Maintaining a low electricity bill throughout the year can be difficult. Heating during the winter and air-conditioning in the summer can make the average Aussie very dependent on their power source. If high electricity bills are something that affect you then it's good to know that there are ways to reduce your overall bill.
Preparation is always key and if you want to move more money from your electricity bill to your pocket its time to act. Whether you are fully aware of all the machines in your house and their rates of power consumption, or you have just been whacked with a huge bill, its worth giving these top tips a shot to regain control.
One in eight Australians cannot afford the cost of their electricity bill, a recent survey has brought to light. A separate survey also found that certain families across Australia have witnessed their electricity costs rise by as much as $1,000 per year. Shocked by the liberties that energy companies take, I think its time we begin fighting back. Fuel prices have dropped globally, yet disproportionate savings have been passed back to customers. Start clawing back some savings today with the following tips and advice.
Large fridges undoubtedly cost a lot more to keep cool throughout the year. It’s the one machine that runs all year round so therefore it needs to be as efficient as possible. To save money one option is to sell your bigger fridge in exchange for a smaller one. Ensure this makes sense for your own personal circumstances though. For example, if you have to travel a long distance to reach the closest supermarket then a larger fridge will outweigh the travelling costs required with a smaller fridge (i.e. having to shop more frequently as it can't hold as many groceries). In this instance, try increasing the temperature in your larger fridge instead to reduce the amount of electricity it draws from the grid.
Dishwashers use large amounts of electricity because they have to heat the water to a high enough temperature in order to kill bacteria. Essentially it’s like having a huge kettle boiling for an hour, the result is costly. If there are only a few of you living at home try ditching the dishwasher for special occasions alone, and your wallet will be thanking you. This may be difficult for some families and if that’s you, then you should probably think about ditching the old one for a newer more energy efficient machine.
Peak and Off-Peak Times
Utilising the peak and off-peak plans can dramatically reduce your energy costs. It’s worth contacting your energy provider to find out which times during the day and night that your electricity is on and off-peak. Make a note of these times and try to complete as many energy-consuming activities as possible within them, such as dishwashing, clothes washing or tumble drying for example.
Singularity and Togetherness
Try to focus family activities at home within the same room watching TV or browsing the Internet on laptops for example. Doing these activities in the living room with one energy saving light bulb on, as opposed to each family member in their own room, can drastically impact your energy consumption over a year too.
Do Not Standby
Did you know that by switching off your devices when your finished and not leaving them on standby can save you up to $1,000 per year. I manage this by buying a bunch of extension cables and having all my devices connected to the one extension cable where possible, so switching off all devices is as simple as unplugging one plug.
Switch off Lights
Leaving lights on in an empty room in my opinion is one of the most pointless uses of energy. Ensuring you turn off all lights throughout the evening will really help save money over the long term as well. One idea to remind adults and children of could be to leave little reminders on the doors of bedrooms and kitchens for example.
Increasing your energy efficiency wouldn’t be the same without a timer. Whether on your phone or not a timer can help you save exponential amounts of money if used correctly. Using it for things such as showers, computer gaming and cooking can allow you to keep control of your consumption every day. A timer acts as a reminder in a visual format to the invisible usage of electricity.
In conjunction with the previous tip, utilising a timer to take a shower can really help reduce not only your water bill but your electricity bill too. If your boiler is powered by electricity try adjusting its timer also to ensure you have hot water for the times of the day you need it, but are not heating water when you are at work for example.
Heating or Cooling Small Places
Try minimising the amount of space you would like to heat or cool for more effective and inexpensive results. My previous house for example had the living room connected to the stairwell going up and downstairs. To keep more heat in I hung a set of curtains up in front of the stairs to prevent heat escaping onto the staircase.
Thermostat Air Conditioning
If your house needs air conditioning during the summer and you have a newer machine fitted with a thermostat, its important to program a temperature that activates the machine. This will mean the machine will work intermittently rather than working all day until someone turns it off. Treat an aircon as a luxury and reward yourself accordingly rather than blasting it all day every day.
If you spend much of your summer months outside or in the garden it’s worth investing in a solar powered lighting system. Once bought there is no running costs to light them, simply 5 minutes once per month to clean the solar panel so it absorbs light as efficiently as possible.
Combine more than one of these tips into your daily life and you will hopefully see your electricity bill decrease the more they are put into effect. If you would also like to find out other ways to decrease your electricity bill or save money, visit our blog for daily more saving ideas and advice.