I have cut my hydro bill by 22%
Today I got my Hydro bill. The regular monthly payment has been cut by $10. The previous amount was set by the consumption of the previous owner. I have not replaced any of the major electrical appliances and I heat the house and the hot water with gas.
So how have I done it?
First, all the light bulbs are now compact flourescents: I have only one tungsten filament bulb left and that is over the stairs where my step ladder does not reach. Second I have all my collections of energy users – the computer, stereo and tv on breaker bars. With one flip of the switch the whole lot powers down. Even battery chargers consume power when there is no battery in them.
If I turn my appliances off but don’t unplug them will they still use up some electricity?
No. And that applies even if the plug is switched on or if the socket has no on/off switch. The exceptions are appliances with a standby mode, which include most battery chargers. As a rule of thumb, if there is a light on, a clock ticking or the transformer feels warm, it is using electricity. And that can be a substantial proportion of the amount the appliances consumes when in use. A television set-top box, for example, uses around 18 watts while it is on and almost 17 watts on standby.
source: New Scientist
Third, I wash my clothes in cold water and run the dishwasher only when it is full. And I do not use my microwave to defrost things. I just leave them on the stove when it is off. The metal conducts heat from the house into the package – if it is on a styrofoam tray I turn it “face down”. All that means is thinking about taking something for supper out of the freezer mid afternoon rather than 2 minutes before I want to start cooking.
So I reckon my very modest outlay on bulbs and breakers will pay off in less than a year. $120 buys a lot of CFs!
As my efforts to renovate continue I anticipate replacing all the major appliances with modern Energy Star rated units. The fridge will be the one I will spend most on, as that is one of the greediest units. The new dishwasher will have the option to air dry – right now I just turn it off and leave the door open, but then I have to run a fan to get rid of the moisture.
I will let you know when they cut my hydro payments again.