How to Save Money » Frugal Living

New Ontario Hydro Time of use rates – you can still save money!

November 1st marks the change of Ontario Hydro Time-of-Use rates. Are you being savvy about your hydro use and saving as much money as possible by adjusting your schedule?

As a Save-at-Home-Mom, Christa Clips makes it a priority to change her cooking and cleaning routine to stay in the green. In this guest post, Christa shares details about the new Time-of-Use schedule and when you should turn those appliances OFF in order to save money on your hydro bill.

Ways to Save Money on Hydro Costs

Clocks aren’t the only things that change at the beginning of November – so do the Ontario Hydro Time-of-Use rates. Starting on November 1st, hydro is almost twice as expensive during certain times of the day:

  • 6.7cents/kWh – Off Peak 7 pm-7 am and all weekends and stat holidays
  • 10.4 cents/kWh – Mid Peak 11am-5pm
  • 12.4 cents/kWh – 7am-11am and 5pm-7pm

Here are some changes that are easy to implement and will make a big impact on your hydro bill if you can do the majority of your cooking, cleaning, and use of electronic devices outside of those dreaded RED zones.

Ontario Hydro Time of Use Rates


Implement a “last call for showers” so that everyone is out of the shower, the exhaust fan can be turned off, and the hot water tank can refill completely by the time the RED zone kicks in at 7 am. Shower doors don’t open again until 7 pm!


If you must do laundry during weekdays instead of during the GREEN zone (weekends), put your load in to soak first thing in the morning but don’t start the wash cycle until 11:00 am. Make sure that the washing machine and dryer are turned off by 5 pm.


Charge your laptop, cell phones, and other electronic devices overnight so that you can unplug and work off of the battery between 7 am-11 am. Recharge if need be during the YELLOW zone and unplug again between 5 pm-7 pm.

As always, unplug any electronic appliances and devices that aren’t in use – they still draw a small current even when switched off and can add to your monthly hydro bill without your knowledge.


If your mealtime falls within the RED zones, cook during the GREEN or YELLOW zones and keep food warm on the burner or in the oven until serving time – both take a long time to cool down after you’ve turned them off if you don’t lift the lid or open the oven door.


Don’t run your dishwasher outside of the 7 pm-7 am GREEN zone. That is all.


Turn down the thermostat when you’re not home. When you are home, get the house up to your preferred temperature before the RED zones kick in and then use the fan only to circulate the heat until you can top up the heat again when the zones change to YELLOW or GREEN.

Note: Make sure to change the clock on your programmable thermostat when the clocks roll back on November 3rd!

Start small by implementing one or two of these simple changes until you’re in the routine of saving on hydro.

With Canadian winters, we’re obviously going to have some lighting and heating costs during the RED zone, but by keeping your cooking, cleaning, and use of electronic devices to the GREEN and YELLOW zones, you can save a bundle on your electricity bill.

Christa Clips lives outside Ottawa, Ontario with her husband and two children. She left her career as a teacher trainer when she figured out that it was costing her $47,000/yr to work outside the home, and shares her Save-at-Home-Mom story on her website, Christa Clips


  1. Jane

    Thanks. Good to know.

  2. Ron Russell

    One idea that I implemented (if you have an electric hot water heater)is putting your hot water heater on a timer that shuts off the power to the hot water heater only during the peak periods. Still can have 2-3 showers after 7AM from the hot water in the tank with no worries.


    • Christa Clips

      Ah, that’s clever, Ron! This is the one area we have difficulty following our own advice at our house!

  3. Peggi

    I do all these things and always have and my hydro bill has gone up by about $60 to $80 a month these new meters are ridiculous it was just a way to get more money out of us. I have gas water heater and hang clothes on the line in the summer have my furnace on the timer. there isn’t much more I can do.

  4. Linda

    I try to follow the best times. I was never so happy as when they changed the evening to 7 PM for the savings. One thing I have noticed on the water / sewage section, there is a minimum charge and then your usage. They add them together! That shouldn’t be! If you have a small household, then yeah, suck it up and pay the minimum, but I don’t see how they can add the two amounts. I bet they do it for those over the minimum as well. When I called and asked them about it, they said ‘we have always done it that way’. What kind of excuse is that? Anyway, stepping off my soapbox now lol.

  5. Mary

    hydro needs our money and we don’t have a say..I’m way to old to fight anymore, so Ill buy my cheap tuna and survive. Ill eat with a candle and I have lots of knitted sweaters and blankets.
    I’m happy to wake up in the morning, and sit and wonder about the decisions the poor hydro employees have to make while Im drinking an instant coffee from the microwave.

    I’m sure they have so many decisions to make for their futures.
    I’m hoping they make the right choice and choose the right get away for their holidays after Christmas.

    I really wish you all the best and if your happy in your life as I am, then you have the gift that I have. There’s no evil in this world.

    see, hear and say no evil

  6. kirin

    I was wondering how you found this information? If you know where to find it in Vancouver , bc. I tried but came up with nothing.

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