In today’s Globe and Mail, Karen Howlett reports that consumer electricity prices are set to rise by 25% by the end of 2011, or, for the average consumer, about $300 per year. The hike has to do with the combination of the implementation of the HST, (adding an additional 8% to your electricity bill), the recent change to time of use pricing, and most importantly, the awarding of $15 billion in renewable energy contracts for power generation in Ontario.
While the consumer side of me groans at the increase in electricity prices, the environmentalist side of me applauds the government for its forward-thinking and responsible decision to promote green power. Well, I only partially applaud. I’m not particularly crazy about the HST.
Here are a few tips to help you adjust to the new, higher costs:
- Time of Use pricing has recently come into effect. You’ve been given the opportunity to use your electricity more wisely by doing all of your chores at night when lower electricity prices are in place. If you’ve never used the delay buttons on your dishwasher or washing machine, now is the time to start.
- Put your kill-a-watt to work, find your power hogs and get rid of them, change your light bulbs to CFLs, or try out some LEDs, and buy power strips with built-in timers so you’re not using electricity when you don’t need it.
- Do as the Europeans do — if you’re not in a room, turn the lights off.
- Take advantage of savings available on the every killowatt counts website to add ceiling fans and EnergyStar rated air conditioners and power strips, if you don’t already have them.
- Consider applying for the Micro-FIT program and feed into the electricity grid for a guaranteed return for the next 20 years.
- Sign up for PeakSaver if you haven’t already. You’ll get $50 back on your next bill and you won’t even notice when they cycle down your central air conditioner.
::via The Globe and Mail