Do your energy bills sky rocket during the cooler months?
Melbourne fooled us earlier this month with sunshine and mild temperatures that kept a smile on our dial for a little longer than usual. But in typical Melbourne style it changed over night, and before Autumn has even finished, it feels like the depths of Winter already. The heater is running flat out, the electric blanket gets used nightly, hot showers are a must and I’m getting chills just thinking about the next energy bill.
With energy costs rising for the average Australian home in most States (particularly South Australia) more families than ever before will be feeling the pinch this Winter, and after our Facebook Live chat earlier this month on saving money, it’s prompted me to look into some of the ways we can avoid sky high bills.
Tips for saving money by reducing your energy consumption
Turn down your thermostat and put a jumper on.
A staggering 40% of the average Australian home’s energy is used on heating and cooling. Small changes can make a big difference in our usage, including:
- turning your thermostat down on central/ducted heating to 18-20 degrees. Any degree over 20 uses another 10% of energy!
- turn it off when you leave the house
- avoid using oil heaters and small electric heaters as they suck the power like you wouldn’t believe
- heat only the rooms you’re using (or use the zones on central/ducted heating)
- turn on the ceiling fans to low as they’ll help push the warmth back down and around
- seal any drafts to avoid the heat escaping
Wash in cold water.
Another major contributor to your energy usage is the hot water system – around 20% in fact! We have three girls in our house, so hot showers are our vice unfortunately. So for the kids I’ve put an egg timer in their bathroom and they get two minutes max, as do we. On hair wash nights we’ve started turning the shower off when lathering too. It’s a little brisk, but it’s already made a difference to our water bill, and the whinging (mostly from me) stopped eventually.
Another good tip is doing your laundry in a cold wash, keeping only your towels and sheets on a hot cycle. Only wash when you have a full load as it uses less energy, and most washing machines will let you adjust the water level based on the load size which will help save water too.
Using a fast cycle on a full load in your dishwasher too and allowing the dishes to air dry will also help on your power usage.
Just because we’re not using an appliance, doesn’t mean it’s not sucking energy. So when not in use, switch off your appliances. And your lights! Appliances can contribute to an around of 23% in the average Australian household, so it’s well worth looking into changes where possible.
- switch off at the wall, not just the switch on the lamp, TV, printer, electric blanket etc
- consider using standby power controllers to automatically reduce the amount of time devices like your computer and TV spend in standby mode
Just like comparing prices in the supermarket or researching health insurance, shopping around for the best deals from energy providers can save you hundreds of dollars every year. Kylie suggested doing this yearly, so now is as good a time as any to start!
It’s amazing how all these small changes add up, saving you hundreds of dollars a year. If you own your home or investment property, installing solar panels would also be a worthwhile investment and great for the planet!
What other tips do you have for saving money on your energy bills? Let us know in the comments!