You open up your hydro bill and you feel your stomach drop. How is it so expensive? What could you possibly be doing to use up so much energy? If you don’t want to pay the sky-high rates when the next bill comes around, you need to investigate your home to see what’s causing the steep costs.
The Seasonal Surge
Heating and cooling account for over 60% of Torontonians’ electricity costs in a single year, so you’ll see higher costs in months where you need to expend more energy on temperature control. During the summer, you’re going to see it spike because of air conditioning and electric fans. During the winter, you’re going to see it from running your furnace and space heaters at all hours.
It’s still possible that your bills are higher than they should be. Investigate these three areas to see if they’re wasting your energy and money.
Old, low-quality or poorly-installed windows can let in the cold air during the winter. You can confirm air leaks by standing in front of the closed window on a blustery day with a lit stick of incense. If the smoke curls upward, the area is air-tight. If it blows away from the window, you have a leak.
To fix this problem, you should go to a trusted local window company in Toronto and talk to them about getting some energy-efficient replacements. These upgrades will have low-emissivity glass, Warm Edge Technology spacers and durable frames. After a professional installation, your home won’t have to deal with any air leaks coming through the windows — unless you leave them wide open.
As you can see, air leaks can ruin the indoor temperature and waste energy. Air leaks are more likely to come through the basement. They creep in through windows, doors and the foundation. To fight that familiar basement chill, you should caulk over gaps, add insulation to the walls and carpet the floor.
A leaky toilet can cost you a big chunk of change. One local received a $2500 bill after being told that their toilet flushed 1,572 cubic meters of water — that’s 1.5 million litres — over the span of 5 months. If you suspect that there’s something wrong with your fixture, call a plumber and have them take a look.
Other signs that your toilet is leaking:
- Stained flooring around the basin
- Damp flooring around the basin
- Sewage odour
- The sound of running water long after the flush
Why is my Hydro bill so high
You can fix your windows, your walls and your leaky plumbing, but you can’t control every factor that contributes to your bills. Recently, the province started a 1.8% hydro rate increase for households and small businesses using 700 kilowatt-hours per month. The rate hike went into effect on November 1st, meaning residents have to prepare to see their bills go up during the coldest time of the year. This should incentivize you to make your home as energy-efficient as possible.
Follow your instincts. When something seems fishy about your energy spending, you should investigate. You’ll end up with lower bills, improved features and a much warmer house.