You already know what winter means for Canadians: Shovelling the driveway, scraping the ice off your vehicle in the morning, bundling up for 10 minutes before facing the outdoors and of course; the most expensive electricity bill you can expect to receive during the year. Winter’s about half way through (we hope!) but there’s still time to save so here are a few tips to help lower those nasty Winter electricity bills and keep that extra cash to put towards something more fun like skates or skis so you can try to make the best of the cold season!
Adjust your thermostat at night
This one might seem like a no-brainer but it may be the most helpful thing you can do to lower your bill and is often forgotten. This is why we put it right at the top of this list. Just make sure you have some nice warm sheets at night and bring that heat down to 10 or 15 degrees (Celsius) when you go to bed. Studies show that adjusting your thermostat in this manner can save about 10% of your heating costs each year. If you have a timer on your thermostat, you can set it to go down at night and go back to your desired temperature at the time you usually get up in the morning.
Use the Sun to your advantage
At this time of year, we sometimes tend to get the impression that the Sun has abandoned us but let’s not overlook our giant flaming friend in the sky. On the days that it does decide to show its face, open up the drapes or blinds on any and all south-facing windows and let the rays in! As soon as the Sun sets, shut them all back up to keep all the heat that you’ve gathered inside for the evening.
Only heat the rooms you use
If there are any rooms that you don’t really use in the winter or don’t tend to use on a daily basis, don’t waste any of your precious heat on them. Just turn the thermostat right off in those rooms until you know you’ll be using them. You might get surprise chill when you walk in there the first few times by accident but your wallet will thank you come bill time.
The air in your house or apartment can get dry in the winter and dry air can make it feel colder inside than it actually is. You can try to reduce this effect by adding some humidity in your household. Houseplants are great for this or you could invest in a humidifier to help add some moisture to the air.
This one is good all year round! LED lights use 75% less energy than incandescent lights and can last up to 25 times longer. This can be a good idea for your holiday light decorations or just for your regular light bulbs. Not only will this save you money on your electric bill, you’ll also save on bulbs not to mention that LED lights are more resistant to breakage which makes them a safer alternative. Don’t forget to unplug those Christmas lights at night too as they will continue to draw power if plugged in even if they aren’t turned on.
We hope these easy tips can help you keep your electric bill as low as possible this season. Stay warm, and stay frugal!