1. In the laundry
Unless your clothes specifically need to be washed using warm water, cold cycles can save you around $100 per year on your energy bill. In addition to using cold water, use the shortest setting on your washing machine (e.g. quick 30) to save more. Unless your clothes are especially dirty, these settings will still thoroughly clean your clothes while saving energy and money.
2. Easy wins
Turning off appliances and gadgets when you’re not using them is one of the most effective ways to save power. A great example is a phone charger, as once your phone is charged and disconnected from the source, the port still takes power while on “standby.” In most homes, 10 percent of an average electricity bill can be attributed to appliances on standby. So when you’ve finished charging your phone, turn the power point off.
3. The best lighting
If you haven’t already, we’d highly recommend switching your lights over to LED or CFL bulbs. Not only do these energy efficient lights save you money, they can last up to 10 times longer than typical incandescent lights. As a result, you’ll need to purchase and change your lights less often. There are a number of pros and cons of LED Lighting to consider.
A qualified electrician can help you install the most suitable lighting fixtures for your home.
4. In the kitchen
Poor sealing on your fridge or freezer can cause cool air to seep out. This increases the running costs of these appliances. Ensure that the door seal is nice and tight for optimal results. Also check your fridge is set to the recommended 4 to 5 degrees and your freezer is set to -15 to -18 degrees. Having the fridge set too high, will cause more ice to form and therefore the fridge will have to work harder, to circulate the cold air.
5. Don’t be lazy
Turning off lights when you're not using them is an extremely underestimated way to shave hundreds of dollars off your energy bill. When you leave a room, take a quick look behind you and make sure everything is turned off. If you’re able to make the investment, consider installing skylights to brighten your home and work space. In addition to skylights, there are several other environmentally friendly lighting tips.
6. Shut up (in a nice way!)
Don’t worry, we’re not being rude! We’re talking about keeping curtains and blinds shut before the nighttime chill sets in. This helps trap warm air inside and also means you can turn the heater down. Most people don’t realise the extent of how window finishings can save you money.
7. Hang time
Hang clothes outside when it's sunny and peg clothes inside when it’s raining. You can purchase an indoor rack for around $30 from most local homeware stores. In Winter, we know it can be difficult to get clothes dry; the sun’s heat isn’t as strong and often overhead it can be continually cloudy or rainy. There will be times when the dryer may be the only option but really try and limit it.
8. Keeping your cool
You don’t need to set the thermostat to 24 degrees like you do in Summer. In Winter, 20 degrees is enough to keep the chill at bay. Keep in mind, every degree over 20 can add 10 percent to your heating bill. Conversely, don’t always use the air conditioner for cooling; for many it is an automatic reaction, where strategically placing ceiling fans in areas like the kitchen and lounge room can make a real difference.
9. Investing in new appliances
If you’re looking to buy a new appliance like a dishwasher, fridge or washing machine, make sure it has a good energy star rating. This will help you save money in the long run. There can be big differences in energy ratings between certain products.
10. Be a smart shopper
Look around and compare prices from different energy providers. You’d be surprised how much a quick enquiry can save you. Some providers like AGL offer discounts off your electricity and gas bills if you pay on time.
In summary, saving on your power costs has become a major issue in today’s society. Many of us are forced to cut back on other essentials like food and rent, to simply pay our power bills.
A suggestion here is to look for “smoothing” plans, where providers allow you to make payments weekly, based on your average consumption. This is a good way to escape that quarterly “bill shock” Used in conjunction with the 10 tips above, will go a long way to reducing your energy costs and not be a slave to the power providers.
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