Smart meter savings?
November 1 marked the start of smart metered electricity rates in my home, along with the realization that our habits could certainly be improved to help make our home more eco-friendly, and save money on our bill.
Smart meters measure your household electrical usage in real time, allowing different costs to be applied to your hydro bill depending on the time of day you're using electricity.
Peak times, like weekday mornings and early evenings in the winter; and summer days between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., cost more than off-times, like weekends, stat holidays and overnight from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Check out Toronto Hydro's page on time of use rates.
Toronto Hydro estimates that the average family will end up paying about 1 per cent more on their bill if they stick with their current habits. But, they say, by changing your habits you could shave a few dollars off your bill!
Because Mr. Speedy and I are new homeowners (living in a dismal economy), we've been trying to cut costs wherever possible - fewer dinners out, planning our purchases more carefully and even scrimping on my shoe shopping! So, we'll be tracking our usage on our account's time of use page (register here for your own), and trying to make a few changes to adapt to the new fee structure.
A few of our planned changes:
- Monday morning laundry, while convenient, will be less expensive if made a Sunday habit, so we'll aim for a Sunday afternoon football and folding combo.
- We'll be double-checking that computers are shut off before leaving for work in the morning (something we probably should have been doing anyway).
- We'll plug more of our electronics into power bars and turn them off when they're not in use, to avoid any "vampire" power drains.
- We'll double check that our programmable thermostat is running the furnace a few degrees lower during the day when we're not at home, to save money on running the fan.
- We'll be even more vigilant about turning off lights when leaving the house in the early evening.
What suggestions do you have for cutting down peak electricity usage?
Learn more about smart meters: