It’s easy to get complacent about your power usage around the home. So many of use lights, entertainment consoles and devices, hot water systems and large appliances without thinking about how much they’re costing us to run.
And then the bill arrives.
But a few simple changes to your household’s habits will see some smart savings on your next account, it may take some persistence to get the family to comply, but it’s worth hundreds of dollars in savings each year.
1. Turn it off.
Stand-by power is a fantastic way to keep your gaming consoles, entertainment centre, computers and small appliances ready for when you want to use them.
But when you’re out during the day or while you’re sleeping, those devices are still ticking over if they’re left on stand-by, eating away at any savings you might be making in other areas of your home.
By turning off the power at the wall socket, your meter is going to ease off and ultimately give your bill a break.
To make it even easier, plug all of your entertainment devices into one power board and turn it off at the wall at night.
2. Think green.
Sometimes we go about household chores without thinking too much about how we can save more on the family’s budget.
If you’re in the habit of doing your laundry in hot water, switch to using cold cycles instead.
Modern washing machines work perfectly well on a cold cycle and you’ll save on hot water heating costs.
If you really need a second fridge, only run it when you have guests and want to cool extra food and drink.
It’s easy to get into the habit of popping wet clothes in the dryer, even when it’s a dry day.
Clothes, towels and bedding will last longer if they’re dried naturally, so avoid temptation and unplug your dryer at the wall and let your laundry dry naturally on the clothesline.
3. Load ‘em up.
Rinse your dishes before loading the dishwasher and only run it when you have a full load.
The same goes for the washing machine, you’ll save on water and electricity costs if you only wash when you have a full load.
4. Seal the deal.
During winter months, throw open your curtains and blinds during the day to allow sunlight to heat your rooms and close up before dark to trap warm air inside.
Conversely during summer, close drapes during the hottest part of the day and reopen them at night to allow the night time breezes to flow through the rooms.
Draughts are irritating in cold weather, so stop up any leaks by sealing floor gaps and window and door frames, plus areas where pipes enter and exit the floor.
5. Gas or electricity?
When water heating systems go wrong, householders tend to replace like with like, without considering the savings a little research could make.
Many don’t realise that mains gas water heating systems produce a third of the greenhouse emissions of electric systems.
Tankless gas water systems save you money as they only heat water as you use it, with the added bonus that you never run out of hot water. You will however need to call a gas fitter to install it for you.
6. Set the temperature.
Want to save money straight away?
Investing in a programmable thermostat is the best choice you could make if you own a split system.
Adjusting your system by a mere one degree, will save 10% on your bill.
Run your air-conditioner only during the hottest part of the day and heat the house in winter only when you’re home, plus pop snuggle blankets and warm wheat packs onto couches and beds, instead of heating your home while you sleep.