Use your appliances during off-peak hours, when demand for electricity is lowest. When are off-peak hours in Ontario? In the summer, after 7:00 pm and before 7:00 am. In the winter, after 9:00 pm and before 7:00 am. Using power during off peak hours really helps reduce strain on the Ontario power system.
If you have a dishwasher, use it! A dishwasher uses less water than hand-washing dishes. Use the ‘energy saving’ cycle or turn it off after the final rinse cycle is done and air-dry the dishes. The drying process actually uses the most energy.
If you have a dishwasher, only operate it when you have a full load.
Try to cook or reheat food using smaller appliances such as a microwave, toaster oven, electric skillet or slow cooker. A smaller appliance uses a lot less power than a stove.
Use a timer to avoid overcooking.
Use pots and pans with flat bottoms and tight-fitting lids. This allows food to cook faster at a lower temperature.
Try to match the size of your pot or pan to the size of the stovetop element in use.
Try to use a pot or pan that fits your food portion size i.e. don’t boil a single egg in a large pot.
If you have trays under your stovetop elements, keep them clean to reflect heat up.
When baking, turn off the oven for the final few minutes. The oven will retain enough heat to complete the baking process.
If you have a self-self cycle on your stove, try to use it while the oven is still hot from cooking a meal.
Remember to turn everything off on the stove when not in use – the stovetop elements, the oven, the fan and the light.
Place your pans and trays in the oven carefully so they don’t touch each other or the oven sides. This allows free circulation of heat throughout the oven.
Don’t sneak-a-peek when baking in the oven – instead turn on the range hood light and look through the glass door. Every time the oven door opens heat escapes and it takes a lot of energy to be replace the lost heat.
Use darker coloured baking trays in the oven. They absorb more heat and cook food faster.
Turn off and unplug appliances when not in use. Plugged in appliances still use energy even when turned off.
If you have a barbeque or outdoor grill, use it instead of your stove during the summer months.
Plan ahead and defrost food in the refrigerator instead of in the microwave.
Don’t move your fridge. It has been properly placed to ensure there is enough air space between the coils and the wall.
Don’t overstock your refrigerator – it blocks airflow, which causes the motor to run more often and uses more energy.
Keep your freezer full – it stays cooler and uses less energy.
Regularly check and clean the condenser coils on the back or bottom front of your refrigerator, especially during the summer. Dirt can build up and force the motor to work twice as hard to cool the refrigerator.
If you notice your refrigerator or freezer does not seal airtight, alert the appropriate contact at your building so they can deal with it.
Let food leftovers cool before you put it in the refrigerator. Whenever something warm is placed inside, the fridge has to work hard to cool it down.
Think about what you want before opening the fridge door. Leaving the door wide open wastes a lot of energy.