May 1st marks the change of Ontario Hydro Time-of-Use rates. Are you being savvy about your hydro use by turning OFF your appliances during peak times to save money on your hydro bill? As part of my Save-at-Home-Mom savings strategy, I make it a priority to adapt my cooking and cleaning routine to stay in the green. These savings tips originally appeared in my guest post on Mrs. January in November, 2013.
The spring/summer Hydro Time-of-Use rates take effect from May1-October 31st in Ontario. Hydro is almost twice as expensive during certain times of the day so it’s worth adapting your household habits to keep your hydro bill as low as possible:
13.5 ¢ / kWh
11.2 ¢ / kWh
7 am – 11 am
5 pm – 7 pm
7.5 ¢ / kWh
7 pm – 7 am
Source: HydroOne.com – rates were accurate at the time of this post on May 1, 2014.
Here are some changes that are easy to implement and will make a big impact on your hydro bill if you can do the majority of your cooking, cleaning and use of electronic devices outside of those dreaded RED zones.
Implement a “last call for showers” so that everyone is out of the shower, the exhaust fan can be turned off, and the hot water tank can refill completely by the time the RED zone kicks in at 7am. Shower doors don’t open again until 7pm!
If you must do laundry during weekdays instead of during the GREEN zone (weekends), get your load in first thing in the morning and make sure the washing machine and dryer are turned off by 11am. Better yet, try to hang your laundry whenever possible. Check out the printable coupons from Hydro One to save on drying gear!
Charge your laptop, cell phones and other electronic devices overnight so that you can unplug and work off of the battery during the day. Recharge if need be during the YELLOW zone and unplug between 11am-5pm if at all possible.
As always, unplug any electronic appliances and devices that aren’t in use – they still draw a small current even when switched off and can add to your monthly hydro bill without your knowledge. Investing in a power bar with a timer is well worth the savings – here’s a printable coupon from Hydro One!
If your meal time falls within the RED zones, cook during the GREEN or YELLOW zones and keep food warm on the burner or in the oven until serving time – both take a long time to cool down after you’ve turned them off if you don’t lift the lid or open the oven door.
Don’t run your dishwasher outside of the 7pm-7am GREEN zone. That is all.
Adjust the thermostat when you’re not home. When you are home, get the house to your preferred temperature before the RED zones kick in and then use the fan only to circulate the air until you can top up the heat/cold again when the zones change to YELLOW or GREEN.
Start small by implementing one or two of these simple changes until you’re in the routine of saving on hydro.
With the Canadian climate, we’re obviously going to have some lighting and heating/cooling costs during the RED zone, but by keeping your cooking, cleaning and use of electronic devices to the GREEN and YELLOW zones, you can save a bundle on your electricity bill.
How have you been trying to save on your Hydro bill? Please add your comments below!