|My sister Tamara|
I am usually not a big fan of using the air conditioner, but today was so bad we had to. The day before was pretty hot too, that parts of Toronto were experiencing black outs. I find that a bit scarey. The amount of electricity that is being use is excessive. I know it's hot but there are a lot of other ways to cool down your home in the summer. Keeping your thermostat at the same temp helps.
Also using "white out" curtains. They help keep your place cool and reduce your consumption of heat in the winter. Another way is to plant some shade trees. Trees on your property that can provide shade in the summer to cool your house down and protection from cold winds in the winter is a smart thing to invest in. Plus it looks pretty too.
Keeping your windows close during the peak heat part of the day helps keep out hot air and helps your cool air from escaping. Not using your air conditioning on peak hours helps reduce your city chances of having a black outs too.
I'm not an expert on electricity usage, but these are things we find helps our pocket book and our environment. Hope it helps.