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Slash you power bills with these simple energy saving tips


Rising energy bills have been a major burden on Aussie families for nearly a decade now. In 2017 alone, household bills in many states rose by up to 20 percent. While some experts say surging prices plan to settle in the next few years, for many families the time for waiting is over.

The good news? It’s easy to save energy around the home with minimal time, effort and money. From the kitchen through to main living areas and outdoors, room for improvement is everywhere. All you need is to make some basic lifestyle changes and switch to more energy-efficient devices.

Find out how to slash energy bills around the house and make your daily living better.

Kitchen

Kitchens are one of the most used areas of the house. While gas and electrical cooking appliances make up only a fraction of your energy bill. Fridges, freezers and dishwashers are a different story.

Follow these basic tips to save money and reduce your carbon footprint while cooking up a storm:

  • *  When cooking at the stove put lids on pots to reduce cooking times.

  • *  Ensure the fridge seals are closing the door properly. If not, have them replaced.

  • *  Thaw food in the fridge before cooking. Or use the microwave as it consumes less energy than the oven. And don’t open the oven door while cooking.

  • *  Only use the dishwasher when it’s full. Try using the economic setting on a standard load to reduce water and energy usage.

  • *  Keep your fridge and freezer at a reasonable temperature. Set the fridge temperature to around 5°C and set the freezer to around -15/-18°C. Every degree you reduce the temperature by can increase running costs by 2 to 4 percent.


Laundry

Washing machines and dryers are one of the more expensive appliances to run. Switching to energy-efficient machines is a great way to save money. When you go shopping, keep an eye out for the energy star rating. More stars equals more savings!

Other ways to slash your energy bill in the laundry include:

  • *  Only do a load of washing when the machine is full. Always wash clothes in cold water.

  • *  Hang your clothes outside on the line instead of using a tumble dryer. Can’t hang clothes outside due to rain or cold weather? Hang them indoors on a clothes rack to dry in front of a pedestal fan.

  • *  If you must use the dryer, only use it for full loads. And clean the lint filter on a regular basis.


Bathrooms and Hot Water

Hot water is on average the second-largest consumer of household energy ranging anywhere from 15 to 27 percent.1

The type of storage system you have determines the amount of energy used for hot water heating. Around 50 percent of households use electric storage systems as they are cheap to buy and install. But they’re expensive to run. More energy-efficient methods include solar panels and heat pumps. Depending on state and territory laws you may be eligible for a government rebate too.

Here are other basic ways to cut down hot water usage:

  • *  Limit your shower times to 5 minutes or less

  • *  Switch from a conventional shower head to a water-saving shower head. You could save up to 9,000 litres of water per year.

  • *  Ensure your bathroom’s waterproofing is up-to-date. Fix any costly leaks that are found.


Cooling and Heating Devices

Extreme weather places extreme pressure on our energy bills, literally. In fact, research has revealed heating and cooling devices contribute up to an average 40 percent of household energy bills in Australia.2

From air conditioners and heaters to portable devices, the cost of running all these appliances adds up fast. Moderate usage and some DIY insulation can go a long way to great savings.

Follow these tips to stay comfy indoors without breaking the bank:

  • *  Place door snakes around the house to prevent indoor air from escaping through gaps beneath the doors.

  • *  In winter, layer up with extra clothing before you crank the heater. Wear thick socks, gloves and beanies for added warmth. Also, open up the blinds to let in warm natural sunlight.

  • *  Don’t crank heating and cooling devices to the max setting. Stick to moderate settings for a more gradual shift in temperature.

  • *  Have your heating and cooling devices serviced regularly to ensure they’re running efficiently.

  • *  Pre-warm the bed with an electric blanket for an hour before going to bad. Turn off the blanket once you’re ready to sleep.

  • *  Try using a pedestal or ceiling fan before switching on the air conditioner.


Home Entertainment and Appliances

Technology is all around us. From TVs and computers to games consoles, home theatre systems and digital assistants. Sure, having instant access to a range of entertainment is great, but this benefit comes with a price. To keep running costs down, switch to energy-efficient devices and moderate your usage.

Here’s to keep friends and family entertained while keeping costs low:

  • *  Turn off computers, TVs, and other electronic devices when no longer being used. Kids may forget to do this. So remind them often until the habit becomes second-nature to them.

  • *  Standby power usage can contribute up to 10 percent of electrical bills. The solution? Purchase a smart powerboard with an energy meter. When a device plugged into a ‘smart’ outlet is switched off, the powerboard will automatically kill the power. The energy meter also tells you the energy consumption of each device plugged in including watts, cents per hour and CO2 kg per hour.

  • *  Buy an energy-efficient TV. Keep in mind the screen size, as larger screens consume more power. Also, position the TV away from direct sunlight to avoid having to increase the brightness and use more power.