A smart meter measures and records how much electricity is used during each hour of the day and allows for different electricity rates to be charged for various time periods. In the future, when Ontario introduces time-of-use rates for electricity, there will be different electricity rates for off-peak, mid-peak and on-peak periods.
* With a smart meter installed, consumers will have the benefit of being able to manage their energy costs by shifting some of their electricity usage from the more expensive on-peak hours to times when electricity rates are not as high.
- Install a programmable thermostat.
- Set the thermostat to lower the temperature during peak times by a degree or two.
- Air conditioning can account for up to 50% of your summer electricity bill so try to use it only when necessary to remain comfortable, especially during on-peak hours from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Keep your air conditioner off if you are out during on-peak hours from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Some units have timers on them that you can set so they come on just prior to you arriving home.
- Install a programmable thermostat for your air conditioner and take on-peak, mid-peak and off-peak time periods into consideration when you program it.
- When shopping for a central or window air conditioning unit, choose newer Energy Star® qualified models which are up to 70 per cent more efficient than older models. Also look for a model with a timer.
- Keep air conditioning thermostats set at 25° or higher during on-peak hours from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You will use 3 to 5 per cent more energy for each degree your air conditioner is set below 24° C (75° F), so set the thermostat at 25° C (77° F) to provide the most comfort at the least cost.
- Turn off lights during the day and keep blinds drawn so you can keep air conditioning use during on-peak hours to a minimum. This is especially important for windows or doors that get direct sunlight.
- If you use a ceiling fan or tabletop fan in conjunction with air conditioning the “wind chill” effect means you can set your air conditioner higher, to 26° or 27° C (79° to 80° F), and still be comfortable. Every increase of two degrees on your thermostat can result in a reduction of 15% in air conditioning energy use and can result in a significant savings on your summer electric bill.
- Put your air conditioner on a heavy-duty timer and set it to only run during mid-peak or off-peak hours.
- Ensure all lights are off during the day if you will not be home.
- Install compact fluorescent lights, especially in light fixtures that will be on during peak times.
- Load the dishwasher after dinner but use the delay timer so that washing starts after 7:00 p.m.
- Wash dishes on weekends.
- Do washing on weekends.
- Throw in a load of washing or turn on the dryer before going to bed.
- If washing has been done during the night, put clothes in the dryer when you get up in the early morning.
- Put your washer on a timer. Throw the clothes in and set the timer for the wash to start after 7:00 p.m on weekdays or anytime on weekends and holidays. Dry the clothes early in the morning.
- Connect your TV, sound system, computers, etc. to power bars. Switch them off at the power bar when not in use, particularly during peak hours.
- Older fridge models can be real energy guzzlers. A new fridge can run on as little as half the electricity of a ten-year-old unit.
- But new or old, if your fridge is not in use, unplug it.
- If you are only using your second fridge to store beer or pop, consider that an older fridge may be costing you $150 a year to operate and determine if this is worth it to you.
- If your secondary fridge is only being used to store beer and pop, consider putting it on a heavy duty timer and set it to go off during peak hours.
- Put your pool pump on a heavy-duty timer and set it to only run during mid-peak or off-peak hours.
- Use your electric lawn mower during evening hours on weekends.