If you are not proactively trying to save on utilities, it’s easy for your bills to creep up during the colder winter months – on average, Canadians spent more hours of the day at home during the winter and the chillier outdoor temperatures make it easy to crank up the heat. Here are a few ways to save money on utilities this winter:
• Strategize with your dishwashing: Dishwashers use a lot of energy so make sure you are taking full advantage when you run it – only run full loads and let your dishes air dry to save up to $10 a year.
• Replace your lightbulbs: Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are up to 75% more energy efficient and last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. This can add up to savings of $25 per year.
• Microwave to save: Microwaves use up to 80% less energy than a standard oven.
• Check your fridge temperature: Set your refrigerator to 2–3 degrees Celsius to minimize the cost of an appliance that is always running. This can save you $10 per year.
• Check your water temperature: For every 10 degrees reduction in temperature, you can save from 3%–5% on your water heating costs. Setting it to 50 instead of 60 degrees can save a good portion of your bill. Just make sure you don’t reduce the temperature too low because it can allow bacteria to grow in your tank.
• Unplug vampire electronics: Televisions, computers and gaming consoles can continue to use electricity even when they are turned off. Unplug these devices when they are not in use to save money.
• Do an energy audit: The best way to know where to save is by doing an audit of where your highest energy costs are currently at. This will help you find inefficiencies and tackle them head on.