Saving Money: Electricity in Winter

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by Robin

In our province, the electricity costs shifted to a new Time-of-Use schedule as of November 1st.  We mentioned the Winter Schedule times in a previous post, but we didn't talk much about strategies to save during this switch.  Here's what's happening differently at our place:

1.  As you can see in the chart above, cleaning clothes eats a lot of electricity.  If you have a gas dryer, you're golden, but we've got an electric dryer.  We invested in a front-load washer a few years ago, and we wash in cold, so our per load cost is lower than above.  But with Time-of-Use billing, there's a new factor to consider.  Now I'm doing our wash after 7pm on weeknights and I've switched to doing more loads on the weekend.  I am a bit annoyed with this change of routine.  There are just too many things to do on school nights.  (So far I've gone to bed twice forgetting to move wet clothes into the dryer, and just tonight, I washed a nighttime pull-up in with a load of clothes.  Washing disposable diapers- not a frugal recommendation.  It's a nasty mess cleaning up exploded diaper).  Grrr.  Mostly, I miss hanging clothes on the line, so I am resentful of using the dryer to begin with.

2.  We are being more vigilant about when appliances run.  We should have done this ages ago.  For example, we've put our dehumidifier on a timer so that it only runs from 7pm to 7am each day.  Our basement is as dry as before and it costs us less to get it so.  

3.  Our stove is electric, so we are trying to do our baking after 7pm and on the weekends.  We still cook supper at the same time.  Our kids are hard-wired to eat at 5pm (5:30 at the latest), so we haven't changed a thing here.  If you have a gas stove, once again, you're golden.

4.  As for lights, I am still following everyone around and turning lights off behind them.  The worst is when the kids have friends over.  I am going to be remembered by children all over the neighbourhood as the screechy old mother with the lighting obsession.  I can live with that.

We have a gas water heater and furnace, so time-of-use electricity is not a concern for either of these.

Have you seen this link?  It's called Kilowatt Way.  You can get some more detail on the appliances you use around your house and the times you use them.  (It applies best for our Ontario readers, of course.)

What things are you doing to save electricity?  Please, share your ideas!


  1. I like the ieso link at the end. Will use it next semester when I am teaching budgeting.

  2. Before winter, we usually check and repair cracks and holes in our home - the walls, roof, windows and doors. Repairing theses helps us save up to 15 percent in heating costs.

  3. Those are great suggestions for everyone. Especially if you have electric heat. Here in Canada heating with electricity is $$$$$. At our house we use natural gas. You've sparked an idea for a "saving on home heating post". Thanks for your comment!


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