How Canadians can save money on gas, grocery, cellphone and other home bills


Electricity and hydro savings tip: Are the lights on?

You already turn off the lights when you leave a room or turn down the thermostat at night, right? In addition to that, Barry Walker, residential business development manager for, says to check lightbulb packaging for LED wattage: “For example, it may read seven watts LED and say it’s equivalent to 60 watts of an incandescent light. So you’re only using a fraction of the energy to get the same amount of light.” He says that can save you 25% of the cost of lighting on your electricity bill. 

Other cheap and cheerful ways to save on lighting and other energy costs: Buy motion sensors, smart power bars and electrical timers. “These are small things, but they’re inexpensive and they will pay for themselves very, very quickly.”

Electricity and hydro savings tip: Consider a heat pump

The biggest cost on Candians’ electricity bills is home heating, and heat pumps are becoming popular among Canadians because of government incentives to help with the costs. Walker installed a heat pump 20 years ago to replace his oil and electric heating in his 60-plus-year-old home in Halifax. “I’m a good old Scotsman and I kept every bill—my total energy costs dropped 40%,” he says. “I use thermal storage for my backup, and that heat pump is paying for itself three-fold now.” 

Water savings tip: Get efficient 

Plus, the heat pump can help save on the second biggest cost on your electricity: hot water. “Your payback will depend largely on the volume of hot water your household uses,” Walker says. “If you’ve got teenagers taking three showers a day, then the payback on that heat pump hot water tank will be fairly quick.” If a heat pump is too big of a commitment, you can opt for a more energy efficient hot water heater (even if you rent yours), says Walker. 

Also, use cold water detergent to wash clothes and check for leaky taps. If you pay for municipal water, where you pay based on how much you use, that could be a sinkful of money a day going down the drain, he says. 

How to save on internet and cable bills: Renegotiate service agreements

Renegotiate or bundle internet and cable services, and examine your home insurance and auto insurance, suggests Scorgie. Also talk about usage, too. You might be in the wrong plan, as things have changed since 2020, and you might not need as much as you did during the lockdowns. Keehn says: “That’s hundreds of dollars a year. People may say, ‘But I’m going to have to sit on hold with the phone company for hours.’ Maybe you will, but just sit on hold while you’re watching Netflix,” she suggests. (Speaking of Netflix, here are the best streaming services in Canada.)

How to save on cell phone bills: Check your bill and cut what you don’t need

Check your phone bill: Has a signup bonus promotion expired because you forgot to renew it, resulting in higher fees? Are you paying for directory listings you don’t use? Those charges add up, notes Keehn. Also, look into family plans and getting rid of services you don’t use, like international calls for example. Also, in your settings, check for the apps that are running in the background, which can eat up a ton of data unknowingly when you’re out and about not connected to wifi. 

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