It’s hard to believe that just 80-years ago home electricity was limited and novel. The appliances you could get were just as limited and none of them were automatic. You were required to flip your own toast to cook both sides, turn off your kettle when it boiled and move your washing from the wash tub to the spin tub. Even still, all that effort was worth the shortcuts home electricity provided. Now we can turn on what we need and let it take care of all the work for us and trust electricity and gas to keep our homes at perfect temperature, cook our food and even create the perfect sound and lighting for our entertainment systems.
What’s not so enjoyable is the rising electricity costs that come with the modern luxuries.
While the costs of electricity use were manageable a few years ago, current price hikes have been frequent and uncapped with governments allowing energy providers to set their own margins and increase their tariffs and fixed prices more regularly.
That is causing incredible pain for homeowners who can feel powerless to do anything about it. Luckily, power costs can be reduced so you can take control and limit the outgoing expenses.
This article will cover some saving tips you can use that are easy to apply and will help see great results to your annual energy expenses.
Tips for Slashing Power Bills
Any work you do in any area to reduce your energy demands will make a difference to your bill, so just choose what is right for you and get started on taking action.
Energy Efficient Lighting
Incandescent or halogen light bulbs use a lot of energy. Changing to LEDs use as much as 75% less energy, have life spans decades longer and give your home better light. All this makes the higher price well worth it. When applied to your entire home LEDs can make a significant saving to your energy bills. If your LEDs need changing frequently it’s best to get your lighting checked by a professional electrician as it can mean there is a problem with your setup.
Heating and cooling are big energy users in certain climates of Australia. While it might feel nice to have an icy blast in summer and short sleeves in winter, every degree extra you pull from your system increases your energy use by as much as 10%- 20%.
While it might not feel quite so balmy, you will still be comfortable if you set your heating for 18 to 22 degrees in winter and cool between 25 and 27 degrees in summer.
The right clothes, insulation (especially roof lining which can save as much as 45% of energy use), bedding and window treatments like shutters and blinds can help make these new thermostat temperatures comfortable and easy to achieve as well as cause less stress on your heating and cooling systems.
Switch Off at the Wall
Appliances left on standby can mean an energy excess of $100 per year for the average household.
Typical culprits are:
- Phone chargers
- Sound systems
If you need help remembering to turn off there are smart power boards that cut standby power so you can easily access your devices when needed and know they are not guzzling power at other times.
Many bigger appliances come with eco-settings and shorter cycles that reduce how much power you need to run them. Small adjustments like reducing screen brightness for TVs and computers can also help. Other tips you can use here is to wash clothes in cold water and to use a clothesline rather than a tumble drier where possible.
Compare Electricity Providers
If you have been with the same energy provider for a while you might find a better offer with someone new. Make sure you look over the options carefully including fixed rates, tariffs and off-peak availability.
If you are not sure where to get started you can track your electricity use through your smart meter. It can show you when you’re using power and help identify ways you can save.