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No-cost, low-cost, and deep dives into energy savings

A chart showing electricity use for a townhome
A Team Power Smart member used the "custom" option for MyHydro month-by-month tracking of electricity in 2023, selecting a "similar homes nearby" comparison to show how their home's electricity use (light blue) stacked up against similar homes (dark blue) in the neighbourhood.

Many moves are free or low-cost, while others can save big for years to come

What's your sweet spot when it comes to home energy savings? You could be all about ensuring home comfort while trimming your bills a bit. Maybe you're trying to take a bite out of higher seasonal bills. Or you could have an appetite for big changes, perhaps as part of a home renovation project that will be a game changer for your home's energy use.

Before you start, learn about your daily and seasonal energy use. Log in to MyHydro on to track your energy use by the month, day or hour. Adjust your search for consumption information seasonally – try a monthly view over the course of the last year. And to get an idea of whether your energy use is above average for your size of home, use the 'compare to similar homes nearby' filter.

After a few minutes exploring your home energy use, you should have a better idea of when and where you might be able to save. You can look at your energy use on laundry days, times when it's really cold or hot outside, and days when you've been away from home.

Equipped with a little knowledge, pick and choose the energy-saving options from the following lists and discover even more ideas in our tips and technologies section. Depending on what you choose, you could save anywhere from $20 a year to several hundred dollars annually.

And don't forget to check out our spring collection of Power Smart solutions. Test your energy smarts each week for a chance to win a prize pack – you get to choose from one of four prize options if you win – plus a shot at winning all four as the grand prize.

Low-hanging fruit: no-cost ways to save energy and money

Take shorter showers: If you're using a standard showerhead and two people in your home cut their average shower time by two minutes each, you could save $60 in electricity used to heat hot water over a year.

Bundle up with sweaters and slippers: Especially when you're not active in the home, such as when you're working on a laptop or watching TV, wearing a sweater or hoodie and slippers (and even a blanket on the couch) will allow you to lower your thermostat and save money.

Adjust your thermostat: Unless you're using a heat pump, which is most efficient in a set-it-and-forget-it strategy, program or manually set your thermostat(s) for lower temperatures overnight or when you're away from home.

Cook with small appliances: If you've got them, slow cookers, air fryers, toaster ovens and pressure cookers can save you time, energy use and money.

Use window coverings strategically: On cold days, open blinds as soon as the sun starts to shine through a window. On hot days, close window coverings on the south and west sides of your home to block the sun's rays.

Wash clothes in cold water: Simply select your machine's cold wash option and be sure to use a detergent that's formulated for washing in cold. About 80% of a clothes washer's energy use goes towards heating the water. Other tips? Wash full loads, and choose the high-speed or extended spin to extract as much moisture as possible, which will cut down your drying time and energy use.

Use your clothes dryer efficiently and consider hang-drying: A clothes dryer consumes more energy per use than any other appliance in the home, so use it efficiently and sparingly to help keep your energy costs down.

Once it warms up, double-check that the heat's off in all rooms: It's an easy mistake. July rolls around, you wander into a seldom-used room and discover that the baseboard heating is still on. Ouch.

Get a free energy saving kit: Available to low- and moderate-income households, our free energy saving kit includes four LED light bulbs, weather stripping for windows and doors, high-efficiency showerheads, water-saving tap aerators, an LED night light, fridge and freezer thermometer, and step-by-step instructions. Also check to see if you qualify for our free product installation and energy coaching, which could include big changes such as an ENERGY STAR® fridge replacement or upgraded insulation.

Earn a $50 reward for saving: Maximize your savings by joining Team Power Smart (it's free) and starting a 10% Reduction Challenge. Reduce your home's energy use by 10% or more over 12 months to earn a $50 reward.

See our complete bundle of home energy saving tips.

Low-cost, do-it-yourself fixes and upgrades

Replace inefficient lights: LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs are no longer an experiment. ENERGY STAR® LEDs are at least 75% more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, and they come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colours and brightness levels. Don't wait for that inefficient incandescent bulb to expire before replacing it. By replacing an incandescent with a LED, you could save $75 in electricity over the lifetime of the LED bulb, and they can last 10 to 15 years.

Fix leaky faucets: A leaky faucet can waste up to 11,350 litres of water each year. Fixing a leaky hot water faucet can save you up to $33 per year in water heating costs

Install faucet aerators and/or low-flow showerheads: Installing a high-efficiency aerator on your kitchen sink could save you $28 per year in hot water costs. The payback for installing low-flow showerheads (which can cost as little as $15) is almost immediate, depending on the frequency of showers.

Draftproof windows and doors: When your building leaks air, your heating and cooling systems have to work harder. Draftproofing – also known as weather stripping – is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to improve your home's energy efficiency.

Bigger stuff that can really pay off

Upgrade insulation: With new insulation and a bit of DIY draftproofing, you can expect to save about 10% of your heating and cooling costs, which can be more than $200 per year. Strengthening your building envelope is your best defence against outdoor air in winter and summer. It's also a smart step to take before switching to a heat pump, which should be sized according to the energy needs of your home. Rebates of up to $5,500 are available for insulation in attics, basements and crawl spaces, exterior wall cavities and more.

Upgrade windows: ENERGY STAR® windows are considered the most efficient on the market. They can cut your annual energy costs by up to 20% while keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Switch to an electric heat pump: A heat pump provides both efficient heating and cooling to help keep your home comfortable year-round. If you're switching from fossil fuel heating, it'll also reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. Rebates of up to $2,000 are available to homes currently heated by electricity, and up to $6,000 in homes that switch to a heat pump from a fossil fuel heating system.

Buy an electric car: No, your home's electricity bills won't go down when you charge an electric car at home. But you'll save big on fuel costs – it's a lot less expensive to power your car by electricity than by gas – as well as saving on maintenance costs for your vehicle. And you'll significantly trim greenhouse gas emissions by powering your car with clean and renewable BC Hydro electricity.