Everyone loves saving and summer time in Vancouver is the perfect way to offset some of the costs of spending on energy in the winter. At BPM Electric, we’ve come up with some ideas on how you can save electricity in the summer to lower your bills and ease some of the strain on the system.
Since the days are long and the sun is high in the sky, there is less of a need to use lighting indoors. Open the blinds, take advantage of the sunny days and let the natural light replace the need to turn on the lights in your house.
This summer hasn’t been as bad as others in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland for water shortages but it’s still a good idea to conserve as much as possible. Taking shorter showers with cooler water feels great in the summer heat and will save money on your bills. Hot water is expensive so if you are craving the warmth, simply go dry off in the sun.
To save even more water, make sure you are watering your outdoor plants and garden in the evening at dusk or in the early morning before the sun is high. You can also do small things like turning off the water when you are brushing your teeth, wash dishes in small batches right after you use them instead of running the dishwasher, and fix all leaky faucets. Even small changes like these add up to savings over time.
When it comes to appliances, technology is always developing to offer ways to use less energy and to use it more efficiently. If dishwashers, washing machines, even refrigerators are old and waste energy and resources, it might be time to upgrade. There are often rebate offers that you can cash in to help offset the costs, and you’ll see savings on your bills by replacing inefficient machines. Summer is the perfect time to reduce your use of the oven. With all the fresh produce in season, try making salads instead of casseroles—it’s a great change of pace and your body will thank you for it.
You can also adjust the cycles on your appliances so that they are simply not using as much energy, like washing clothes in cold water or turning off the heat setting in the dishwasher. And in the summer, there’s almost no need at all for a dryer for your clothes. If you can hang clothes on a clothesline or put a drying rack outside, your clothes can dry by the heat of the sun, and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of sleeping on fresh sheets dried in the wind. If you do have to use your dryer, consider putting a dry towel in with the wet garments to speed up the drying process. And instead of running a full cycle which can often be unnecessarily long, check on it regularly and remove the clothes once you notice they are dry.
When it comes to efficiency and savings, the same goes for devices. Old TVs draw much more energy than new models and old desktop computers that are continuously plugged in are far less efficient than laptops. If you do have electronics and devices that require a constant energy source, consider plugging them into a power bar that you can turn off when they are not in use.
Another great tip is that you haven’t already, consider changing your thermostat to a digital one so that you can keep your air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter as customized and efficient as possible. With modern thermostats, you can even link them up to apps on your smart phone so that if you forget to adjust the temperature before you leave for work, you can push a few buttons and control it from the office.
A good rule of thumb to remember is that heat is expensive and the less you use, the more you will save on your bills and the better it will be for the environment. If you have children in the home, ask them to help you get creative with ways you can save so that your footprint, and your bills, are as small as they can be.