My local electric company just sent out a brochure with the savings I can make from using my electrical appliances in the evening. I save almost 50% by doing baking for the week, washing clothes, etc by planning to do those things after 9 pm. Check with your local electric company to find out when the electricity rates are the cheapest.
Have more lights in a room, with different wattages. Use only the lamps that you need to see for the job that you are doing. Install dimmer switches in rooms with over head lights (not florescent ones yet). Purchase long life, full spectrum florescent lights for your lamps. For a light that you forget to turn off purchase a timer with an on and off switch.
Combine your cooking for the week. When the oven is hot after you have cooked a meal, bake another days meal or make a desert/snack at a lower temperature. You are saving the "pre-heating" cost. Combine your baking - bake items that need the same temperature.
Purchase the largest washer that you can, make sure it has various water levels for those small loads. Wash large loads when you can.
Programmable thermostats are great if you work outside of the home or while you sleep.
Replace any appliance with clocks with ones without a clock, and instead use a battery operated clock. Replace any instant on appliance with one that is not instant on.
Set your computer to hibernate.
These are just some ideas to have lower your electricity bill.
By sweetsoo from Hamilton, Ontario
Excellent ideas. Don't forget to unplug small appliances and other rarely-used "energy vampires." My toaster and microwave are only plugged in when in use. If you can, put several rarely-used items (not expensive ones) on the same surge suppressor and turn off the power to it when those items aren't in use. My coffeepot is on a surge suppressor that stays turned off as long as 47 or more hours between brewings. (A single pot usually lasts us two mornings.)
Great info. I am on the TOU plan too here in Canada.
It does create a new change for the day. A couple of ideas is to unplug your computer when not in use. We also use a battery operated radio, during the day. It rarely needs a battery replacement and gives entertainment all day.
Good idea to cook more for other meals.
I saved $8.50 this past month by being on the "Time of Use" plan for our electricity usage with Wisconsin Public Service. The rate for off-use hours is 1/4th that of regular hours. The off-hours are 8 p.m.-9 a.m., M-F, and all day weekends/holidays. Contact your provider to inquire about like plans.
By Anne from Green Bay, WI
Thanks for the tip. I am signing up for our local plan. You can use electricity at any time, but get the benefit of reduced rates from 9 PM - 10 AM. They say the average customer saves 9% on electricity. (11/06/2008)
Time of use rates are good for saving money only if you can "work" with their schedule. Where I live in CT, the time of use rates "stink". Heaven forbid you need to run that oven, or load of wash in the dryer during peak $$ hours. What you save by using the off peak hours will be "eaten" up if you don't use their time frame. Look at your electric bill and pretend you have two sets of rates. Do the math as best you can to figure what you can save. Some programs make you stay with them a year, or if you opt out there is a fee charged. Always read the fine print!
Here in CT, we were supposed to have Smart Meters (this was voted into law two years ago) so far we have nothing. The Electric Company which is owned by a non American, off shore Company wants to make as much $$ as it can off the rate payers. If you do have the option to have a smart meter in your home, sign up ASAP. You choose the cost you will pay, which saves a lot of money. (07/28/2009)