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Household appliances make life easier, but the cost of operating them typically makes up 15% of your bill. And since some units run constantly, small changes can really help you save.

Shopping tips


 

Quick ways to manage appliance energy use

Start with these smart moves and, when it is time for a replacement, use our shopping guide to help take savings to the next level.
 
 
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Choose ‘Sensor Dry’

Instead of timed dryer cycles, use the sensor dry setting. This helps avoid over-drying and saves energy.

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Fridge/Freezer Rule

A crowded fridge works harder than an uncrowded one, while freezers work best two-thirds full.

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Skip the Preheating

Unless you are baking pies or cookies, it’s not necessary to preheat the oven. Lasagnas, roasts and pizzas do not need it.

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Run When Full

A half-empty dishwasher load uses the same amount of energy as a fully-loaded one. Use the air dry function to save even more.


Time for new appliances?

Appliances last for many years, and the “second price tag” – the cost of running the appliance – can add up to more than the initial purchase price. Use our tips to help you shop smart.
Average appliance lifespan
Freezer icon
Freezers
12 years
Stove icon
Stoves, clothes dryers
12 years
Fridge icon
Refrigerators
13 years
Washer icon
Clothes washers
11 years
Dishwasher icon
Dishwashers
11 years

Are your appliances older than the average lifespan? Consider replacing them with more efficient models: the more energy efficient the appliance, the more you will save on your bill over the life of the unit.

More energy-saving hints for appliances

Little changes to your routine can add up to big savings

Fridge & Freezer

  • Place in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight, the stove and the dishwasher.

  • Leave enough space between the wall and fridge for air to circulate, at least 5 to 7 cm.

  • Clean the condenser coils regularly. The user’s manual will have instructions for your model.

  • Keep the fridge temperature at about 3°C (37°F).

  • Keep the freezer temperature at about -18°C (0°F).

  • Is your fridge airtight? Check by closing a $5 bill in the door seal. If it falls out, the door should be adjusted or the seal replaced.

  • If you need a second freezer, consider a chest freezer. They are more efficient than upright models.

Washer & Dryer

  • Choose the cold water setting for up to 90% energy savings.

  • Avoid partial loads and avoid overloading.

  • Consider a front-loading washer. They use less water and, due to high-speed spinning, reduce drying time.

  • Use a drying rack or clothesline, if possible.

  • Choose the “high-speed” or “extended spin” option to get more water out of clothes and reduce drying time.

  • Always vent your dryer outdoors. Indoor venting can be dangerous due to moisture, fibres, and chemicals in the dryer exhaust.

  • Clean the filter between every load. A clogged filter reduces efficiency, and can damage the unit or even become a fire hazard.

Dishwasher

  • Use the shortest or “eco” cycle to minimize energy and water consumption. Avoid partial loads.

  • Let the load air-dry. This can cut total energy use by up to 15%.

  • Clean the filter thoroughly with hot, soapy water every month.

Stove & Oven

  • For small quantities, use the microwave, toaster oven or slow cooker instead. Microwaves use up to 50% less energy than cooking in an oven.

  • Use pots that properly match the stovetop’s elements in size.

  • Place lids on pots while cooking. This can reduce energy use by up to 14%.

  • Self-cleaning ovens generally have upgraded insulation. Because of this, they tend to be more energy efficient.

Room air conditioner

  • Set your air conditioner (AC) a few degrees higher than you normally would. Better yet, get a smart thermostat to help you save automatically.

  • Run a ceiling fan counter-clockwise to circulate cool air.

  • If possible, avoid running your AC between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, when electricity prices are highest in summer.

Time-of-Use tips

Use your appliances when the price is lower.

The price of electricity is lower during off-peak hours: on weekdays after 7:00 pm, and on weekends and statutory holidays. That's when overall demand is lower. Shifting your use to these times is one of the easiest ways to lower your bill:

  • Use appliances, especially major energy users like clothes dryers, during off-peak hours.

  • If your appliances have timers, set them to run during off-peak hours.

  • Sign up for Hydro One’s myAccount to see when you are using the most electricity and more.

Learn more about Time-of-Use pricing

Photo of showerhead

Hot water tips

It pays to use hot water more efficiently: water heating is second only to space heating as the largest energy user in your home.

Get tips to save on hot water

Shopping tips

Let the EnerGuide label help you decide.

All new major appliances carry an EnerGuide label to show that appliance’s energy consumption and a CSA label to indicate that it meets safety standards. EnerGuide labels tell you how many kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy you can expect that model to use each year.

Diagram to understanding the ENERGY STAR®label
1

This number is the expected annual energy consumption of the appliance in kWh. The lower the number, the higher the savings.

2

The energy consumption indicator shows you how this model compares to others in its class. The bar below the indicator gives the energy-efficiency range for the class. The further the indicator is to the left end of the scale, the better.

3

This bar shows the energy consumption of the most and least efficient appliances in this class. In this case, the most efficient comparable model uses 285 kWh per year, while the least efficient uses 484 kWh per year.

The 10-second EnerGuide comparison

Here's how to be a smarter appliance shopper in 10 seconds: first, make sure you are comparing models in the same class. Next, check the kWh number – lower is better. Lastly, make sure the indicator is as far left as possible. That’s it!

Look for the ENERGY STAR® for the highest efficiency

The ENERGY STAR® program identifies the most energy-efficient appliances on the market. ENERGY STAR® certified:

  • Clothes washers use 33% less water and 25% less energy.

  • Dishwashers use 30% less water and 12% less energy.

  • Fridges and freezers exceed minimum federal energy-efficiency standards by at least 20%.

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