Tips to Save Electricity
and Pay Less for Home Service
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
Did you know that during
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
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
In Ontario, daytime demand is more
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
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
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
Just doing these things
will reduce your monthly electricity bill.
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
- 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
Computers - 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
Lights - 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
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?
- 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
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
Ref. Washing Machine Temperatures
According to Consumer & Corporate Affairs Canada, cold-water detergents are as effective as hot-water detergents provided the water is 15°C (59°F) and above. However, they also report that hardly any community in Canada has cold water above 15°C 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.
Electric 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.
20°C is a very comfortable temperature for living spaces while 16°C
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.
- 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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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 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
Television 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
Security Lights -
You don't need lights on all night.
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
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.
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.
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?
Dan O'Hara (Orleans Ontario
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.
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
This is an Ontario GreenFit accepted local and innovative product.
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.
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.
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
TIP: I liked your site
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
TIP: I UNPLUG
everything when not in use. The microwave and the dryer stay
unplugged until I need to use them.
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.
TIP: don't use AC unless
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
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
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
TIP: The Laundry Alternative has come out with a new, $129.95 spin
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
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
Name: saad salman
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
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.
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
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
From: Ashish Gaur
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
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
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
From: Corey K. Tournet
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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References and Some Neat
Hand Washing Dishes vs. Dishwasher
ENERGY-10 is an award-winning software tool for designing
Conserving Water in the Home Washing Clothes
Electrical Appliances and the Energy Dollar
Energy Efficient Light Bulbs: A Bright Idea
Residential Energy Efficiency Software