If you are fairly proactive with your energy you’ve likely heard the more common ways of conserving energy, like switching to LED lights, turning off your lights when you leave the room, unplugging your appliances, managing your heat/air conditioner. You may even already be doing all of these things, which is great! There are some other ways that are a little less spoken about that can also reduce the impact of your energy use, particularly with increasing electricity prices.
Dry your clothes au natural.
It’s kind of a cultural thing here that we Canadians often don’t commonly dry our clothes outside. Did you know that in Australia having a “hills hoist” is normal and many people dry their clothes outside? I mean, obviously Australia has a different climate and is more able to dry outside in lots of locations, but here in Southern Alberta air drying outside is pretty feasible from spring to fall. Try air drying on a rack or line outside. Having an outside clothes line works wonders in summer, in Lethbridge with all that sun and wind your clothes might even dry faster than in the dryer! Plus, you use less energy, need less maintenance on your dryer (which both save you money), and air drying is generally softer on your clothes. To ensure the latter, try not to have your clothes out in the blistering sun of hot days as they can get sun-bleached, particularly darker colours.
Fill the kettle only amount required.
Just having one cup of tea? Don’t force your kettle to over-work, just fill it enough for your cup of tea and you save energy on boiling an entire kettle full. Seems simple, but it’s an ingrained habit that will save you money reducing energy use and time spent waiting for water to boil….
Use a smaller oven or cook multiple things at a time.
Heating the entire oven for just one item can be a waste of energy. Use your toaster oven for smaller items, or consider how you can make multiple dishes at one time while you are prepping meals to ensure you get the most out of the energy used heating your oven. In winter, remember to leave your oven door slightly ajar to let the warm air escape and heat your house (and allow all the delicious smells to permeate your living space!)
Condense your second fridge/freezer or consider downsizing.
Having these appliances close to full reduces the energy draw as items keep each other cold. If you have an almost empty spare freezer can you condense it into your fridge freezer and turn the spare off? If you are a small household do you really need such a big fridge? Do you have an almost empty beer fridge in the garage? Downsizing or condensing your fridge and or getting a more energy efficient model might be better value for your energy dollar. But, don’t forget to make sure there is still enough room for air to flow around items in your fridge for maximum freshness.