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Tricks Canadians Use To Save Money On Hydro

Believe it or not, Canadians pay some of the lowest hydro rates in the world. While consumers in Ontario feel like they’re getting burned for paying higher rates than the rest of the country, compared to other parts of the world they’re getting a great deal. They still pay much lower rates than consumers in New York and half what consumers in Germany and Italy pay.

The bad news is that hydro is only going to get more expensive in Canada. That’s why Canadians are sharing all kinds of tips and secrets for saving on their hydro bills.

1. Kill Phantom Power

Phantom power can account for as much as 10 percent of the energy use in your home and it’s easy to stop. Phantom power is an easy target that can save you up to $150 every year. When your electronic devices or appliances are plugged in, they’re using phantom power even when they’re not being used. Some devices that you might rarely use wind up consuming more power throughout their lifespan while they’re in off-mode than on. Computer speakers, stereo systems, video game consoles, PVRs, and desktop PCs are the worst offenders. A timed power bar can help reduce phantom power consumption right away.

2. Use a Clothes Line

It’s really easy to save on electricity in the summer. When the sun’s out all day and the air is hot and dry, your clothes will dry on the line in a snap. Instead of paying to run the dryer, let the sun do the work for free. Natural sunshine will even whiten your white laundry and make stains fade away. Clothes lines are standard in many European cities where even middle-class apartments are often too small for dyers and hydro is too expensive to use them anyway.

3. Dishes and Laundry at Off-peak Hours

Many provinces in Canada, especially Ontario, have on-peak, mid-peak, and off-peak hours for energy consumption. At times of day when power consumption in the province is at its highest, hydro is more expensive – in fact, on-peak power is twice as expensive as off-peak. It’s best to save running the dishwasher, doing laundry, or any other task that consumes a lot of power for off-peak hours, which in Ontario runs from 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. at the latest. Note that the hours change depending on the season, as power consumption habits change during the winter.

4. Add Heating with an Electric Fireplace

In the depths of winter, heat is usually the biggest drain your power consumption. Most electric fireplaces are integrated with a heater and provide heat for an area of around 400 square feet. You can also turn on the flames of an electric fireplace without the heat, so you can get the comforting look of a fire in your living room without actually producing heat, the way you would have to with gas. Another one of the major benefits of an electric fireplace for power consumption is that all of the heat goes into the room, not out of a vent or a chimney.

With these handy tricks, you can save money on your hydro bill in the long term. It’s only going to get more expensive, so start saving now.