Most residents of Ontario are experiencing an increase in their monthly energy costs.
Due to new time-of-use billing from the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), energy use from 11:00 am-5:00 pm will cost double that of the energy used from 7:00 pm-7:00 am. According to the OEB news release, prices during peak hours will be 16.1¢/kWh and 8.0¢/kWh during off-peak hours. There are also mid-peak hours from 7:00 am-11:00 am and 5:00 pm-7:00 pm which will cost 12.2¢/kWh.
Overall, what this means for the consumer is that the average household (800 kWh per month) will see a $5.71 increase on their energy line and a 4.6% increase on their total bill.
So, with prices going up, what can you do to keep your energy bills low?
Your number one concern should be running your HVAC systems efficiently. On average, HVAC systems account for 48% of your energy bills, but can reach as high as 60%.
Here are three ways you can prepare for higher priced energy:
The price increases are based on hourly usage, which means you can take advantage of the off peak hours using a programmable thermostat.
These devices become easier and more efficient to use all the time. Some models will even allow you to use your phone to set the temperature based on your schedule. By creating a system where you turn down your A/C during the day when no one is home, you avoid those peak hour costs.
Have Your System Serviced
HVAC equipment is like any machine… it needs to be maintained. Without proper care, your system won’t work efficiently and you’ll be paying more than you need to.
By having your system serviced, you’re preserving the life of your equipment and improving performance.
A service can range from cleaning, filter changes, system repairs or just some friendly advice. Your current system or ductwork could be undersized which can lead to your system running more cycles than necessary, increasing your costs and harming the system itself.
Even something as simple as a filter change, can make a noticeable difference. Filters attract dust, dirt and other pollutants that restrict the system’s air flow, causing it to work harder to try and push the air throughout your home.
By cutting down on these inefficiencies, you’ll be offsetting the extra costs from the increase in price and then some.
Upgrade Your System
With new technology being developed every day; HVAC systems aren’t what they used to be… they’re better. A new, high efficiency system can conserve a lot of energy, saving you money in the process.
Also, there’s no better time to upgrade your system as there are spring rebates offered from some of our manufacturers and Provincial Rebates to take advantage of. Daikin has an offer that can save you up to $2,150 and Lennox is offering $2,450 in rebates.