, if you need more hot water, it will be topped up using the higher rate electricity but it will not have to heat the water longer because it will be always initially warmer. 

Another hint is do not  take showers during the peak afternoon hours because the cost of heating your water at this time is twice the cost as in the early morning hours. 

Europeans use a lot less electricity than North Americans, mainly because they heat their water differently. They use tankless electrical water heaters instead of the hot water tanks that heat the water directly just before they use it.  

Some units are available for North American use, but make sure that they are approved by the government before you install them. If heaters are not approved, when an fire occurs and the heater is blamed for the cause - then your home insurance might be void.

Tankless heaters heat water upon demand, save an amazing lot of space in a house and can save up to 50% of your cost of electricity.   And the good thing about these heaters are they are fast becoming available in North America and at a competitive price to conventional tank hot water heaters.  The only drawback is that to be really efficient the incoming water temperature should be above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  If it is below this temperature there are some more expensive tankless heaters that should be purchased. 

If you want an easier solution to reduce usage - shut off your electric hot water heater when you go to work during the day (that is when electricity is the most expensive) ... and put it back on when you come home from work.

Tips to Save ElectricityRefrigerators and Freezers - Although the power rating of refrigeration equipment is quite low (50 150 watts), they consume significant amounts of electricity because they are switched on continuously.

Electricity consumption is around 660 kWh annually for a freezer or fridge-freezer and around 300 kwh for a fridge, but consumption varies widely from one model to another. Even when measured in terms of kWh per litre capacity, one model may use three times as much as another.

Another great hint about keeping the electricity use for a refrigerator or freezer is to make sure that the condenser coils are clean by vacuuming the dust that seems to accumulate around them. Just keeping the coils clean can save up to 25% of the usage of electricity especially when the temperature is high in the area where your appliances are located.

And last of all, regarding stand-alone freezers - put them in a location that is normally cool, like in your basement.  Over a long period of time, it will save you a fair bit to money and besides might even supply a little heat for that area of your home. 

Hydro One Appliance Purchasing 

Tips to Save ElectricityTelevision and Entertainment Equipment - Turn them off when not in use.  There is nothing more annoying than walking into a living area and seeing a television set on and nobody watching it. 

This says that, on average, the power consumption of a cathode-ray screen is 3.4 watts per screen inch, while plasma uses 9.4 watts per screen inch - based on figures from 2005

And the 50 ins plasma screen? A bumper-size consumption of 400 watts.

LCD screens although not as big as plasma do not use as much power and are said to use 30% less power.

Flat screen TV's use more power than the old cathode ray tub TV's
 

Tips to Save ElectricitySecurity Lights - You don't need lights on all night.

Put up infra red sensor security lights in your backyard that triggers  them "on" when a person is nearby.  Security lights that sense heat presence scare the daylights out of bad guys and gals as they do not know if someone watching triggered them "on". 

For those places that are left unattended for long periods of time and need security - try cameras that you send the signals back to distant computer when motion is sensed.  You can even use a lot of dummy cameras and a few "live" ones. Bad guys and gals don't know the difference. 

Tips to Save ElectricityRecharging Batteries - Yes, today we use a lot of battery energy storage - Recharge them overnight and save on your electricity bill. 

If you have another energy saving tip that you want to pass on to tdc's FarmGate viewers - then write it in here and then SUBMIT

All submissions will be reviewed before they are used on this page.

Name: Rita
EMAIL: rtsim@live.com.au 

Maybe someone knows the answer to Rita's question and could submit an answer.

Is it better to cook in a electric fry pan. electric wok, electric rice cooker etc instead on cooking on the stove tops?

Name: Dan O'Hara (Orleans Ontario 
EMAIL: danarasoftware@gmail.com

Tip: 1. For your chest freezer, set the temperature a bit lower than usual, and plug the freezer into a timer that only runs when rates are lower. Place gel freezer packs in the upper freezer bins and near the sides. The freezer packs will freeze when the freezer is powered up, and help keep the freezer from warming up to much when the timer turns the power off.

2. If your freezer is mostly empty, move the few remaining items to the freezer compartment of your fridge and unplug the freezer completely until it is needed again.

Name: Bill Bousada 
EMAIL: bousada@sympatico.ca 
Tip: DelphiTech LED. Locally designed and built lighting systems save up to 92% from regular lighting and use 60% less copper, no flicker, hum or UV. They run on 1.5-2.5 watts.
I can help commercial and residential owners save the planet and money.
This is an Ontario GreenFit accepted local and innovative product. 

Name: Don
EMAIL: rs15@cogeco.ca
TIP: Do handkerchiefs have to be ironed?
How about shirts and blouses?  If so only iron the visible parts.
Block off all ventilating systems, e. g., over stove, bathroom, dryer, when not in use.
Flip the circuit breaker for electric ranges.
Unplug all appliances when not needed.

Name: Betty  Navan Ontario.
EMAIL:
evincze@bellnet.ca
TIP: When using your dryer to dry your clothes, always leave a dry towel in the dryer. The bigger/thicker the towel the better. The dry towel will absorb the humidity from the wet clothes, and your drying time will be reduced by min 10-15 guaranteed.

Name: Roger
EMAIL: hughes99@rogers.com
TIP: DO NOT buy an inline on demand water heater!  They are horrible and you will NEVER have enough hot water - even for a short shower.  A poor invention.

Name: Rob Miller
EMAIL: xw-Miller7992@escapedemail.com

TIP: I liked your site

Name: Patrick
EMAIL: cppp2006@gmail.com

TIP: Forget about those compact fluorescent bulbs...make the switch to LED bulbs. Okay, they are hard to find and cost considerably more but they last a lot longer and don't contain mercury.

I got a real deal on some coloured 1 watt LED party lights. I now have a blue one on the front porch, a red one in a small hallway and a green one in a banker's lamp which has a green shade to match. Three watts of power is no being used where 140 watts was previously

Name: Geri
EMAIL:
geri3939@yahoo.com

TIP: I UNPLUG everything when not in use. The microwave and the dryer stay unplugged until I need to use them.

Name: Lillian Clark
EMAIL:
lillianvclark@yahoo.ca

TIP: I Purchase clothes that do not need ironing.  Irons use a lost of electricity!

Think of all the electrical energy I save because I never iron any clothes!  I wash clothes once a week on Saturdays.


Name:
chad vintrock
EMAIL: chad@66.hotmail.com

TIP: don't use AC unless needed.

Name: Jose Martinez
EMAIL
jmartinezmp@hotmail.com

TIP: If the switch in your restroom turns on both the light and the vacuum, you can save more energy by replacing that single switch into a Dual Switch to turn them on separately. Since we only need the vaccum for #2, we don't really need to turn it on just for brushing our teeth, washing our hands, taking a bath, or just getting something from the drawers/shelves. ;)

Name: Myrna

TIP: unplug microwave when not using it - the clock takes electricity and chances are you have another clock on your stove so you don't need the one on the microwave - my microwave doesn't need the clock to set the time for cooking

Name: zama matoti
EMAIL: 200729774@student.uj.ac.za

TIP: Switch off the geyser in the evening, and turn it back on the following morning, an hour before you need to bath/shower. It works for me, it can do the same for you

Name: Corey K Tournet
EMAIL: service@laundry-alternative.com

TIP: The Laundry Alternative has come out with a new, $129.95 spin dryer, at
http://www.laundry-alternative.com/drying.htm

The average household spends about $85 a year on drying clothes, so it would pay for itself in under 2 years. It is also much gentler on the clothes and removes more detergent.

No spin dryer will pay for itself in one year, unless you do a very large amount of laundry.

Name: Saad Salman
EMAIL: smh78@hotmail.com

TIP: When using computers remember that the monitor it's self uses 60% of electricity the other 40% is for running the hard drives and other parts inside the cpu the point is turn at least the screen off when unoccupied

Name: saad salman
EMAIL: smh78@hotmail.com

TIP: Use cool colors when your renovating or switching colors it will decrease 20 % from the total charge for the cooling and heating! (central, every room)

Re: Article - Turn off the heat - how Japan made energy saving an art form

Re: Light Bulbs

TIP: Replace 60 watt bulbs with 40 watt bulbs in lamps, kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms

Re: Spin Drier

Name: Arthur
EMAIL: spinx@ev1.net

TIP: One of the most interesting aspects of Energy Conservation, is that those directly involved, don't know anything about one of the best proven Energy Conservation products on the market. The "Spin Dryer", which is an excellent Energy Conservation product, has been used in Europe for over 60 years.

Yet this product has never been mentioned as an Energy Conservation product in the USA. The amazing thing is that this product will pay for itself in Energy $avings within the first year, and after that it presents a high rate of return on savings with the initial investment. What stock, bond, or material purchase can you make that will give you a 100% return per year? The Spin Dryer can do this with energy savings.

Every home in the country could take advantage of this excellent Energy Conservation product, reduce their weekly consumption of Energy, putting money back into their pockets. If you or your organization are truly interested in Energy Conservation at this critical time in our economy, they you will take time to see and learn what a Spin Dryer is.

 

Re: Lights

Name: Samuel

TIP: Try to ensure that during the day lights are off, If its dark, just open up your blinds, and let some natural light into the house, you'd be surprised how many people don't

Re: Refrigerators and Freezers

Name: Samuel

TIP: Before you open the fridge decide what you want first so less cold air escapes. Same with the freezer. This is more economic than leaving it open whilst deciding what you want to get out of the fridge

Re: Computers

From: Ashish Gaur 
e-Mail: ashishgaur78@rediffmail.com 

TIP: Use power management function in your computer so that when your computer is idle, it will go to sleep mode, hence saving electricity. I know all of you will get benefit  with this.

Re: Clothes Driers 

TIP: Something of interest to you all: I had a wonderful morning, the heating unit went out on my dryer! Why does everything seem to fall apart this time of year!??? This guy that fixes things went into the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. I always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes. He said that he wanted to show me something. 

He took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. Now, this thing is like a mesh - I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like - WELL......the hot water just laid on top of the mesh!!! It barely dripped through it at all!!! He told me that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh and that is what burns out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and gently brush it with an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. 

Run water again to see if it is seeping through plentifully. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long and uses A LOT LESS ELECTRICITY! How about that???!!!! 

From: Jacques D'Aoust
EMAIL:  sailorjake@hotmail.com 

TIP: If you have single lever faucets always turn them completely to the right (cold) when just getting / running water, if they are left in the middle position you are actually using
50 % hot water.

From: Alan Lufkin
EMAIL: ablufkin@aol.com

TIP: Except when incandescent lights will be unneeded for some time, avoid unnecessary off/on cycles by leaving them on in rooms with heavy but intermittent use, such as cloak rooms, except when the lights will not be needed-saves electricity and helps bulbs last longer.

From: Corey K. Tournet
EMAIL: service@laundry-alternative.com

TIP: Spin dryers are over 100 times more energy efficient than conventional tumble dryers. With a spin speed of over 3000 rpm, they extract much more water than a washing machine spin cycle, which is normally only about 500 rpm. Also spin dryers only use about 300 watts, less than 1/10 of what a tumble dryer uses, and can remove as much water from the clothes in only 2-3 minutes as a tumble dryer does in 30. They are also much gentler on the clothes, as they don't produce any lint. You can view more information at http://www.laundry-alternative.com/drying.htm

From: ajmal
EMAIL: 50centk@gmail.com

TIP: plss keep your computers shutdown, because lot of people having broadband keep their computers online for downloading movies and games etc and this takes a lot of electricity

From: Sheela
e-Mail: gsheela1@rediffmail.com 

TIP: Locate the water heater centrally in your home rather than outside because the more distance the water travels the more electricity is used.

From: Manuel Costa
e-Mail    mcosta@sympatico.ca 

TIP: I installed two additional horizontal bars in a bath tub we don't use and dry all my clothes there in hangers; they are usually dry within 24 hrs the worst ones in 48 hrs. - We rarely use the dryer .

My bars are the spring loaded type because I didn't want to make holes on the tiles; but the weight of the clothes would bring them down. So I had to support the bars with cut-off hockey sticks that support all the weight.

From: Jordan
e-Mail: spudman2010@aol.com 

TIP: If You Unplug Your T.V When Your Done Using It, You Can Save A Total Of About I Think 16 Dollars A Year.

From: Dan Ruller on 11/8/2002
e-Mail: VE3RUL@RAC.CA


Unplug all the little transformers i.e. the cordless phone answering machine or computer printer when not needed. These also use power 24 hrs a day when plugged in. Put your electronics on a power bar and switch it off when not using the equipment. Anything using a remote is constantly drawing power!! You can turn the temperature down in most refrigerators and freezers, as they usually are factory set at a higher temp than necessary. Use a thermometer to check temperatures.

The new Kenmore front load washer uses 196 kwh compared to top loaders using 900 or more. Also uses only 10 to 14 gallons of water per load compared to 40 or more in the top loading machines!!

Thanks for sending in these tips... Keep them coming!

If you found this site useful and want to forward the address to a friend

References and Some Neat Stuff

Saving Electricity: Hand Washing Dishes vs. Dishwasher

ENERGY-10 is an award-winning software tool for designing 
low-energy buildings

Conserving Water in the Home Washing Clothes

Electrical Appliances and the Energy Dollar

Energy Efficient Light Bulbs: A Bright Idea

Energy Ideas

Residential Energy Efficiency Software

 

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