Reducing My Hydro Bill Over $1,000 One Bulb at a Time

I live in Ontario and the promise is that our hydro bills will continue to rocket up until we all are screaming in rage. In an effort to avoid that I am looking at little things that I can do to reduce my hydro bill every month.

On average my hydro bill is $274.00 for 60 days and that is by no means horrible but its still a lot of money. My average consumption is 1808.80KW every 60 days which makes my cost per kilowatt .15cents a KW. As a fun side note the average KW consumption in Ontario for a residence is 1,000 KW a monthr according to the Ontario Power Authority.

So the question for me was what can save me money on my hydro bill while giving me the best bang for my buck?

The answer? Replacing some light bulbs. I went to Costco in Cambridge Ontario and scoped out some light bulbs.  I went to Costco specifically looking for LED light bulbs because they use the least amount of power and last up to 25 years but I ended up not buying CFL bulbs because I could get 10 CFL’s for the price of 4 LED’s.

I got ten CFL light bulbs that use 13watts with a projected bulb life of 11 years for about 99cents a bulb. The LED’s were double the price for half the bulbs so although there was still savings to be had I wanted to balance savings with a fast return on investment.

Doing the Math on my Hydro Savings

I went around my house and replaced ten 60 watt incandescent light bulbs with the ten 13 watt CFL light bulbs that I just bought. This means that now when I have 10 light bulbs burning I am pulling 130 watts instead of 600 watts. The tricky part now is figuring out how often those light bulbs were on to calculate savings. So we have to do the really dangerous ‘assume’ type of math.

If I ‘assume’ 4 hours on in an average day my old light bulbs were pulling 2.4KW per day ( 4 x 600 watts )  and my new light bulbs will be pulling .52KW per day ( 4 x 130 watts )

So that means that my old bulbs using our ‘assumed data’ would cost me $10.80 a month. Where as my new CFL bulbs will only cost me $2.34 a month. That translates to $102 a year in savings and the bulbs pay for themselves in 60 days.

Another important note is that the incandescent bulbs I replaced typically have a 6 month to 1 year life and my savings calculation does not include the cost of me having to replace those old bulbs every 6months.

If we extrapolate the assumed savings out to 11 years which is how long my CFL bulbs should last that is $1,122 in savings on my hydro bill not including the cost of replacing bulbs. If I include the cost of replacing the 10 bulbs every year the total savings over 11 years are $1,232.

That is a $9.99 investment that returned to me $1,232 in savings. Find a mutual fund or an RRSP that gives you that kind of a return on investment ( you cant! )

The CFL bulbs I selected and have been using for about 2 weeks are made by Luminus.


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