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Are your monthly power bills soaring through the roof?                          

As the Canadian weather continues to waver across the country, increases to our power bills are inevitable.

There is, however, good news!  Even though we can't control Mother Nature's wrath, there are changes we can make to our daily habits to reduce electricity usage and save money.  

We've rounded up 5 simple tips to get you started:    

  1. Choose Energy Star certified lighting products:  These products are designed and tested to last longer and deliver better light quality. They also have warrantees to back them up. In Canada, you can find Energy Star products in light bulbs, light fixtures, ceiling fans with lights, and decorative light strings.
  2. Turn off the lights: Try applying the 15-minute rule. If you are going to be out of a room for 15 minutes or more, turn the lights off. Leave them on if you're stepping away for less than 15 minutes. This will help you reduce electricity usage, save money on power bills and extend the life of your life bulbs.
  3. Unplug your electronics: Don't leave small appliances and devices (kettles, or hair dryers, for example) plugged into an outlet. Even if they are turned off, they are still drawing power. Experts suggest using power bars with timers to automatically shut off certain devices that use stand-by power (TVs, game consoles, computers, etc.).
  4. Cook up savings in the kitchen: There are many ways to cut energy usage in the kitchen.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer stocked because they will operate more efficiently when they are full. At the same time, don't overfill your refrigerator or freezer because this will reduce the airflow and cause them to work harder.
  • Use your dishwasher during off-peak hours and only when it is full. Running your dishwasher during off-peak hours can save you approximately half the electricity charge than running it during peak hours. Also, use the air-dry setting or leave the door ajar to naturally dry dishes after the wash cycle is complete.
  • Instead of using your stove to heat up leftovers or liquids, try using the microwave. It's not only faster but uses less electricity.
  1. Consider window coverings: Curtains and blinds are effective solutions to regulate the temperature in your home. On a sunny winter day, draw open the curtains or blinds in the morning to allow the sun to naturally heat your home. When it gets warm outside, close your blinds or curtains to reduce heat gain.

If you need more ideas on ways to save, try calling your utility company or visiting them online. Most companies offer a variety of free tools and resources on their website. If you have a favourite power saving tip that you'd like to share, tag us @MacroProperties on Twitter.