Electricity powers so many of the devices, appliances, and fixtures that make modern life comfortable and enjoyable—but the more we use, the more it costs each month. And since Alberta’s electricity costs have been steadily increasing over the past 5 years, it’s more important than ever for Calgary home and business owners to look for ways to lower their bills while still being able to enjoy key services and conveniences.
Luckily, as top-tier providers of electrical services to Calgary and the surrounding communities, our team at 4-Star Electric is in the know about how Calgarians use energy and how to save more of it without seriously impacting your quality of life. Read on to discover our list of easy tips you can follow to reduce your electricity bills now.
Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
LED lights use approximately 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, but that’s not all—they also last about 25 times longer on average. According to Energy Star, replacing a 60 watt incandescent bulb with a 60 watt equivalent LED bulb can save about $75 over the life of the bulb (although this amount depends on your individual usage habits as well).
Unplug Electronics You’re Not Using
Even electrical devices that are turned off still use small amounts of energy while they’re plugged in. This is called phantom power, and it accounts for an estimated 5% of energy used by the average household. Since Alberta’s average household electricity bill is about $158 per month (or $1896 per year), eliminating phantom power could save you up to $95 per year.
Use Power Strips
Power strips allow you to turn multiple devices on or off at once. This means you can power down whole groups of appliances at the touch of a button and reduce the risk of accidentally leaving some of them on when they’re not being used.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
Smart thermostats can be programmed to adjust your HVAC system automatically—turning on the heat when you need it and turning it off when you don’t. This lowers the amount of electricity wasted by your heating and cooling equipment, and also helps it last longer (which saves you even more money in the long run).
Install Low-Flow Showerheads
We tend to think about electricity costs as being tied to things like lighting and kitchen appliances, but many homes also use electricity to heat their water. That means the less hot water you use, the more money you can scrub off your electricity bill each month! Low flow showerheads are a great way to do this, as the average Canadian household can use them to cut down water consumption by 60% a year!
Fix Leaks to Prevent Water Waste
Of course, using high-efficiency shower heads to reduce the amount of electricity your household spends on heating water only makes sense if your plumbing is working properly. Make sure you check your home thoroughly for leaking pipes, faucets, or other fixtures—and have them fixed ASAP if you find any.
Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Your washing machine uses a lot more electricity to wash your clothes and bedding in hot water than it does on the cold cycle. And your clothes won’t complain about being washed in cold water, either—in fact, they’ll probably last longer, since hot water can cause shrinking.
Hang Dry Your Clothes
The average clothes dryer uses 1.8 to 5 kWh of electricity each time you run it—so you can cut down your electricity costs considerably just by hanging up your clothes to dry on a rack or line instead! Make sure you do this outdoors or in a well-ventilated area to prevent the smell of mildew (you can also throw them in the dryer with a laundry sheet for just a few minutes after hang-drying them for a while if you want to make sure they feel super fresh).
Use Microwaves or Toaster Ovens
There’s no need to use a regular oven for smaller cooking tasks. It’s better to make simple meals in a toaster oven or microwave, since microwaves use only about 40% as much electricity per hour as an electric oven (and they heat up food much faster).
Use Energy Star Certified Appliances
Energy Star certified appliances are designed to be more energy efficient than standard appliances, so using them is an easy way to see lower electricity bills. According to Energy Star, these appliances can save the average household about $75 per year, although this amount varies depending on the specific appliances you use, your individual habits, and the cost of electricity in your area.
Supercharge Your Electricity Savings
Saving money on your electricity bills doesn’t have to take massive amounts of time, effort, or money. The steps above are all relatively simple to implement—and if you need help upgrading your lights, thermostat, or any other part of your home’s electrical system, just contact us at 4-Star Electric. We’ll be happy to show you the most cost-effective way to upgrade your home so you can use electricity efficiently and keep your monthly bills low.