Do you feel frustrated every time you open up your Hydro bill because of how much it's costing you? Yet, you feel like you're always having to tell your kids to turn off the lights and stop leaving their computer on?You're not alone and the good news is you can save money and reduce the energy use of your home. Whether you live in Ottawa, Nepean, Kanata, Manotick, Barrhaven or anywhere else in the city and regardless of what type of home you live in, there are many different approaches ranging from simple adjustments in behavior to major home improvements. The two key motivators for people to conserve energy are protecting the environment and saving on utility bills. If you want to learn how to save on Ottawa Hydro or Hydro One, here are the top 10 ways to do it:
1.Replace Your Light Bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs typically consume an excessive amount of electricity, which is why you need to replace them with more energy efficient options. Light-Emitting-Diode (LED) bulbs, Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs), and Halogen Incandescent bulbs are all excellent alternatives to traditional incandescent bulbs since they consume between 25 and 80 percent less electricity and last anywhere between 3 and 25 times longer.
2. Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances
Appliances are responsible for about 13 percent of the total energy use in a household. When you buy appliances for your home, it is important to pay attention to its initial buying price and the annual operating cost. Energy efficient appliances might have higher purchase prices, but their operating costs are usually between 9 and 25 percent lower than conventional models.
3. Insulate Your Home
Insulation plays a critical role in lowering your usage of electricity by retaining heat during the winter and keeping the heat out of your home in the summer. The R-Value or recommended level of heat resistance for your insulation will depend on where you live. In warmer areas, the recommended R-Value is usually much lower compared to that of buildings in colder areas. The level of insulation will depend on the area of your house,
4. Seal Any Air Leaks
Insulation is an important consideration, but so too is checking for any small gaps or cracks where air might leak in and out of your home. It is estimated that insulating your home and sealing air leaks can help you potentially save as much as 10 percent on your annual electricity costs. The first step in sealing your home is tackling the doors and windows. If searching for leaks sounds too daunting to you, hire an energy auditor to identify all problem areas.
5. Use Blinds and Shades
The best way to keep your home cool is not to allow in the heat. Blinds and/or shades provide an effective barrier to heat from outside and don’t require any electricity usage. If you already have shades in your home, try keeping them closed during the day, particularly when it’s hot in the afternoon. If you don’t have blinds or shades in you home, you can at least try covering the windows with the most sun exposure.
6. Keep Your HVAC System Properly Maintained
Keeping your HVAC system in proper working condition will help you save a lot on energy costs. So, change the filters on your HVAC system regularly, and ensure that it is inspected and cleaned as often as recommended by the manufacturer. Ensure that areas in front of vents are clear of obstructions since your HVAC system requires up to 25 percent more energy if the vents are blocked. You can also call a local HVAC service provider like Top Hat here in Ottawa to help you.
7. Change Your Laundry Habits
One of the biggest changes you will need to make in terms of laundry habits is washing your clothes in cold water. Doing that saves on the energy needed to create more hot water. Drying your clothes at night is yet another idea. If you dry your clothes during the day, the dryer’s exhaust will heat up your home and make your air conditioner to run more. If you run the dryer at night, your home will not heat up too much and you can save on your cooling bill.
8. Install a Smart/Programmable Thermostat
A smart or programmable thermostat, like Nest, can be set to reduce heating and cooling or turn off automatically during the times when you are either away or asleep. If you install a smart/programmable thermostat, you will avoid wasteful energy use from heating and cooling without having to sacrifice any comfort or upgrade your HVAC system.
9. Invest in Smart Power Strips
Some electric gadgets never power off completely; instead, they just sit in standby mode using a trickle of power that adds up over time and devices. These are usually items operated via remote control since the remote sensor requires power while it waits for your input. A smart power strip cuts off the current when the devices are not in use thus reducing your energy usage.
10. Referring to the Time-of-Use Guide
The Time-of-Use guide is designed to help you know when electricity is in high demand or low demand since power costs increase in times of high demand and decrease in times of low demand. The guide advises you when to postpone using high consumption devices to ensure that you don’t have to pay too much in electricity costs.Final Thoughts and I'd love to hear what you think below.If you are an Ottawa resident, you should try to implement the 10 tips discussed here and save money with Ottawa Hydro or Hydro One in 2019. You will also be playing your role in environmental conservation, which truthfully, is the obligation of all of us here on earth.