Now that there is a price on carbon emissions enforced by law upon the 294 biggest polluters in Australia, many of them being energy companies, I thought that it would be beneficial to post five easy ways to lower your energy costs, as they will be passing it on to customers. However, that said, most householders should have been compensated with the new income tax cuts and increase in social benefits that also came into law today.
Here is my five point list for saving money on your energy bills.
1. Shop Around. If an energy retailer really wants your business, then try this tip. Give them a call and ask for a better rate. If they don’t come to the party, tell them that you are going to change retailers. They will try soon change their mind and sweeten your current deal with them, which would probably be a better deal than swapping retailers. I find that by doing this step first, you save the hassle of stuff ups with billing swap overs between retailers, and you usually get a few cents off of your kWh tariff.
2. Turn Off Standby Equipment. Entertainment and computer equipment left in standby mode equates to about 10% of your electricity bill. Yes it is that high. So, last thing at night before you go to bed, or after you have finished using the equipment, turn it off at the wall socket. You don’t have to pull out the plug, just turn off the switch. You will be amazed when you look at your next bill, even if you only implement this small behaviour change.
3. Turn Off The Second Fridge. Do you really need that spare fridge turned on all the time? If you only use it on weekends, take out the beer or soft drinks, turn it off, and reap the rewards. You could save at least another 10% off your bill if the fridge is an old model. When you need to use it again, just turn it on a few hours before your party to cool down, or alternatively sell the fridge, and buy a bag of ice for your esky (icebox). It will actually cost less in ice than the electricity to run the fridge all week!
4. String Up An Outside Clothesline. Ditch the clothes dryer and realise the financial savings instantly. Our dryer broke a few years ago, and we never replaced it. I strung a line up under the carport and bought a few clothes horses, and we haven’t looked back. Expect to save a small fortune in the winter months if you are usually a heavy user of this appliance.
5. Cover Windows At Night. Did you know that 35% of a homes total energy bill is spent on heating and cooling. With winter upon us here in the Southern Hemisphere, the nights seem to be getting colder. Here is a money saving tip. Cover your windows with blinds or curtains as the sun sets, to keep the hot air locked in the house from escaping through the glass. You can lose 40% of your heat through a single pane of glass. Additionally, by installing a closed pelmet above the curtain or blind you stop air flowing behind the covering, which traps a pocket of still air between the curtain and the window. This provides an additional layer of insulation. Just because pelmet as deemed to be unfashionable and not look pretty, it should not be a reason to install this energy saving device.
These are all things that you can do right now to save money on your energy bills. All of these tips are free or very low cost, and are mainly behavioural changes.
Also there are lots of energy saving tips in my eBook that may help you to reduce your energy costs. Purchase details can be found in the right sidebar.
You may have even implemented them already. Those who have, kudos to you. You may even be better off with the implementation of the carbon price when you take the income tax cut and extra family payments into account!
Does anyone else have any low or no cost methods of saving energy off their bills?
As always, sound advice from the house of TGOG.
I have been replacing my light bulbs with 240 volt LED lamps. See my blog post http://thewombatthatwwoofed.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/240-volt-led-lamps.html for more info.
Im a doona person and would rather snuggle under a doona than have the heater on.
If your a family that just has to use the clothes dryer, bring it inside dont waste the heat to heat the laundry.
Gavin Webber says
Good tips Phil. I too am a doona/quilt lover. No heater on in my bedroom!
Oh I forgot one,
I have this mate that used to boil the kettle for his first coffee in the morning, then tip the rest into a thermos flask for subsequent brews saving power by not boiling the same water twice.
Gavin Webber says
Yes, the thermos flask has pride of place in our kitchen!
I just fill the kettle with the exact(ish) amount I need for the cup. If I have water left in the kettle when I’ve filled the cup I treat that as a failure and try harder next time. I’ve made a bit of a game about it, seeing how close to empty I can get the kettle without running out of water before the cup’s full.
I’m constantly harassing others in the house to do the same thing with some encouraging results (and the occassional grumpy finger gesture).
Windows can be a big problem. Here was my simple solution that works very well.
I use a hot water bottle or heat pack when I am watching TV or knitting so that I don’t have to have the heating on, or at least only on low.
Also I never let anyone have the heating on unless they are wearing polar explorer clothes first!
Darren (Green Change) says
One simple tip I keep giving people is to turn the thermostat down on their hot water system. It wastes a lot of energy keeping water hotter than you need it. We halved the electricity our electric-storage HWS used by doing this one thing alone, and we still never ran out of hot water.
Melanie Monico says
Great post! You make some very valid points…
We’ve discussed something similar in our recent blog post… feel free to have a read: http://bit.ly/MMSKB9
My husband has got into the habit of turning up the heating at the kids bedtimes as it helps make them drowsy. However, the heating of late has stayed hot all night. I went op shopping last week and bout 3 single and 1 QS pure wool blankets for each of our beds and I insisted the heating be turned down to 18 overnight (next week it will go down another 1/2 degree and so on). We have hydronic heating which is extremely efficient at heating and energy use but still. And I have a blanket beside my chair for keeping my knees warm and 2 furry snuggly cats besides!
We also don’t have a dryer but if there is that occasion when you simply MUST get something dry and the indoor racks with a heater is not enough, go spend a few bucks at the laundromat. Much easier and cheaper than owning and running a dryer.