Use electricity when price is lower

The price of electricity is lower at night, on the weekends and on statutory holidays, when the overall demand in Ontario is lowest.

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is. For example, it’s cheaper to run your washer and dryer on a weekend versus a weekday.

Electricity pricing in Ontario

Most Ontarians pay what’s called time-of-use pricing for electricity.

Find out more about how that works.

Cut phantom power

Many electronics we use every day draw power even when they’re not being used. This is called phantom power.

You can cut the phantom power used by your TV, phone charger, computers, phones, tablets and more by unplugging them when you’re not using them – or by plugging them into a power bar and switching it off.

Learn more about cutting phantom power.

Time your electricity use in winter

Electricity use in Ontario peaks two times per day in the winter, when most people:

  • get up in the morning and turn up the heat, take a shower, make coffee, and so on
  • come home at night and turn on the lights, start making dinner and so on

During these two peak-periods, when demand for electricity is highest, its cost is highest.

In the winter months (November to April), you will pay:

  • the highest price between 7am to 11am and 5pm to 7pm
  • a lower price between 11am and 5pm
  • the lowest price between 7pm and 7am

Time your electricity use in summer

During the summer, electricity use in Ontario peaks in the afternoon. By this point in the day more people start to run their air conditioners on higher settings.

In the summer months (May to October), you will pay:

  • the highest price between 11am and 5pm
  • a lower price between 7am to 11am and 5pm to 7pm
  • the lowest price between  7pm and 7am

Improve heat and lights

You can make small changes to improve your heat and lights. These can include:

  • replace furnace filters every three months to reduce the energy usage of your furnace fan
  • caulking and weather-stripping around doors and windows to keep heat in and reduce your energy use by up to 25%
  • switching to LED (light emitting diode), which are 75%-90% more energy efficient than an incandescent light bulb - consume less electricity, so your costs will be reduced.

Change laundry routine

You can change your laundry routine by:

  • choosing the cold-water setting on your washer for up to a 90% reduction in your appliance’s energy use
  • not using your dryer and trying a drying rack (when the heat’s on inside) or clothesline (if you have the space) instead

Limit use of air conditioner

If you can, avoid running your air conditioner between 11am and 5pm, when electricity prices are higher in summer.

You can also try:

  • installing and/or running a ceiling fan in a counter-clockwise direction to circulate cool air
  • keeping the track on a sliding door clean to ensure the seal doesn’t get damaged and let cool air out

Using other appliances

You can use other appliances in ways that help you reduce energy use and costs, such as:

  • opening the door of your dishwasher to let the load air-dry which can cut the total energy use for the wash by 15%
  • only opening the oven door when necessary, as 20% of the heat escape each time it’s opened

If you’re buying a first appliance, or replacing an old one, you can find out more about purchasing an ENERGY STAR® appliance.

Updated: June 30, 2021
Published: March 03, 2017