Save electricity to reduce your power bill.
Did you just get a shock from your power bill? Are you just interested in how you can use less electricity for environmental reasons or just saving extra cash?
This article is another expanding a bit on an earlier piece on general ways you can save money. You can read that article here.
I have covered here some basic tips for saving on the electric bill. These do not include specific tips for keeping your home warm in winter, as it’s currently summer here and the last thing I want to think about is being more hot. I also think it’s an area which warrants its own post.
So here are some tips that will help you save on energy year-round….
- Install energy efficient bulbs. LED bulbs cost only a couple dollars more than fluorescent and use way less electricity. They last longer too and aren’t toxic.
- Turn power-points off at the wall. When that switch is on, it’s still using up electricity.
- Use appliances in off-peak. Use the timer function (if your machine has one) to set your washing machine to run overnight. You can then hang your clothes in the morning.
- Line-dry your clothes. Any electrical appliance which generates heat uses loads of electricity. Ditch the dryer.
- Wear warm clothes before you resort to using heating.
- Turn the temperature down a few degrees on your water heater.
- Turn the temperature down on your heater. Even a little can make a big difference.
- Use cold water for laundry.
- Invest in energy efficient appliances. The biggest energy consumers in your home will be the large appliances like your fridge and washing machine. Those with a small upfront cost will be very expensive over their lifetime. Choose ones with at least a 4 star energy rating, and look at the average energy consumption over 1 year. The consumption is just as important as the rating, because a very large fridge with a 5 star rating might still use more electricity than a small 4 star. It’s also useful for comparing appliances with the same rating.
- Find a cheaper energy provider and/or ask for discounts and special offers. Many energy providers will offer discounts for different things like pay on time, pensioner discounts, etc. However, if you don’t ask they won’t apply the discount
- Turn appliances off when not in use. Don’t leave the TV on for “background noise” – doing so is not good for your focus anyway.
- Only heat or cool rooms which are in use. Don’t waste money heating or cooling the whole house when you spend the majority of your time in one or two rooms.
- Get rid of electric water heating systems if you can. If you can’t install solar, Gas or LPG is still a better, more efficient option. Electric water heaters are often the biggest energy guzzlers.
- Take shorter showers, and/or take cold showers when possible (summer).
- Turn off heat or cooling systems when not in use.
- Use nature first – let the sunlight in if its cold, open a window if it’s hot. Do these kind of things before resorting to electronic solutions.
- Maintain your appliances so they run efficiently. Replace or clean filters in your a/c, clean the lint traps in your washer/dryer… etc
- Use appliances in power saving mode (for example, PCs).
- Switch to a cheaper supplier that discount you got where you first connected to your electricity might not be valid anymore. If you’re consistently getting high bills, it’s time to switch to a company that can offer a better price.
Tips for Pensioners
- Take advantage of government incentives. NSW government has an appliance replacement offer allowing you to save 40% on a fridge at The Good Guys and 50% on an energy efficient TV. The appliances will have a 4-5 star energy efficiency rating. Other states may offer different incentives.
- Government discounts and rebates. Pensioners may be eligible for discounts from their electricity provider or government rebates. Usually you will need to provide your CRN to your energy provider.
- Charities can often help you out with your utility bills if money is tight, or otherwise provide food vouchers or a food hamper so you can pay the bill and still eat.
- Free financial advice is available, you can check at your local community center or ask for a referral from a social worker. They may be able to negotiate a better price, find a cheaper provider or assist in some other way. The salvation army offers free financial counselling for people in difficult circumstances.
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to pin this article for later.