How To Save Money On Your Utility Bill
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As a homeowner, it’s crucial to know how to save on utility bills since every penny counts when it comes to expenses. Utility bills can cause a significant dent in your monthly budget, adding unnecessary stress while juggling other priorities. However, there’s no need to panic! By implementing simple changes, you can reduce your energy consumption and save money on your utility bills without compromising your comfort. So, keep reading to learn how to save on your utility bill and keep more money in your pocket.
- With inflation and energy costs on the rise, it’s essential that you conduct an energy audit of your home to understand where you’re using the most energy and identify areas for improvement.
- There are several ways to reduce your electric bill, including taking advantage of government rebates, programs, and incentives and of course using less energy.
- Be smart. Use each season to your advantage by improving your home efficiency and making small changes in your habits to save you money on your utility bill.
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How to Know When You’re Energy Bill is Too High
Before you can start saving money on your energy bill, you need to know if it’s too high in the first place. One way to do this is to compare your most current bill to one from a previous period to see if there are any changes. However, with the inflation we’re currently experiencing in Canada, it may not be as easy to detect whether your bill is too high or not. Another way is to compare your monthly bill to the light and power bills of similar households in your area. Ask some of your neighbours, if your bill is consistently higher, then it’s time to take action.
Conduct an Energy Audit of Your Home
One of the most effective ways to understand if your energy bill is too high is to do an energy audit of your home. When was the last time you did an inspection of your home? Take the time to go around your home checking for energy inefficiencies, such as drafty windows or outdated appliances, and then take steps to address them. Some ways to conduct an energy audit include using an infrared camera, hiring a professional energy auditor, or doing it yourself with a checklist.
Understand Information Presented on Your Energy Bill
It’s important to understand the information presented on your energy bill so that you can identify areas where you can save money. The bill should provide details on how much energy you’re using (kWh), the cost per unit, and any fees or charges. You can also look for patterns in your usage to see when you’re using the most energy and identify potential areas to cut back. Every month check for the total amount of energy used (not the $ amount but the kWh amount) and compare it to the previous year in the same month. If you see a spike in a month that isn’t usually a high-energy season, then you know that something isn’t right.
Tips for Saving Money on Your Energy Bill
With increasing energy prices, it’s essential to find a few ways to reduce your energy consumption so that you can save money every month. There are government incentives that you could maybe benefit from as well as tricks to save electricity in your home.
1. Government Rebates, Programs, and Incentives
The Canadian government and local authorities offer rebates, programs, and incentives for homeowners who want to reduce their energy usage. These can include free audits, tax credits for installing energy-efficient appliances or subsidies for upgrading your home’s insulation. The main national program is the Canada Greener Homes Initiative, which aims at “helping homeowners save money, creating new jobs across Canada for energy advisors and fighting climate change”. For instance, you could get up to $40,000 in the form of an interest-free loan with a repayment term of 10 years to help you undertake a major home retrofit. Check out this online directory to see which program or incentive you could get for your home.
Check with your local government to see what programs are available in your area. In Toronto alone, there are over 25 initiatives and grants available to homeowners (including programs for low-income households) to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
2. Use Less Electricity in Your Home
Our first recommendation if you want to reduce your energy bill is to use less electricity in your home. Not only will this help you lower your expenses but also be beneficial for the environment.
There are several things you can do to immediately reduce your electricity consumption without compromising on your comfort.
Cut phantom power – Did you know that plugged-in appliances on stand-by account for up to 10% of your annual energy bill? This is called phantom power. There are simple ways to slash it: unplug appliances or electronics when not in use, use smart power strips with built-in timers or connect various electronics to one power bar that you manually switch off after use.
Improve heat and lights – Make sure to seal all air leaks around your home. By using a programmable thermostat, you’ll be able to better regulate the temperature in your home, ensuring that energy is only used when necessary. To improve light energy consumption, consider switching all your light bulbs to LED or energy-efficient ones. That switch alone reduces your light bulb energy use by 75 to 90%.
Use appliances optimally – Consider using smaller appliances that use less energy compared to the traditional bigger appliances. For instance, prepare your meal with a microwave instead of using the oven for an hour. Another example could be to set your washing machine to only use cold water instead of hot water or air-drying your clothes instead of using an electric dryer, all these small shifts can save a significant amount of electricity.
Limit the use of your air conditioner – Our last recommendation would be to reduce the usage of your air conditioner, especially on those days when a fan would be as beneficial and much more energy efficient.
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Utilize Each Season for Efficiency
Utilizing each season to its fullest can be an effective way to improve efficiency in your home. Let’s look at some tricks and tips for the winter and summer months.
How to improve efficiency in the colder months
There are several ways to improve efficiency in the colder months. One of the most effective ways is to make sure you keep the heat inside your home. Check if there are any drafts around windows and doors and consider adding heavy curtains to keep the cool air out. Additionally, improve the insulation of your home, especially in your attic, external walls, and floors to prevent heat from escaping.
Every few days or weeks regulate the thermostat of your heating system to adapt to the temperature outside. This can help ensure that your home is heated only when necessary, saving you money on your energy bill.
How to improve efficiency in the warmer months
In the summer months on the other hand, you’ll want to keep the hot air out by using window coverings such as shades or blinds to block out the sun’s heat during the day. You can also install reflective film on windows to reduce the amount of heat that enters your home. Refrain from using appliances that create unnecessary heat such as ovens and opt for barbecues or cold meals.
Ceiling fans, box fans, and portable fans can all help circulate air throughout your home and keep you cool in warmer months, without having to rely on the air conditioner as much. If it gets very humid, invest in a dehumidifier, which can help reduce the humidity in your home and make you feel more comfortable.
Improving Your Water Usage
Improving your water usage is another great way to save money on your utility bill. Installing low-flow showerheads and faucets around your home will do just that. These little devices can reduce the amount of water you use without sacrificing performance.
Make sure to fix any leaks as soon as you notice them. As even a small leak will add up to a huge amount of wasted water over time. Try to reduce shower time for the whole household and for the children install fun timers in showers. If you wash dishes by hand, try filling up the sink instead of running the water continuously.
In conclusion, using less electricity in your home is an easy and effective way to save money on your utility bill and reduce your carbon footprint. So, don’t wait any longer, start implementing these tips today and enjoy the savings and peace of mind that come with a more energy-efficient home.
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