Smart Meters – How to Keep Saving

Smart meters are installed in over 4.8 million homes and businesses across Ontario (, but many families are not taking advantage of the cost-saving opportunities available when it comes to these little gadgets. By taking a bit of extra time to look at your home and change a couple habits, you could end up keeping a lot of cash in your pocket. Here are some ideas how:

  1. From the Ontario Ministry of Energy.

    From the Ontario Ministry of Energy.

    Do your research – Know when peak hours are and make sure you are avoiding heavy usage during these times. Right now, peak times are between 7-11 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. Using energy during these times means you are paying almost double the amount you would if you moved your activities to off-peak hours (7 p.m. to 7 a.m.). We know that there are certain activities that can’t be moved, but keeping in mind when you are in peak, mid-peak or off-peak hours can save you a bundle. Also, make sure you are up to date with new energy saving products. A small investment (such as replacing old light bulbs with energy efficient LED ones) can save a bundle in the long run.

  2. Review your use – Smart meters are easy to monitor at any time. All you have to do is go online and you can keep track of your energy usage, see trends in your home and even compare your usage with local averages. Seeing the usage trends in your home can help you make adjustments that will save you even more.
  3. Use your appliances later – Your washer and dryer suck up tons of energy and even a quick load can cost a small fortune during peak hours. Why not try starting the dryer after dinner instead of before? Another great idea is running your dishwasher overnight. If you have counter top appliances, why not try using them instead of firing up the oven for dinner? All of these energy-saving tricks will keep your bill lower.
  4. Don’t leave the heat on (too high) – We know, this sounds like a no-brainer, but really think about it; we tend to have our heat at its highest setting during peak and mid-peak hours. Since heating takes up the lion’s share (up to 60 per cent) of your energy costs, this does nothing to save you money. Having a programmable thermostat can help a lot in this situation. Setting your thermostat so the heat turns on well before peak hours means that your furnace isn’t working to warm up the house (using a lot more energy) but is just maintaining the ambient temperature. Another idea is closing registers in unused rooms. Finally, try setting your daytime temperature a couple degrees lower. You may have to throw on a sweater but you will save a ton on your heating bills.

By living smart you can save on your monthly hydro bill, and that means a lot of extra cash in your bank account by year-end.

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