Home for the Holidays?

Toronto Hydro's Top 5 Holiday Tips to Save Money

TORONTO, Dec. 15, 2011 /CNW/ - The weather outside is frightful, but saving money this season is delightful.  Just because you're generous this season, doesn't mean you can't scrooge on your electricity bill.  The holidays and its festivities can be expensive, so Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited ("Toronto Hydro") is offering its top five tips to help save money and electricity.

  1. Electricity rates on weekends and statutory holidays are always off-peak, which means that your electricity is billed at the lowest rates, all day, and this will help you save money on your hydro bill.  This season, December 24, 25, 26, 27, 31 - as well as January 1 and 2 - are all designated off-peak days and electricity is priced at the lowest cost.  Winter electricity rates are now in effect until April 30, 2012.  For more information on Time-of-Use (TOU) rates got to www.torontohydro.com/TOU

  2. Use light emitting diode (LED) festive lights when decorating indoors and outdoors - they use up to 90 per cent less energy and can last up to 10 times longer than incandescent lights1.  For example, 600 C7 incandescent holiday light bulbs would cost approximately $90 to light up for one month; 600 mini incandescents would cost just over $6; and 600 holiday LED lights would only be about a $12.  LED lights are more durable, with no filaments or glass bulbs to break. They also produce minimal heat and are therefore cooler to the touch and less of a fire risk.

  3. Dress warmer, use area rugs and turn the temperature down.  If your feet are cold, your body will feel cold.  During the winter months, as much as 3% of the energy your furnace uses can be saved by lowering your thermostat by 1 degree. For the average electrically heated detached house built before 1990, that could be a savings of approximately $73.393 per year. It all adds up!

  4. Sixty per cent of energy costs are tied up in heating and cooling. Use a programmable thermostat that will automatically lower the temperature when you are sleeping or not at home.  By reducing the temperature at night to 18°C (from 22°C), you could see over six per cent savings in natural gas and almost one per cent in electricity consumption4.  If you have electric heaters, turn the temperature down before bed and when you're leaving the house.  Added bonus: if you replace your existing heating system with an eligible high-efficiency furnace, you'll be able to receive a $250 rebate.  Go to www.torontohydro.com/heatingandcooling

  5. Use a timer or programmable power bar on decorative lights and the festive tree.  Set it so they only turn on during peak "family times" and turn off when everyone has gone to bed.

For more ways to save money and electricity go to www.torontohydro.com.

At this time of year, Toronto Hydro wants to remind people to work and play safe.  With all the festivities, safety may not be top of mind.  Remind your children to avoid playing around any electrical equipment or structures, and when decorating be mindful of both overhead and underground hazards.  This week, The Electrical Safety Authority's Chief Public Safety Officer is issuing a reminder to all Ontarians to exercise caution when installing and removing exterior holiday lights or decorations anywhere near overhead powerlines.

Remember to always look down, and look up.  For more safety tips go to www.torontohydro.com/safety or www.esasafe.com.

About Toronto Hydro

The principal business of the Corporation and its subsidiaries is the distribution of electricity by Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited. Toronto Hydro-Electric System owns and operates an electricity distribution system, which delivers electricity to approximately 705,000 customers located in the City of Toronto.  It is the largest municipal electricity distribution company in Canada and distributes approximately 19% of the electricity consumed in Ontario.

The information in these materials is based on information currently available to Toronto Hydro Corporation and its affiliates (together hereinafter referred to as "Toronto Hydro"), and is provided for information purposes only. Toronto Hydro does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the information and undertakes no obligation to revise or update these materials. Toronto Hydro (including its directors, officers, employees, agents and subcontractors) hereby waives any and all liability for damages of whatever kind and nature which may occur or be suffered as a result of the use of these materials or reliance on the information therein.

Toronto Hydro is pleased to announce we are officially on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube! Follow us for the latest on energy conservation, tips on how to take advantage of your time-of-use rates and updates on power outages.


1 LED efficiency stats: lighting industry standard calculations and Natural Resources Canada.
2 LED costs based on 30 day use at 6 hrs/day at a cost of $.12 kWh
3 Source: Office of Energy Efficiency - Natural Resources Canada.
4 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp, 2005, "Effects of thermostat setting on energy consumption."

Image with caption: "Students Tanneguy (left) and Chante of St. Michael Catholic School greening the holidays one LED at a time. (CNW Group/Toronto Hydro Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20111215_C7191_PHOTO_EN_8294.jpg

SOURCE Toronto Hydro Corporation

For further information:

Media contact:

Tanya Bruckmueller, Toronto Hydro-Electric System
W: 416-542-2621

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