Winter has barely started, yet we’ve already been confronted with glacial wind chills across Canada! And who says glacial times say chilling electricity bills. In this post, we’ll give some tips and insights on how you can save money and lower your electricity bill. Luckily, there are many options at our disposal to reduce our energy bill, and some of them are easy to implement.
Make it cozy, wear a sweater!
A good place to start saving energy is by lowering your thermostat during the winter months. For instance, if you normally set the thermostat at 22 degrees during winter, try lowering it to 20 degrees. The closer you bring your thermostat temperature to the outdoor temperature, the more you will save. To compensate for the lower temperature, try wearing a sweater, a scarf, or comfy woolen socks during! In addition, consider turning the temperature down to the lower teens if you’re away for a few days – your walls won’t mind the cold!
Feeling techy? Get a smart thermostat!
Programmable thermostats are cost effective and allow you to set different temperatures for multiple times of the day through the week. They’re usually simple to set up and can save you on average 8% of your heating energy – representing approximately $50 annually, according to Energy Star. As such, you would recoup your original investment within months.
Check out this post from Consumer Reports to learn more about buying a thermostat.
Home improvements for the hands-on worker
If you’re skilled and manual, there’s a few things you may be able to improve on your house. Check your doors and windows for draft. Drafty homes are energy wasters. For little money you can weather stripping and caulk to seal leaks both inside and outside your house.
Also, make sure your furnace and HVAC filters aren’t clogged. Regular maintenance should be done quarterly. Check the dryer vent to make sure it isn’t filled with lint, and always remove lint from the dryer lint filter after each use. This will keep the drying operating efficiently.
Small habits in the kitchen that adds up
When using a small amount of water, keep the kitchen faucet in the cold position. Putting it on hot will draw from the water heater, even though the heated water might never reach the sink.
Using a toaster oven or a microwave instead of the large kitchen oven when preparing smaller meals will make a big difference over time.
Due for new appliances or office equipment? Check the efficiency ratings
Appliances eat up about 13 percent of a household’s energy costs, so getting ones that sip rather than gulp energy is important. Look for the Energy Star seal on refrigerators, dishwashers and laundry equipment. Major appliances last many years, so a higher initial cost can mean savings in the long run.
Same goes for office equipment. Computers, copiers, printers and monitors can eat up energy, so look for ones with Energy Star labels. These devices typically go into sleep mode when they’re not in use and can use 75 percent less energy than older models. If you are away from the desk for a while, consider turning them off, since even sleeping electronics use energy.
These tips should help you save on your electricity bill. If you have debt problems and can’t afford your bills, consider the positive impact of lowering your monthly debt payments through a debt management plan arranged through a credit counseling agency.