Looking for ways to cut your energy bill? Here are 7 simple energy saving tips to help keep running costs down.
Family budgets are set to suffer even more as we brace for a cold winter amid a nationwide energy crisis. Rising interest rates and grocery prices are already causing pain and now, energy costs are set to increase, adding to the financial burden.
Here are some ways to cut down on your family’s energy usage and save some money off your electricity bill.
7 energy saving tips
Many of these tips come from members in our Facebook group of 10,000 mums, so you know they’ve been tried and tested.
1. Compare electricity plans and energy providers
While not a tip on how to reduce energy consumption per se, this first tip has the potential to save you the most amount of money.
It doesn’t usually pay to be loyal. By all means, check with your current provider if they can get you on a better deal (that won’t change on July 1, when new pricing come into effect).
At the same time, check out the Australian Government’s Energy Made Easy website to help you find the best plan for you.
“First look at the actual rate—kWh rate for electricity and MJ for gas—[the companies are offering], then look at the discount,” advises Georgie Godbolt from our group.
Switching energy providers is often as simple as filling up a form.
2. Maximise your washing machine use
Most modern washing machines now have an “eco mode” that uses less power and water, but cleans just as well.
Washing your clothes in cold water is also more energy efficient, and as independent reviewer Choice concluded, “There’s little difference in wash performance between washing in warm or cold water, especially if you’re washing non-whites.”
Making sure you have a full load of washing before turning the machine on, and even wearing the same item of clothing more than once (yes, even your kids’ clothes) will also contribute to savings on your power bill.
3. Dry your clothes naturally
This may be easier said than done this year thanks to La Niña and our higher-than-average rainfalls. However, as the many mums in our Facebook group can attest, not using the clothes dryer has been one of their top ways to save on energy use.
When hanging your clothes on the line, bamboo clothes pegs or stainless steel ones are great eco-friendly alternatives to plastic pegs. If it’s raining, a clothes horse or airer indoors can help.
If you’re heavily reliant on your clothes dryer (and hey, we totally get it), consider investing in a heat pump dryer. It’s more expensive to purchase, but you will save on the running costs.
4. Unplug all appliances when not in use
You know that little red light on your TV, computer and other electronic devices? It means they’re in “standby mode” and it uses electricity. Go around your house now and unplug any appliance that isn’t in use or turn it off on the wall.
Also, get the entire family into the habit of turning off the lights when they’re the last to leave the room.
5. Check the energy efficiency of your lights
On the topics of lights, it’s useful to see if you’re using energy efficient lightbulbs. You may also want to consider switching to LED, especially for the outdoor flood lights, as Lidia Piroska from our group shares.
6. Heating your home efficiently
Australian houses are notorious for not being well-insulated, which means it can be difficult to heat and keep warm. But remember, even changing the air conditioner thermostat up by one degree can make a difference to your power bill.
Close doors to rooms not in use, so energy isn’t being wasted warming up more areas than necessary. Make sure windows are sealed (and if possible, insulated) to keep the warm air in. Jessica Mateiasevici from our group installed roller shutters on every window in her house. “They keep a lot of the heat in,” she says.
“We use oil heaters instead of blow heaters or central heating,” says Chantel Gardiner from our Facebook group.
Still feeling the chill? Get in the habit of putting on an extra layer or snuggle under blankets or in an Oodie.
7. Rethink the kettle
We’ll inevitably gravitate more towards hot beverages as the temperatures dip, but this energy saving tip will see you change the way you use your kettle.
Boiling water uses a large amount of energy, especially in the first 30 seconds. Boil a kettle full of water when you first need hot water and store any leftover in an insulated water bottle. This way, you don’t need to boil a kettle any time your kid wants a hot chocolate and also have instant hot water at the ready.
Lidia from our group has another tip: “For my instant coffee, I boil my 200ml of water in a pot on the gas stove, instead of using the electric kettle which needs minimum of 700mls water.”
Share your energy saving tips
What’s your way to save energy at home? We’d love to hear from you.
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