Tips for Reducing Power Costs

Tips for Reducing Power Costs

Electricity prices seem to be constantly on the rise, and, as electricity bills are something that we generally can't avoid, it’s more important than ever to take a look at how you can reduce your household energy consumption and reduce your electricity costs. Luckily, there are plenty of things that you can do to lower your bills.

1 | Wash in cold water

A lot of people incorrectly assume that you have to wash your clothes in hot water for an effective wash. While this may be true for heavy stains, for a standard wash, it is unnecessary. Washing your clothes in hot water uses more electricity, because of how your machine heats the water. If you wash in cold water, you'll still get a great clean, and you'll save electricity.

It's also always best to make sure you have a full load before you wash and use the shortest wash cycle that you can for the type of load you're washing.

2 | Harness the power of the sun for drying clothes

The sun is a completely free, energy source. Utilising the sun can be as simple as forgoing the dryer and instead, drying your clothes outside on the washing line. Drying your laundry in the sun can also help to get rid of bacteria as the heat from the sun is known to kill germs. It can also help whiten white clothing/linen as the sun is an effective 'bleaching tool'.

3 | Unplug and switch it off

When you're not using an appliance, switch it off. Don't leave a TV or fan on in a room that you aren't in, it just wastes electricity. Turning your appliance to standby mode is also not enough, switch it off at the wall and unplug it. The standby function provided by many devices still uses power; it may not be much, but it adds up over time.

4 | Dress to match the weather

It sounds really simple, but many of us rush to turn on the heater or air conditioner when we can simply dress more appropriately. When the weather is cold, put on more layers of clothing. When it's hot, wear fewer layers.

5 | Change your light bulbs

If you're using incandescent light bulbs, switch them out for LED ones. LED bulbs can use up to 85% on your energy usage. While they may cost more in the beginning, over time they will save you money. To avoid waste, switch them out only when an old bulb blows.

6 | Buy energy-efficient appliances

Older appliances tend to use a lot more electricity than modern ones. If you find that your bill is particularly high, and you have an old fridge, for example, consider upgrading to a more modern appliance. When buying any new appliance pay attention to its energy rating, the more stars it has, the more energy-efficient it is. More energy-efficient appliances can sometimes be more expensive to purchase, but they will save you money in the long run.

7 | Take advantage of off-peak tariffs

An easy way to reduce your electricity bill is to set appliances to run during off-peak times. 'Off-peak' refers to discounted electricity prices during set times, and are times when homes and businesses generally use less electricity. These will vary depending on your location and are not available in all areas.

8 | Understand the discounts available to you

Electricity providers are always trying to out-price their competition and the winner, in the end, is you. Ringing up your provider and asking for a discount is the easiest way to save money on your electricity bill. A pay-on-time discount is the most common type available, but sometimes you can get a reduction in your daily supply charge or usage charge.

If you're a senior citizen or on a concession payment, do some research into what discounts may be available to you. For South Australian customers, there is the SA Concession Energy Discount Offer which provides you with 20% off electricity usage and supply charges. There may be other programs available in your state, so make sure you don't miss out on anything that you're entitled to.

9 | Use blinds and curtains

If you're building a home, or upgrading an older property, look into buying double glazed windows. Double glazing helps to reduce the amount of heat coming in through windows by anywhere from 40-60%. It helps to keep your home warmer in winter, but also cooler in summer, which can help you cut back on electricity costs.

If you have standard glass windows, invest in curtains and blinds. When the weather is warmer, keep them closed. Sunlight can produce a great amount of heat, and very quickly heat up a room, particularly when magnified through a pane of glass, so keeping that light out will keep your home cooler for longer. In winter, opening curtains and blinds will allow the sunlight to naturally heat your home.

10 | Install solar power or solar hot water

Installing solar will considerably cut down your electricity use. The less you use, the lower your bill will be and you might even find yourself earning credit if you produce surplus power.

By implementing even just a few of these ten easy tips, you’ll notice a significant reduction in your electricity bill.