Simple Ways to Lower Your Hydro Bill

If you're like most Ontarians, your electricity bill is eating up an increasingly larger part of your monthly budget. Sadly, this trend isn't likely to change in the future.

While there's not much you can do about the rates you pay, there are ways to reduce your usage that will pay dividends in the long run.

Stop Leaks Around Windows and Doors

Weather stripping and calking any leaks around your windows and doors will stop cold air from escaping in the summer, and prevent cold drafts in the winter. You should also check around baseboards and electrical outlets and seal up any place that's leaking heat.

Add Insulation

Adding extra insulation to your attic is a great way to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. While you're up in the attic, make sure your insulation isn't blocking a vent and check the duct work for any leaks. Also check out other areas of your home that could be insulated. If you have an attached garage, an insulated door is an often overlooked detail that save you money.

Check your Air Conditioning

Have your central air conditioning unit checked and cleaned at the beginning of the cooling season. If you have window mounted units, make sure they're placed on the north side of your home, or in a shady location to ensure savings in the summer.

Kill the Power Vampires

Coffee makers, toasters, computers, televisions, cable boxes, Blu-Ray players, printers and other electronics suck up power even when they're turned off. Each one of these individually uses very little power, but the average home has at least 40 applicances using vampire power, and that adds up quickly.

But what are you to do? Unplugging each applicance every night is impractical, and even digging behind the TV to turn off a power bar is not likely to get done.

Luckily, you can now pick up an inexpensive power bar with a remote control to make it simple and efficient to kill up to six power vampires with one click. Great for your entertainment system - the biggest offender of all.