Aside from being hands-on with my energy provider so I can save money, I also made little changes around the house…
In an attempt to lower my electricity bill (without getting rid of the beer fridge or else… lol!), I tried to minimise my electricity consumption. It’s not going to cut my electricity in half but these little efforts are going to help keep our bill to a more reasonable amount and perhaps, we can save up money for a holiday!
As I’ve mentioned in my previous article, my last quarterly electricity bill was a whopping $1500!
So I’m on a mission to get it down to a more manageable level…because $1500 is just way too much money! As you can see from the pie graph below, our biggest electricity cost is in heating and cooling the home!
So, here are 22 ways I’ve come up with to try and get my electricity bill down. I challenge YOU to try following these electricity savings tips over the next month and see how much you can really save! It really is the little things with electricity savings that can save you big time.
If you know of more, please share! Let’s all save heaps of money on our electricity bill together!
1. Make use of the sun and know when to hide it.
Keeping the sun’s heat away from an airconditioned room is one cost-efficient way to save energy. So close the curtains and blinds that will shield the room from the heat coming from the sun or outside the room. When you invest in blinds or curtains, if your financial circumstances allow it – get the block-out versions. Block-out curtains and blinds really insulate the heat and cool inside the house – and stop it escaping! Alternatively with winter approaching, when the sun is beaming through the cold air, open up those curtains during the day and let the sun’s rays heat up the room!
Tip: If you can afford it, always purchase block-out versions of blinds and curtains to insulate your windows.
2. Set the temperature of your heater and air conditioner correctly.
During winter, when heating your home, set the thermostat to 18 – 20 degrees. Every degree you set your temperature above, this will use 10% more energy and will add to your electricity bill. In summer, air conditioners should be set to 24 degrees as every degree UNDER that will cost you an additional 5% in energy costs!
3. Use fans instead of the air conditioner in summer.
Fans and open windows can really cool down a home in the heat of summer. But did you know that your ceiling fans also have a summer and winter setting? Make sure you use them – they really make a difference. The winter fan will circulate air away from you, as during the summer setting, it will focus the air down. Keeping your fan nice and clean also makes a big difference to its efficiency.
4. Dress appropriately for the temperature.
Wear the right clothes for the temperature. During winter, wear a jumper, warm socks and slippers inside your home so you can lower the thermostat of your air conditioner to save you money. So don’t just whack on the heater at night or the air conditioner on during summer, grab a blanky or dress only in a bikini!
5. Buy a snake (a door snake that is!).
Door draft stoppers are super energy-efficient insulating devices since it helps keep the cold air out and the warm air in. You can also DIY one if you can (just make sure no one in the family gets freaked out with snakes!)
6. Only heat or cool the room you are in.
Keep the air conditioner and heater to just a part of the house you are in at the time. There is no need to heat or cool bedrooms you don’t use.
7. Substitute a hot water bottle for the electric blanket.
When warming up your bed, try using a hot water bottle, aside from it being inexpensive, it is considered the “greenest” means to keep warm as the amount of water needed to fill the bottle is small, so it won’t affect your water or energy bill.
Plus having your tootsies on a hot water bottle when you first hop into bed is the most delicious feeling!
8. Keep your fridge and freezers FULL.
We’ve always known that keeping the fridge and freezer closed can save us energy, but did you know that keeping these full, like chocha-block full, can also reduce your electricity bill? If you keep your fridge fully stocked, there is less air space and for cold air to be exchanged with warm air in the kitchen, so your fridge wouldn’t have to work so hard to keep things cold, therefore saving energy.
On Sunday, I do meal prep for the whole week so the entire week, my fridge is full of food and drinks!
Tip: Fill empty plastic milk containers with water and pop them in the fridge or freezer in any spare pockets
9. Unplug all ‘On Standby’ appliances.
A study has revealed that “between 9-16% of the electricity consumed in homes is used to power appliances when they are in standby mode.”
So instead of allowing your standby appliances to cost you money while doing nothing, just unplug it (it wouldn’t cost you money right?).
Electricity savings from unplugging appliances:
- A television, set top box and gaming console turned off at the switch can save up to $72.00 per year.
- A desktop computer, modem and printer turned off at the switch can save up to $49.00 per year.
- Turning your washing machine off at the switch will save $16 per year.
10. Ditch old appliances.
One of the biggest ‘costs’ I found whilst having an energy audit undertaken was the cost that my 18-year-old fridge was costing me. You see, older appliances require much energy to operate, as they don’t have the latest and greatest energy efficient technology. So, an old appliance can cost you in electricity what it would cost to replace it with a new one – every year! (Now go back and read that sentence again – cause it is truly scary!)
Best to invest in more cost-efficient and even environment-friendly appliances. But don’t throw it away just yet as you can make some cash out of it by selling it to organisations that buy used and old appliances. So by ditching old appliances, you save energy and earn money! Winning!
Tip: Always check the Star Rating on appliances when shopping around for new ones. The more stars an appliance has, the more energy efficient that appliance is!
11. Buy a front loader instead of a top loader.
This one hurts because I’m a top-loader girl through and through. But front loaders have been proven to use less water and less electricity. An economical front loading washing machine will also have a fast-spin cycle which will reduce the time it takes to dry your clothing (and hopefully not in a dryer!).
12. Only use the dryer in emergencies.
I hate this one – only because my dryer is running as we speak because I ran out of time to hang my washing out this morning and it contained the school uniforms…
So yes, whilst dryers are the fastest way to dry your clothes (oh and they make them soooo soft…), dryers consume energy fast as well. And it does no good for your clothes too. So when drying your clothes, just use a clothesline where you can place your clothes under the heat of the sun. It’s even good for your clothes as the sun kills bacteria on it. But if you must use your dryer, use it for emergencies only.
The newer models of dryers also have an ‘auto-sense’ that can tell when your clothing is dry, and will switch itself off.
Tip: A dry towel or dry piece of clothing added a new dryer load can significantly cut down on drying time.
13. Only turn on your dishwasher when it is full.
And make sure you rinse your dishes (in cold water) before placing them in the dishwasher!
14. Set a timer on family showers
Four minutes is all it takes to wash pits and privates. Keep it short and sweet.
15. Grab an energy-efficient shower head.
Not only do they use less water (another great saving) but they can save up to $328 per year on electricity. A typical water saving showerhead uses 9 litres of water per minute or less.
16. Boil water in the kettle on a gas hob rather than on the electric stove.
Using a gas hob is more energy efficient than using an electric stove or using an electric kettle. (Using an electric stove uses three times the energy that an electric kettle uses). And it would be a plus in saving energy if you’re using a whistling kettle as it would alarm you when the water is already boiling.
17. Only use cold water in the washing machine.
When washing coloured clothes, there is a small difference in wash performance between washing in warm or in cold water, so opt for the cold water instead to save money and energy. Most washing powder and liquids now have been adapted to be used in cold water.
18. Switch light bulbs to energy efficient or LED globes.
Using LED light bulbs means you’re using 90 percent less energy compared to using incandescent light bulbs. So switch to LED now to save energy and money. Oh and make sure you turn OFF lights when you leave a room.
19. Use solar lights with motion sensors for outdoors.
Solar lights are so pretty now, and there are so many different sorts that you needn’t even have your outdoor area wired for power! Any security lighting can now be installed using solar power, and use solar lights to light pathways or stairs.
20. Keep lids on your pots whilst cooking.
This keeps in the heat, making your food cook faster, therefore using less electricity!
21. Turn off the lights when you’re not using them.
Whether you have LED or incandescent light bulbs, leaving them on when you’re not using them still adds up to your electricity bill. This is where the Origin HQ System is EPIC! You can set up the system so that a light will come on when you walk into a room and will go off when you leave a room. Think of the money that will save!
22. Read your electricity bill
Start reading your electricity bill a bit differently. Rather than just focus your attention on the final figure (which is usually scary) – take the time to understand the other information along with the big figure. This will help you understand more your energy consumption.
Tip: Don’t just read the end figure and freak out. Learn WHAT your electricity bill is teaching you about your usage.
Good luck with your energy-saving challenge, and make sure to do it for 30 days!