Cutting down on your expenses can be tough.  The good news is that small changes can make a big difference, particularly on expenses impacted by your energy consumption.  Reduction of bills can save you hundreds of dollars each year, which is definitely worth the effort.  Here are 15 ways to cut your energy costs long term.

  1. Invest in a timed thermostat to manage heating and air conditioning. Why excessively heat and cool a home while it’s empty during the day or in the middle of the night?
  2. Program your heating and cooling differently when you go away.  Odds are the person taking in your mail while on vacation doesn’t need the AC blasting or the heat pumping.  While you won’t want your home to be furnace hot in the summer or icy cold in the winter (no one wants to come home to burst frozen pipes) you certainly don’t need the same levels as when you’re physically there.  Remember to keep pet’s comfort in mind as you make these adjustments.
  3. Turn off the lights.  Be aware of lights in rooms you aren’t using.  Get in the habit of turning off the lights when you leave a room.
  4. Check timing for peak pricing energy hours and avoid running the dishwasher and laundry during these blocks of time.  Bonus points for setting the timer on your dishwasher to run during the lowest cost times.
  5. Get rid of old appliances.  That old fridge downstairs that you never use may be sucking up more energy than you think (some estimate up to $200 a year on your hydro bill).  If you don’t use it, arrange to get it taken away.
  6. Check your windows and doors.  Properly insulated windows and doors can save you hundreds of dollars each year which is well worth the investment.  Even better, you can arrange for an energy audit and qualify for up to $5000 Canada EcoEnergy Grants!
  7. Get a programmable power bar to charge your phones, laptops and other electronics during non-peak hours.
  8. Purchase energy efficient (Compact Fluorescent Bulbs – CFLs) which will consume 75 percent less energy compared to standard light bulbs.
  9. Buy a clothes line or a drying rack to avoid the dryer.
  10. Run your clothes washer on cold settings instead of warm.
  11. Use the air dry setting in your dishwasher or open it up to dry your dishes instead of using the heated setting.
  12. Don’t do laundry or the dishes until you have a full load.
  13. If it’s not too hot use ceiling fans and open windows to cool your home instead of the air conditioner.
  14. Shut the blinds and curtains on really hot days to keep the sun from heating your home.
  15. This summer, don’t heat up your home with the oven; consider making some bbq meals instead!

Happy summer and happy saving!