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Energy Conservation Tips


 Image of air conditioner

Air Conditioning

In addition to putting a strain on the Ontario power grid, during hot summer days, air conditioning usage can double or triple average daily residential energy consumption and drive up electricity bills. For example, running a central air conditioning unit non-stop on hot summer days will cost $7 to $12 per day. A room air conditioner costs about $2 to $3 to operate.

Here are some tips to save money during hot summer days.

thre cords plugged into an extension cord

Eliminate Phantom Power

Phantom Power or Standby Power is the electricity drawn when an electronic device or appliance is not in use but still plugged in. This can account for up to 15 per cent of a household's electricity use, or as much as $20 on the average household's hydro bill. Using a programmable power bar to charge your electronics during off-peak hours can cut that cost in half.
Find out more about Phantom Power / Standby Power
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hand holding a regular light bulb next to another hand holding a compact fluorescent bulb

Change your lights

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use up to 75 per cent less energy than standard bulbs. By replacing five incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs in areas that require more than three hours of light a day, you can save up to $30.00 a year. LED lights save you even more.

Download $3 and $5 off coupons for CFLs and LEDs
Information on Safety and CFLs from Health Canada
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close up of a timer

Motion Sensor Switches & Timers

To avoid leaving your outside lights on for long periods of time, install a motion sensor that turns the lights on automatically when somebody walks by and then turns the lights off after a pre-set period of time. Motion sensors are also available for indoor use and can prevent lights being left on accidentally for long periods of times in garages, basements and closets. Putting lights on timers can also reduce consumption.

Download coupons for timers and lighting controls
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programable digital thermostat

Install a programmable thermostat

If you install a programmable thermostat for your furnace or baseboard heater with a built-in timer, you can set it to automatically lower the heat by a few degrees at night or when you are away. If you have air conditioning, you can use the thermostat to turn it off or adjust the temperature when you are not at home.


Savings can add up fast. If you program your thermostat to hold at 18 degrees C during winter months instead of 22 degrees C, you could save, on average, $15.00 per month on an electricity bill - plus savings on your natural gas or oil fuel bill. A properly set programmable thermostat can reduce heating and cooling costs by 10 per cent.

Download coupon for programmable baseboard thermostat
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ceiling fan close up

Use ceiling fans

Use your ceiling fan all year round! In summer, run a ceiling fan at the same time as an air conditioner and you can raise your temperature setting by 2 degrees C, reducing your energy use by at least 10 per cent.


In the winter, reverse the motor and operate the ceiling fan at low speed in the clockwise direction. This produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space, creating more even air circulation.

See how much difference a ceiling fan can make
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young girl unloading the dishwasher


Run your dishwasher during off-peak hours and only when it is full. Use the air-dry setting or leave the door open to naturally dry the dishes. Running your dishwasher during off-peak hours can save you about half the electricity charge than running it during peak hours.
Calculate how much your dishwasher load costs at different times of the day
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close-up of bright clothing in a front load washer


The most important thing to do to save money is run your washer using cold water, which cuts back electricity 85 to 90 per cent if you have electric water heating. Wait to do a full load of laundry, and do it only during off peak hours or weekends. When buying a new model, look for an ENERGY STAR qualified front-load model to reduce water use by almost 45 per cent and energy use by about 65 per cent.

$100 Rebate - Replace your old top-loading washing machine with a new front-loading ENERGY STAR® rated model and receive a $100 rebate from the City of Guelph and Guelph Hydro.
Calculate how much your load of washing costs at different times of the day

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bright clothing on a clothsline drying in the sun


Dry your clothes during off-peak hours or weekends. Remember to keep the lint trap clean. Moisture can more easily pass through a clean lint trap making your dryer more efficient. Forego the cost of drying and hang your clothes on an outdoor or indoor clothes line/rack to dry.

Download coupon for outdoor clothesline
Calculate how much your dryer load costs at different times of the day

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close-up of a refridgerator


The refrigerator is one of the biggest electricity users in your home. While it may be convenient having an extra refrigerator for refreshments, an old, inefficient refrigerator can cost you $150 a year to operate. 


If you are purchasing a new refrigerator, look for the ENERGY STAR symbol. This means the refrigerator will be at least 15 per cent more energy-efficient than the minimum federal standard and will use half as much electricity of a fridge that is 10 years old.
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man sealing the outside of a window

Eliminate Air Leaks

Drafts around windows, doors, air vents and electrical outlets can account for as much as 25% of your total heating costs. That means there are significant savings available if you caulk and weather-strip windows, doors, dryer vents, and buy insulated plates for electrical outlets.

Download coupon for weatherstripping 
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rolled up bamboo blind with green scenary in background


Window treatments - blinds and curtains - can reduce heat loss in the winter and keep out the heat in summer.
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