As the temperature in Vancouver gets cooler, it can be tempting to crank up the heat. Research shows that British Columbians’ energy usage starts to rise in the fall…which is neither good for the environment, or your wallet. Just in time for ‘Offtober’, Modern Mix Vancouver has partnered with BC Hydro to bring to you 10 creative no-cost ways to save power in our Vancouver homes this season…and dollars off your energy bills too!

  1. Turn Off Unnecessary Lights – The easiest way to kick start Offtober is to simply flick off lights when you don’t use them. Two 100-watt incandescent bulbs switched off for an average of two hours per day could save you up to $12 over a year.
  2. Set the Mood With Candles – As our days get shorter, and the nights get longer, cozy up with your loved ones and have a romantic dinner by candlelight to save electricity.
  3. Use a Dark Roasting Pan – For your upcoming Thanksgiving turkey meal, use a dark roasting pan to cook your feast faster and save energy. Shiny pans deflect heat, but a dark coloured pan will absorb heat and cook your meal faster.
  4. Lower the Heat – If you have electric heat, lower your thermostat by two degrees to save approximately 5% on your heating bill. Lower it by five degrees while you sleep, and you could save another 10%.
  5. DIY Bed Warmer – Feeling chilly? Take a long sock and fill it 3/4 full with uncooked rice. Tie the end closed with string. Put it into the microwave for two minutes until the rice is warmed through – now your have your own cozy bed warmer! Pro tip: include some dried lavender or rosemary for a therapeutic scent.
  6. Take Shorter Showers – Time your showers. If two people in your home cut their shower time by a minute each, you could save $30 over a year.
  7. Wash Away Old Habits – Use cold water for your next laundry load, which is gentler on colours, and saves on costly hot water. 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.
  8. Hang Dry or Toss in a Towel – Instead of putting your clothes in the dryer, hang dry them instead. If you insist on using your dryer, add in a dry bath towel to your load, which will significantly reduce drying times.
  9. Reset Your Fridge – Unplug and clean your fridge’s coils twice a year, and set temperatures between 2°C and 3°C for your fridge and -18°C for your freezer. It all adds up and could save you $25 a year.
  10. Unplug Unused Electronics – Done reading this post? Don’t forget to unplug your laptop! Standby power can account of 10% of an average household’s annual electricity use. Unplug chargers, TVs, audio and video equipment to cut standby electricity use and you could save $50 over a year.

In addition to these saving incentives from utilizing the Offtober tips above, BC Hydro wants to give you the chance to win prizes through their Offtober SAVERS KEEPERS game. You could win the Grand Prize of a Samsung ENERGY STAR® laundry pair and a 4K Ultra High-Def Smart TV and wireless Bluetooth Soundbar. There are also daily prizes to be won of $100 Best Buy gift cards and Philips Hue Portable LED Smart Light Bulbs.