Like most Australians, you are spending more time at home. And like many Aussies, you are probably also looking for ways to cut back and ease the pressure on your household budget.
Ironically, just as you are looking to find ways to save money, your electricity use is likely to have increased due to more time at home, especially if you are working remotely or studying online. And that means you could be in for a nasty ‘bill shock’ when your next electricity bill arrives.
Even though you might have a little bit extra time on your hands, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to reducing your energy use. At iSelect, we’re here to help!
As a child, did your parents ever ask you to turn off the light when you left the room? They knew it was a simple way to reduce unnecessary use of energy, and save money on their electricity bill. And more time at home means more lights on, more often. So make sure you turn off the lighting in any rooms that aren’t currently in use.
Better still, consider switching to energy efficient LED bulbs. According to Energy Rating (1), LED bulbs:
A small change by swapping out ten halogen light bulbs can lead to savings of up to $650 over ten years (1).
Also, instead of having the lights on all the time, try task lighting. For example, if you’re working from home at your desk, try a desk lamp. And if you’re binge-watching the latest Netflix show, turn off the lights. It’ll create a more cinematic atmosphere anyway.
With so much happening in the kitchen, it’s one of the main electrical hubs in your home. And with restaurants closed, most of us are cooking at home more. So there’s a couple of simple ways you can reduce your electricity use in this space, which could amount to real savings.
Your fridge is running 24 hours a day and uses significant electricity. Check that the seal is airtight. A leaky seal lets cold air escape and results in an increase in energy usage, and therefore a higher electricity bill.
Next, make sure you set the temperature to between 4 to 5 degrees for the fridge, and the freezer is between minus 15 to minus 18 degrees, for optimal performance.
Each morning, put any frozen food in your fridge which you plan on cooking in the evening. This may result in a reduced cooking time and a greater savings on your bill.
Use a microwave oven, electric fry pan, or a pressure cooker instead of a traditional electric oven – simply because they require less energy (2).
More time at home means more hours of the day using heating and cooling. Your thermostat functions as the heart of your home – your personalised weather centre. Most people just set it and forget it. If you don’t have your settings optimised, it can end up costing you money. Ideally, you should set your thermostat between 18 and 21 degrees. Also, every degree lower may reduce running costs by up to 10% (3).
Working or studying from home means more devices being used more often. If you’re using a regular powerboard to connect all of your devices, then it’s most likely wasting energy. Consider replacing your old powerboards with new smart docking stations, as they help to reduce wasted energy while your devices are on standby.
As standby mode uses energy, you should turn off your appliances before you go to sleep for higher savings.
By using cold water to wash clothes, you may be able to save on your electricity bill. Also, be sure to select the shortest washing cycle possible, and wait until you have a full load before doing a wash.
Clothes dryers are one of the biggest electricity users in the home. Just by using your clothes line instead of the clothes dryer once a week, you could save up to $79 per year (4). And if you are at home during the week, hopefully you can take advantage of sunny days to dry your washing outside rather than having to rely on the dryer.
If it’s sunny outside, turn off the lights, open your curtains and let some natural sunlight inside! It’ll also help improve your mood while spending more time indoors. Keep doors closed to rooms which you’re using, and only heat or cool rooms where you spend the most time.
The most effective way to determine what appliances in your home are contributing to high energy bills is by getting an in-home energy assessment.
Find out how to easily save energy in your home, as well as saving on your bills with a home sustainability assessment (5).
Heat escapes through the roof, making your heater have to work overtime, which can increase the price of your electricity bill.
Having an insulated ceiling helps retain the heat. It can also have a big difference on your electricity bill, by saving you up to 20% on your heating and cooling expenses per year (6).
A quick way to save on your electricity bill, without changing your habits is to compare the cost of offers from electricity providers. You can compare electricity plans online from iSelect’s range of plans and providers*, where you’ll be able to see a range of plans. Or you can call us on 13 19 20 to speak with one of our trained consultants.
While there is an initial upfront cost associated with solar energy, in the long run, it can end up saving you money on your electricity bill. Using solar electricity lets you avoid buying some of your energy directly from a retailer (7).
Organise your electricity the easy way. Compare electricity plans online with iSelect, or feel free to give us a call on 13 19 20. We can help you compare energy plans from our range of providers*, as well as help with the time-consuming admin of switching.