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Seven ways to lower energy costs while at home

News Article Date: 
Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Tips from the Australian Energy Foundation on lowering energy costs at home.

As the government encourages social distancing to help slow COVID-19’s spread, many of us will spend much more time in our houses than usual. And as we and our family members work, study, and care for children at home, our houses will use more electricity than usual too.

However, the last thing anyone needs right now is a higher electricity bill.

So here are seven easy ways to save energy while keeping you and your family connected, comfortable and entertained.

1. Heating

Many households find that heating is their biggest energy expense — even more so when everyone’s staying home during a chilly autumn day.

Cut those costs while keeping warm with 3 energy-saving tips:

Heat With Your Home Air Conditioner

Most modern air conditioners have a reverse cycle, which is the least expensive way to heat your home.

Set Your Heater To 18-20oC

You’ll hardly notice a couple degrees warmer or cooler than this, but your heater will; every degree higher can add 10% to its winter running costs.

Use Electric Blankets

If you’re just relaxing on the couch or bed and don’t need to heat an entire room, cosy up under an electric blanket – they’re deliciously snuggly and only cost three cents an hour to run.

2. Hot Water

Check out 10 ways to cut your hot water costs while staying clean & comfortable. As a sneak peek, here are the three easiest tips:

Take Showers Instead of Baths

Even a relatively long 8-10 minute shower uses 75-150 litres less water than the average bath.

Take 4-6 Minute Showers

You can halve your shower costs by halving your shower time.

Wash Laundry in Cold Water

Many delicate fabrics need cold washes anyway. Do the rest of your laundry with them — you’ll save 80% of the energy needed for a typical warm water load.

3. Energy Bill Comparison

While you’re at home on your computer, it’s the perfect time to see if a different energy plan can save you more.

Compare your energy bills quickly and easily at the Australian Government website Energy Made Easy. If you haven’t switched your plan for a while, you could end up saving quite a bit.

 Victorian Energy Compare and get $50 just for comparing.

4. Window Curtains

Keep heat from escaping through your windows with some heavy curtains — or, in a pinch, bubble wrap.

5. Electronics

Our computers, TVs, game consoles, and sound systems are going to see heavy use as we enjoy well-deserved home entertainment. Here are ways to make sure they don’t make you pay for electricity you don’t use:

Use A Laptop Instead Of A Desktop Computer

Most of us have laptops anyway, and they use up to 80% less energy than desktop computers.

Turn Off “Energy Vampires”

Some electronics, called “energy vampires,” keep charging even in standby mode, pushing your electricity bill higher for energy you don’t even use. To avoid standby power use, turn off these appliances at the powerpoint after use:

  • Computers and computer equipment
  • TVs
  •  Surround sound systems
  • Cable and satellite TV boxes
  • Household items with a clock (i.e. microwaves, DVD players)
  •  

6. Cooking

Now is a great time to experiment with new recipes and serve up old favorites. As you’re creating delicious meals, save energy and:

Cool At the Right Temperature

Set your refrigerator to 3°- 4°, and your freezer to -15° to -18°. These temperatures will preserve your food safely without wasting unnecessary electricity.

Use Smaller Appliances

Baking up an apple crisp? You can do that — and much more — in a microwave instead of having to heat an entire oven. The smaller the kitchen appliance, the less energy it uses (and the less you have to pay in energy bills).

7. Solar Research

Now that you’re home during the day, it’s the perfect time to investigate your options for solar and battery storage. Going solar will lower your energy bills permanently and has a short payback period of 3-5 years.

 

 

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