Monday, August 1, 2011

Airing Some Dirty Laundry

Actually it's clean, but I bet that title got some of you interested ;o).

This is more of a post for Canadians because I don't think my American friends have Smart Meters yet. (Here's hoping you don't get them!)  Here in the Great White North, where laundry has to be dried in the dryer almost half the year, we have this new system called the Smart Meter. (I call it the you-can't-do-laundry-or-cook-at-a-normal-time-anymore-meter). It's your typical hydro meter that measures the amount of hydro that your family uses on a regular basis, but there's a catch. If you want to spend the least amount possible on your hydro, you have to switch your nights to days and your days to nights.

Here's how it works:

See that green section? That's when you want to be doing your wash -- especially if you have to use the dryer. (The rates are as follows: 5.9cents/kWh in the green, 8.9 cents/kWh in the yellow, and 10.7cents/kWh in the red). Or you can wait until the weekend (or statutory holidays), when the pie chart looks like this:

So instead of using Mondays as my laundry day, I now use Saturdays (and *gasp* yes, Sundays) to do my laundry. Except that it's a pain. Enter swim meet season. Saturdays are usually half gone by the time we get home and my new washer takes an hour per load. That means if we're home by noon, I can get only get four loads done by 4pm and hope that the weather is cooperating to get them on the line and dry before dark. Problem is, I usually have at least five loads. (Does anyone else have a separate load for reds -- errrr mostly pinks in our case?) On a not so good drying day, I hope my loads are all on the line by 1pm. It doesn't happen. Inevitably, at least one load has to go in the dryer. So sadly, my days of getting my laundry washed, dried, folded, and maybe even put away before the end of the day are over. This Monday is a stat. in Canada, so I'm going to do everyone's sheets. Hope the lines can hold them all! Hooray for a green day!

Oh, and here's what the winter chart looks like:

I'm really hoping my family wants to quit eating supper during the winter months ;o)!

So my Canadian friends, I ask you, how do you work with this new Smart Meter? Or do you just ignore and go with business as usual?


Did you know you  can entirely fill a 20 ft line with just undies when there are nine people in your family? That's allota undies!!


  1. Deborah, the title of your post did catch my attention!!! I haven't heard of the smart meter. I hope that it's not headed our way. I sometimes have to wait a week of more to get a nice day to hang our laundry out as I refuse to dry it in the drier in the summer. This summer has been horrible with mostly rain and cold temperatures. The predicted high or Thursday and Friday is 12 with rain. Come on!!!!! It's summer! Enjoy your nice weather.
    ps. I loved the undies photo

  2. Wow! That must make things a bit more complicated. Yes, I'm one of your American friends, and so I think I'll just not get a smart meter. lol I can tell you do a fantastic job at your laundry!! (better than my mom ssshhh don't tell her I said that). I really hope we can get Internet soon to post some pictures on our blog. We just moved into our new house this weekend!! Thanks so much for your prayers, we could feel them!


  3. Oh no! That looks awful....and I can imagine if certain folks here in the US see that....well, ugh. We pretty much do laundry everyday. And since we moved my kids are doing their own laundry which might actually work for midnight washing and drying.

    Love, love, love the photo of the undies!!! That is a lot of undies. And they are so colorful, too. =D

  4. Oh my! Monday is my big laundry day, and typically the day I do everything that has to go in the dryer like towels and bedding. I try to hang up everything else inside the house (still don't have lines outside due to smoke from fires, pollen, etc.). Having to follow this Smart Meter seems like it would be a huge pain, but the $ savings would drive me personally to be in the green area time period. The undies photo made me laugh out loud.

  5. Deborah,
    I'm not at all the term smart meter is correct! Could it be "inconvenience meter" and "make our work more challenging meter"?
    As always you seem to have everything under control.
    Also, most days when I read your post I have " life envy"...not today! I cannot imagine hanging out all those clothes, folding them and putting them away. My arms started to ache in sympathy with you as I read through your blog.
    Hope you have a great week.

  6. LOVE the photo!!!

    The smart meter would drive me nuts, even though I often throw in a load of laundry right before I go to bed. That way I can hang it on the line first thing in the morning :D

    Honestly, I would probably ignore the schedule and just do what we need to do. But that's just me...


  7. Oh my goodness--that picture of all the undies is hilarious!! That should be framed and hung in your laundry room :)

    Smart meter, wow, I hope we never get one of those. What is the point? Why would....hydro (what's that?) any more expensive at certain times of the day for the city/country? Weird, and I am sorry.

  8. would you be surprised if i told you i have ignored the smart meter and just kept on with business as usual?
    didn't think so.


  9. I love the clothesline with the underwear. It's actually very pretty!

  10. Here in Australia we don't have a smart meter but I don't use the dryer either. I have a similar problem though with a smaller machine with a longer cycle (but more energy efficient) and two dogs who think washing on lines is for their enjoyment. I do my first load on Friday's after work, finish it all on Saturdays and hang it undercover in a dog proof area (so it can stay out until Sunday afternoon if required). I would suggest you work on doing one load per night after 7pm and hanging it out in the morning so it dries during the day. I don't think that smart meter is that smart either....

  11. When the smart meter first came to our area, I was stressed out about it. I thought these are not made for stay at home moms. I, at first tried to do laundry doing off peak hours, but that was usually after 9pm week day evenings, I prefer to do a couple loads at a time then have one laundry day. :) Anyways, by 9pm who wants to think about doing laundry!? :/ I was really happy when they changed the time to 7pm for off peak, instead of 9pm. That will help come winter... During the spring, summer and fall months I try to use the clothes line as much as possible and I wash with cold water. Now I don't worry about it much... I will either throw a load in the washing machine at night and then hang out in the morning and then wash another load or wash both in the morning. Whatever works for me that day. :) I decided not to let the smart meter run my life!! LOL I have a friend, who scheduled their showers and laundry for off peak hours... That is not me, I'd stress out... Now with canning season etc. who wants to do that all at night?!

    Anyways, those are my thoughts about the meters... LOL

  12. That underwear photo is one of my favourites that you've posted.

    I'm looking forward (not) to seeing what the Smart Meter does to my tuition. *scowls*

  13. On paper concerning thrift and environmental issues sounds like a wonderful idea, yet practically I would not like it.

  14. Goodness. The things our governments do to us.

    The undies shot is funny. Quite nicely organized, though.

  15. Like you, I have to do my laundry on weekends, when normally we would be out doing something else somewhere. I was very happy when they pushed the cheaper rates back to 7pm instead of 9pm. I can do the odd load or two at night now (and hang it on a line in the basement). But it's my baking that is suffering. I can't bake during the day, and I'm too tired for that at night. Okay, so maybe not eating so many goodies is actually good for me, but hey, I like to bake! I hate smart meters!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I love to hear from my readers!

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