Maintaining a home
5 simple ways to reduce your electricity bill this summer
19 October 2018
If you’ve experienced an Australian summer, you’ll know there are some days where you feel like you will melt the moment you step outside. So, what do you do? You stay home, crank the air conditioner and fans and try to wait for the worst of the heat to be over.
The problem is, if you do this, you’re going to be stung with a mammoth electricity bill come autumn. But there are some simple things you can do to survive the summer heat without burning your skin and your savings.
1. Know how much energy you’re using
At any given moment, you may have a dozen or more appliances and electrical goods running, but do you know which ones are costing you the most?
Heating and cooling is the energy guzzler in the typical Australian home, with 40% of the household energy use going to it.
There’s a very simple way to reduce the amount of energy your appliances consume as well – turn them off, not on the machine, but at the outlet. Many kinds of kettles, toasters and televisions will use energy while set to ‘off’, so by simply turning it off at the switch, can make a big difference in the long run.
2. Review your energy costs
When was the last time you looked at your energy bill and analysed it beyond the ‘amount due’?
Don’t worry, many Australians don’t remember either, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look. You could be paying less for your energy, and every little bit helps. Online comparison tools let you get a good overview of what’s on offer and where you could be saving money.
3. Be mindful when setting your thermostat
Just because it feels like the world is on fire outside, doesn’t mean it has to feel like the North Pole inside. Many people will blast the air conditioner until there is frost on the glass – you don’t need to do this.
Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature and leave it there. Keep in mind as well, that by setting your thermostat to 24°C or higher may save your energy usage, as every degree under 24°C will require 5% more energy 1.
Also consider investing in a ‘smart thermostat’. They’re part of a new wave of connected-home technology where you can set the temperature using a smartphone remotely or program to set to a specific temperature at a specific time on a specific day of the week. Very cool (pun intended).
4. Switch on a fan
Many Australians rely on their air conditioner unnecessarily. If your home is hot and muggy inside, opening the windows and using fans is a much more cost-effective way to cool down your house.
You would probably remember being taught in the third grade about how hot air rises – keep that in mind, especially if you have multiple levels in your home. Keep those upstairs-windows open and let the hot air pass through.
5. Explore using LED lighting
If the sun is teeming down and giving you all it’s got, close the blinds to block out the heat. But obviously, this will mean you will be in the dark, and turning on the lights isn’t going to help your house cool down. Not traditional (incandescent) globes anyway.
90% of the energy used by a traditional globe turns into heat, LED lights on the other hand emit half the amount, while using 75% less energy. So, not only are LED lights good for your heat problem, but they’re good for your energy bill as well 2.
Stop sweating over your next energy bill and don’t spend any more money than you should.
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