Save with Dave

Attention renters: You can save on electricity, too

You don’t need to invest in a big upgrade to save

For most renters, big upgrades to save on electricity aren’t in the cards. You might not be opposed to buying a new lightbulb or two, but likely aren’t going to buy new appliances, renovate, or choose how you heat your home.

The bright side? There are a lot of low-cost and no-cost ways to save beyond the basics, including:

  • Upping your laundry game by combining loads to make sure each load is a full load, washing in cold, and hanging to dry as much as possible – consider a collapsible drying rack, they’re easy to store and use in any space in your home.
  • Managing the use of your electronics to stream efficiently and reduce standby power.
  • Changing your heating habits by using the recommended temperatures for certain times of the day, and even turning it off when it isn’t necessary. Most people often set their thermostat higher than it needs to be:
    • Sleeping at 16ºC (61°F)
    • Cooking or working around the house at 18ºC (68°F)
    • Reading, or watching TV at 21ºC (70°F)

Bundling up is your best option for savings. Keep the temperature down and layer on the sweaters, blankets and slippers.

The cold, hard truth: Game consoles aren’t a friend of your electricity bill

We know you love a good Netflix binge (who doesn’t?), but you may want to avoid using your game console to stream it. Your Xbox or PlayStation requires up to 40% more power than other streaming devices like PVRs or smart TVs. They also use a hefty amount of standby power - so even when you’re not using it, just having it on is costing you. An advanced power strip can make it easy to keep on power to your PVR or console and turn off anything else to manage standby power.

If you've got a PS4 or Xbox One, you do have some control over the amount of electricity the devices use. Here are a couple of options:

  • Power down when inactive: You can choose to have the machine turn itself off after a period of inactivity.
  • Consider disabling connected modes: While having the consoles remain connected to the Internet all the time can be expedient for software updates and instant-on convenience, these features can be responsible for up to half of the unit's total energy use. If you don't regularly use these modes, consider disabling them.

At the end of the day, smart TVs, laptops or tablets are your best options for streaming. In fact, your laptop uses 10 times less power compared to a game console – that can add up to big savings!

Set up MyHydro & join Team Power Smart

Do you use a fitness tracker, track your eating with an app, or know how much your rent is each month? You can get some of the same helpful insights with your energy use too. Create your own online profile and use MyHydro tracking tools to spot areas to save. It’s great to see that the changes you make pay off. You can use it to see your forecasted bill and compare your usage with other homes nearby to see how you're doing.

If you're a long-term renter and you've been in the same place for at least a year, join Team Power Smart and take the 10% Reduction Challenge and you could earn a $50 reward if you hit that target over 12 months.