With great power comes great costs. Or so the saying goes.
The typical Australian household pays about $1,402 every year for their power bill, according to Canstar Blue, but some states are more expensive than others with South Australia and Tasmania reporting the highest energy bills.
You might be paying more for your electricity than the average household without realising, or perhaps you’d simply like to cut down your usage. Either way, it's always good to know where you can save money so you've got room to do the things you love.
There are some simple energy saving tips that you can follow to help cut down the costs for you to save money on your power bill. Plus, saving on energy will help reduce the chance that you’ll need to take out a cash loan to pay a bill.
In Australia, look out for the energy rating sticker on appliances. The rating system is regulated by the Australian Government and has been around for more than three decades.
It compares the item’s energy efficiency to other models on the market of the same size. This will help you make an informed decision when it comes to picking an energy saving device. Energy smart appliances can range from smart TVs, whitegoods such as washing machines, to energy efficient kettles in Australia.
But it’s not just about saving money on power, it’s also about being savvy. Some people need to sell their goods as their circumstances change, like moving house or downgrading to a rental, so keep an eye out and snap up a second-hand bargain on devices like cooling and heating or kitchen appliances.
If you’re going for a long bike ride, you’ll need a lot of energy. And you’ll need even more if it’s hilly because you’ll be working harder. The same logic applies for appliances – the harder an appliance has to work, the more energy it uses to get the job done.
Is your fridge running colder than it needs to, and have you made sure your dishwasher or washing machine are running on their eco settings? Adjust your appliances to make sure they’re running efficiently to use less energy.
Back in 2020 the International Energy Agency reported that solar was the cheapest source of electricity. Sustainability advocate Renew says the average home can save thousands on their electricity bills by installing solar, effectively paying off the system in seven years. So it's good for the environment, and good for your wallet in the long run.
The upfront cost of solar can be overwhelming for some – lucky there are some federal, state, and retailer incentives to help offset the cost. Check out the solar incentives available to you via the Clean Energy Council.
Heating and cooling typically use more power than other appliances, so the more that you can do to make the job easier the happier your electricity bill will be. Things like curtains, shutters, blinds, and even window tinting can help to reduce the energy you use.
Some types of curtains and blinds are made from materials that reduce heat transfer and block the relentless summer sun.
This can make an impact on your electricity bill by helping to reduce your heating and cooling energy usage. Insulation slows the flow of heat, keeping your home cool in summer and warm in winter. According to YourHome, it can help you save up to 45% on heating and cooling costs.
While it’s not cheap to install, it will help you save money long term.
There are a few different types on the market with halogen, LED, and fluorescent to choose from.
Fluoro lights are more efficient than halogen bulbs, and LED is usually the most energy efficient option that you can choose for your home. When you’re buying new globes look out for the type of bulb it is and start changing out your old globes to more efficient globes instead. And yes, turn off the lights in the rooms you're not using.
Take power into your own hands with a smart appliance to help you control your energy usage.
Fridges, temperature control, water, lighting – there are so many options for smart appliances to help you create an energy efficient house. Connected devices can be turned off remotely, adjusted so that you’re using the device more efficiently and only when you need it (such as heating and cooling), and a lot more.
Did you know you can save power by turning off appliances on the wall? This isn’t possible for everything, but according to Canstar standby appliances can cost the average household more than $100 per year in wasted electricity. If you forget to switch off the power, you can always use a smart power board to stop wasted power.
For those who have been working from home, you may have seen an increase in your bill by simply having your computer switched on the entire day. Make up for it by switching off your power board in the evening or overnight while you're sleeping.
What type of hot water system do you have? It could be using more power than you think. According to the Australian Government, water heating is the second-largest household energy user and the largest source of greenhouse gases from an average Aussie home.
Electric storage hot water systems are the cheapest to buy and install but they’re also more expensive to run, while a heat pump water heater uses about 30% of the energy of a standard electric system. Unfortunately, they’re expensive to buy and install but overall, they’re cheaper to run.
There are also other options to consider like solar heating and solar-powered electric hot water systems that could help you save power too. A cheaper initial cost isn’t always the best way to go, so always research before you commit to a system.
Additional quick wins can be turning your system off if you’re away from the house for an extended period of time and getting the temperature right. Storage hot water systems should be at 60 degrees Celsius and instantaneous systems at 50 degrees Celsius.
Are there changes you can make to the layout of your room so that you’re not facing the sun? Or perhaps there’s a cooler room you can use for a bedroom or lounge instead of the one where the sun streams in through the windows. Small changes can help with energy efficiency by helping to reduce the amount you’ll spend on cooling the place down.
This goes without saying but doing your research on power companies can save you decent dollars. Check if you get any discounts that you can apply to your account with your provider. Even if it saves you a small amount, it’s worth asking the question.
Track your usage as the months go on to see if any changes you’ve made along the way have made a difference on your bill and adjust as you need to. Aside from the difference in dollars on your bill as the months go by, you'll also be reducing your carbon footprint – there's no better time than now to practice energy efficiency if it means helping our planet, too.
Every bit you save on your bill counts.
The information contained in this blog is general advice only and does not take your specific circumstance into consideration. You should assess your own financial position, objectives, and requirements before making any financial decisions.
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