Opening an expensive power bill can be a shock to the system. Facing a hefty balance can place a serious financial burden on households, especially for retirees and those on reduced incomes.
However, there’s no need to be startled by your next statement. By applying some simple power saving strategies you can save money, reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and still keep cosy this winter.
Tip 1: Upgrade to energy efficient appliances
That cheaper fridge you bought could actually cost you more money over time. That’s because the pay-off for a low price tag can often be energy efficiency. So the next time you purchase an appliance, check out its star rating; the higher the star rating, the more energy efficient the appliance – each additional star can reduce your running costs by around 20%.
The verdict? Upgrade to appliances with higher star ratings now and enjoy the savings later.
Tip 2: Unplug appliances on standby
As much as 10 percent of Australians’ residential electricity bills can be attributed to appliances on standby.
Retiree Jack Cleaver, from Wentworth Falls in NSW, saved money on his bill by unplugging unnecessary appliances from power boards and switching others off at the power points. “I had 10 appliances on standby. By unplugging them and turning them off at the wall I saved $100 on my bill,” says Cleaver.
Switching off unused power points could help save on your power bill
Tip 3: Manage your pool pump
Did you know that a swimming pool could cost you up to $1,000 per year in power usage? If you are on a time of use tariff, instead of running it six hours a day, run your pool pump at night to take advantage of off-peak power rates. Consider using a pool blanket to prevent heat loss and investigate turning your pump off entirely in winter when no one uses the pool, to take advantage of even bigger power savings.
Tip 4: Draft-proof your home
Make your house as cosy as possible in winter by sealing up any gaps and cracks in doors, ceilings and window frames and by using door snakes to block out cold drafts. Wear warm clothes inside and close off doors to unoccupied rooms to keep the hot air only where you need it. The more warmth you can maintain, the less energy-guzzling heating you’ll require to keep a comfortable temperature.
LED lights are energy efficient and long lasting – why not make the switch?
Tip 5: Switch to LED lights
Switching to energy efficient LED lights is one of the best ways to reduce your energy consumption. LED lights are 4 to 7 times more efficient than halogen lights and last up to 10 times longer.
An LED equivalent of a traditional 60-Watt incandescent bulb consumes only 8-12 Watts, but produces the same amount of light. Be sure to switch off lights in rooms that are unoccupied to reduce your power bill even more.
Tip 6: Reduce hot water wastage
Water heating uses approximately 25 percent of your home’s energy. While you can’t do without it entirely, you can at least cut your shower’s water usage in half by installing a 3-star rated shower head. Save even more by washing your clothes in cold water.
Tip 7: Monitor your energy usage and get a flexible payment plan
If your power bills are leaving you strapped for cash, thankfully there is a solution. Energy company AGL makes managing payments easier, with online tools such as the AGL Energy App which can assist you in tracking and managing your energy usage to help avoid any costly surprises.