You’ve got better things to spend your money on than an electricity bill. But this year in British Columbia, Canada, we’ve had a MUCH colder and longer winter than usual… and that has meant many people’s electricity bills have been higher this year than last.
While those of us in the Vancouver area of BC are used to mild winters, the rest of Canada and much of the US always have to deal with bitterly cold and long winters. It’s March and usually we’re well into Spring in the lower mainland… but it still feels like January. So we’re here today to share some expert advice from our sponsor BC Hydro to help you make smart energy choices to reduce your electricity costs even during a long winter.
If you look up from your computer right now, how many lights are on in your house? More than necessary? I’m ashamed to admit that my kitchen and hallway lights are on and so is my TV even though it’s not playing anything… it’s just sitting there idle on a screen saver, but it’s wasting my money.
As I shared a couple weeks ago, I’m working on changing my own habits to lower my bill. But, I just caught myself breaking a couple of important tips. Changing bad habits takes time, so I try not to get discouraged when I notice myself making money-wasting mistakes.
During the winter, you can expect to pay more to heat your house than other times of the year. So it’s extra important to make smart energy choices.
You need to heat your house, but you can be careful to remember to turn down the heat in rooms while you’re not there. For instance, you don’t want to pay to heat your kitchen and living room if you’re working all day in your office upstairs. You don’t need to have lights on in rooms when you’re not there. There are so many ways you can stop wasting energy.
But it’s all about changing your habits and making smart energy choices.
One great strategy to changing your habits is to get your kids on board trying to “catch” you wasting energy. They’ll be super motivated to point out when you’re wasting electricity and at the same time, they’ll be learning important lessons and building strong habits for themselves.
As a family, you can take positive steps forward towards energy efficiency by…
- Replacing Lightbulbs. Your kids will love the high tech options available that allow you to schedule the lights on your smartphones. You can get them even more on board with saving electricity if you get some fun LED lights that change colors.
- Recycling An Old LCD Television. If you happen to have an old TV that’s wasting energy, you’ll be better off buying a newer model that’s more energy efficient. Your kids will really get excited about that money saving mission.
- Upgrading Window Coverings. Energy costs can soar if you’re using air conditioning in the summer. So use window coverings that promote airflow through your home and block the afternoon sun.
- Setting Ideal Temperatures on the Fridge and Freezer. Check your fridge and freezer settings to ensure they’re at their ideal temperatures. For your fridge this is between 2°C and 3°C and your freezer should be at -18°C.
- Fixing Leaky Faucets. If you have any leaky faucets that may be wasting hot water, get them fixed. You certainly don’t want to be paying for hot water dripping all day.
While home improvements are a great way to make changes, some of your biggest cost savings will come from a few smart energy choices…
- Take shorter showers.
- Wash your laundry in cold water, in full loads and hang it to dry.
- Turn down your heat a couple of degrees when you’re at home and lower it more when you’re sleeping and turn it off when you’re not home.
- Don’t use the heat-dry setting on your dishwasher.
- Use smaller appliances to cook rather than the over… embrace the Instant Pot trend and save time and energy cooking dinner.
For more tips, see BC Hydro’s 21 Tips: No-Cost Ways To Save Electricity.
Enter To Win A Smart Energy Choice Prize
If you live in British Columbia, Canada, you can enter to win one of three smart energy prizes. But hurry… Entries close on March 31st 2017.
- Grand Prize of a Maytag ENERGY STAR® Washer & Dryer pair.
- iRobot Roomba
- Nest package.
When you start making more smart energy choices, you’ll be thrilled to see your electricity bill go down.
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by BC Hydro. Extra thanks for reading and sharing.
Written by Susan Carraretto, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom
Talk with me: @5minutesformom and Facebook.com/5minutesformom
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