In the past I have been committed to lowering our power usage but I obviously let it slip because in January I received my highest hydro bill ever $212! So I re committed to keeping our money and helping reduce our impact on this important planet we call home.
Now I know some of these things are a little zainy but I'm a pretty committed person-and to amp up that commitment I challenged my neighbor to see who could get our hydro bill lower. Her house is twice the size of mine and she has always been able to keep hers well below ours, even when I was trying so I knew it was going to be a good challenge. Keeping in mind that we are both at home with the kids and that does give us a bit of extra time so I totally get that for some of these tips you will be like 'haha ya right'
Here is how I (and her) did it, and by the way our bills came down to exactly the same price, so no winner but we learned allot!
Clothes Line and/or Drying rack
Hands down # 1 money saver, and now that the weather is nice we can hang our laundry on the line, or if it is going to rain-a drying rack.(or maybe you live without a clothes line or space for a clothes line) Here are tips on how I make it work for my family. Drying racks are under $20 and can be purchased at Home Hardware or Canadian Tire. Getting a clothes line is going to cost you about $150 in parts at CT or HH and a couple hours of labour from the handy man in your family (if your lucky enough to have one) or hired help - definitely worth the money!
Powering Off During Peak Hours
The first thing I did was identify what exactly my house and I were using power for (well pump,water heater, fridge/freezer, stove, microwave, tv, internet, phone, computer, vacuum). Obviously I cannot turn off my fridge for 12hrs a day (believe me I thought about it) and I cannot keep my infant and toddler up until 8pm so I can cook dinner after 7pm, and Im not going to avoid washing my hands with running water, Im pretty sure that is one of the main reasons why running water is important, but there is some things I can manage..
Changed my cleaning/vacuuming time to the morning or weekend (afternoon in the winter)
Unplug everything during day, charge phone/laptop after 7pm
Wash laundry after 7pm or before 7am
Shower's and bath's before 7am- or after 7pm
Fill up bucket of water to flush with during peak ( I know what your thinking but it takes power to pump water up for use as well as heat it, so while the shower is warming up collect that cold water)
Filled up a jug with cold water in the fridge for drinking
Cook dinner after 5pm (before 5pm in the winter)
No stove top or oven cooking during the day
Water the garden off peak or with the rain barrel
Cook on the Woodstove
I know it is summer now but if I throw it out there now maybe you can think about it all summer and than try it next winter. If you heat your house with wood, it is a heat source running all day and night in the home during the winter that you are already paying for, why not use it to cook? I started experimenting with it close to the end of this past winter, starting with vegetarian crock pot recipes (just in case) and than moving on to meats. At first I only used crock pot recipes and let them sit all day, but the neighbor was cooking eggs, and pancakes, and even boiling noodles! Her kids loved it and complained when they went back to the stove top. You can bet I will be all over it next fall!
These are the main changes I made that brought my hydro bill from $212 a month to $128 a month! That is $1000 bucks a year that I get to keep for my family - and I get to help save the world!
Thanks for reading my blog!