This winter has been cold, and the chilly winds have us all reaching for our thickest sweaters and cranking up the thermostat. Unfortunately, cold weather also means skyrocketing electricity bills, and ain't no one got money for that.
In order to save money for more important things, like brunch, follow these easy tips. You'll see how much of a difference they can make.
TL;DR Below are easy tips that will save you a few bucks on your electricity bill every month.
Turn Down Your Thermostat By 1 Degree
According to Hydro-Quebec, this small gesture can save you between 5-7% of your bill every month. Side note: cranking up the temperature higher in the hopes that your house will warm up faster doesn't work, so stop doing it.
Take Shorter Showers
It is really hard to find the motivation to turn off the shower, especially on cold mornings. But shorter showers mean that you are wasting less hot water. This is a bonus for both your wallet and the environment. Try making a short "shower playlist," with about 3 songs on it, and force yourself to turn the water off when the playlist ends
Use Appliances Efficiently
Don't run your dishwasher if it isn't full! Same goes for washers and dryers. It's a waste of electricity and water. And, on the topic of washer/dryers, make sure to use energy-saving or cold cycles when you can.
Turn Off Your Electronics
When you can, turn off energy-sucking electronics, like TVs. Even better, unplug chargers and computers from the wall, to avoid "phantom power" — when seemingly off devices are actually still pulling electricity. This last tip is especially useful if you are going on vacation and will be away for a prolonged period of time.
Turn Your Lights Off
Your dad has probably told you this a million times already, but turn.off.the.lights.when.you.leave.the.room. This small gesture makes a huge difference. Make sure that you buy energy-efficient bulbs while you're at it — LED lights last at least 15 TIMES longer and save between 70-90% more energy compared to incandescent bulbs.
Check for drafts, and seal any gaps between windows and doors. Caulk the edges of your mailbox, too.
Another pro tip would be to adjust your curtains or blinds as the sun moves. Open window furnishings on the side of your home where the sun is shining and close them on the dark sides of your apartment to preserve natural heat. Hydro Quebec also advises to close all blings and curtains at night to trap heat inside.
Get The Equaliser Plan
If you've been living at the same address for at least 11 months, you're eligible for the equaliser plan. Hydro-Quebec estimates how much your yearly bill is, and splits these payments equally every month. This means that you will no longer be spending almost nothing in the summer, but have to shell out huge amounts in the winter. If your balance is lower than expected, Hydro-Quebec reimburses you, and vice-versa. I highly recommend this.