Little Things That Add Up To Big Energy Savings Simply Frugal We’ve been in our new home for about 2 weeks now. I’ve had the chance to put our most used stuff away in their proper place and we’ve been enjoying getting into the swing of things! This includes being conscious of how we’re using our electricity in our bigger home. We’ve been in our new home for about 2 weeks now. I’ve had the chance to put our most used stuff away in their proper place and we’ve been enjoying getting into the swing of things! This includes being conscious of how we’re using our electricity in our bigger home. Thanks to BC Hydro’s fantastic electricity tracking tools (<—-will link to first BC Hydro post), we’re able to pick the best ways to save electricity. One thing I’ve noticed is that on laundry day (Monday), our energy usage does a big jump. Because of this, I’ve started using cold water with most of the washes. We also have a programmable thermostat in our new home so I’ve programmed the temperature to be cooler at night while we’re sleeping. I’ve also been turning the heat down if we are going to be out all day. All that to say, BC Hydro has a list of 21 little things that add up to big energy savings that I’ve been putting to use. Here are my favourites: Turn off unnecessary lights Two 100-watt incandescent bulbs switched off for an average of two hours per day could save you $12 over a year. Save $12 Use natural light A single south-facing window can illuminate 20 to 100 times its area. Turning off one 60-watt bulb for four hours a day is a $9 saving over a year. Save $9 Take shorter showers Hot water is expensive. If two people in your home cut their shower time by a minute each, you could save $30 over a year. Save $30 Turn water off when shaving, washing hands, brushing teeth Reduce your hot water usage by 5% to save about $21. Save $21 Fix that leaky faucet Fixing a hot water leak in your faucet can save up to $33 per year in energy costs. Learn how to fix that leak. Save $33 Unplug unused electronics Standby power can account for 10% of an average household’s annual electricity use. Unplug unused electronics and small appliances to save $50 a year. Save $50 Manage your thermostat If you have electric heat, lower your thermostat by two degrees to save 5% on your heating bill. Lowering it five degrees could save 10%. If you have a programmable thermostat, program it to lower the heat at night or when you’re at work all day. Save $72 Be strategic with window coverings Promote airflow through your home and block the afternoon sun. You could save you up to $10 (2 fans) or $45 (1 window unit AC) during the summer. Save $45 Run full loads Cut one load of wash per week, even if you’re already using cold water only, and you could save $30 a year on your laundry costs. Save $30 Wash laundry in cold By switching from hot to cold water for an average of three loads per week, you could save up to $27 per year on your energy bill. Save $27 Hang dry your laundry If you do eight loads of laundry a week and use your clothesline for 50% of those clothes, you could save $47 a year. I hang a lot of my husband’s clothes so they don’t shrink! Save $47 Be efficient with refrigeration Keep your fridge and freezer at their ideal temperature. For your fridge this is between 2°C and 3°C and your freezer should be at -18°C. Save $25 Skip the heat-dry setting for the dishwasher That heat-dry setting is expensive. De-select it and, based on one load of dishes a day, save up to $37 for the year. Save $37 Use the microwave, slow cooker or toaster oven A microwave takes 15 minutes to do the same job as 1 hour in an oven. Use a microwave, slow cooker or Instant Pot instead of your oven 4 times a week and save $20/year. Save $20 Because I’m big on fuss-free meals, I’m putting my slow cooker to good use saving us electricity. I also told you I had a recipe for Slow Cooker Taco Chicken! It’s so easy and you can put it together in no time! This slow cooker taco chicken is perfect for taco night. Make a big batch and stick some in the freezer for an easy to reheat dinner! Serve it as a taco salad or in soft or hard taco shells with all your favourite fixings like guacamole, salsa, sour cream, beans, cheese, tomatoes, peppers and whatever else you enjoy. Save Print Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Ingredients 2 Chicken Breasts ½ cup chicken broth 1 Tbsp Taco seasoning(Adjust to your personal preference) Salt + Pepper, if desired Instructions Place chicken at the bottom of the slow cooker. Pour Chicken broth on top of the chicken. Sprinkle Taco seasoning over everything. 4. Cook on high for 3- 4 hours. 5. Shred with a fork when cooked through. Notes You can also replace the chicken broth with crushed tomatoes. I’ve got one final thing to tell you about. It’s exciting because it’s a contest and you could be the winner! Enter to win a smart energy prize at powersmart.ca! There are three prizes to be won: Grand Prize of a Maytag ENERGY STAR® Washer & Dryer pair. iRobot Roomba Nest package. Now it’s your turn. I’d love to know your tips for saving electricity? What do you find makes the biggest difference in your bill? BC Hydro is also social. Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.