Electricity and gas consumption can take a large chunk of our monthly household budget. And we are likely paying extra for energy that we don’t use or need. Small changes to cut cost, however, can make a huge difference. Try doing these easy energy-saving tips and see how much money you can save from your next power bill!
1. Let the Sunlight In
Why turn on the lights when the morning sun shining through your window is so much better? Aside from lighting up your room, natural sunlight also works as your electricity-free heater during wintertime. However, if you need to keep glare or heat out of the room, you can always have blinds or curtains installed. Block-out curtains are especially handy when you want to keep the room dark, warm or cold. They’re very flexible with the changing season and make attractive room accessories, too.
2. Set Your Thermostat Properly
Here’s the ideal thermostat setting to help reduce your power bill: set it between 18 to 20 degrees during winter and between 25 to 26 degrees during summer. The idea here is to avoid making your heater or air conditioner work harder. Setting your thermostat one degree higher than 20 degrees in winter, for example, can result in 10% increased energy use and about 5% added cost.
3. Limit Your Use of Cooling or Heating Units
If you want to reduce your power bill further, turn on your heater or air conditioner when you are inside the room or only when necessary. I also recommend using its timer, so it can turn off automatically, in case you’re sleeping. Or better yet, do these energy-saving tips so you won’t have to use them for extended periods:
- Make the most of windows and fans. Summer is the best time to open your windows to prevent trapping hot air inside your home. You can also have ceiling fans installed. These are more energy-efficient, and some units have summer and winter settings, too.
- Use door draft stoppers. These “snake-like” accessories can decorate your room and prevent cold winter air from getting through door gaps. They are inexpensive, too, especially when you make them yourself.
- Wear weather-appropriate clothes. Forget the heater. Socks and thick blankets are all you need to keep yourself warm and comfy. Make sure to have breathable clothes ready for summer.
4. Stock Up Your Fridge and Freezer
Lessen the workload of your fridge and freezer by keeping it full. Less vacant space inside means there’s less warm air to cool down. One way to do this is to do your groceries on a schedule and to start meal prepping at home. You can fill other spaces with water-filled bottles for drinking, too. Another way to save on energy consumption is to find fridges that meet Australia’s minimum energy performance standards. These units use energy-efficient refrigerants like butane or pentane.
5. Unplug Appliances
Unplugging your appliances on standby mode is one of the best money-saving tips around. It can reduce your power bill with the least effort and without making any changes in your home. So, make this a habit and let everyone at home participate. Check out this list of appliances to get an idea of how much money you’ll save from this tip.
And while you’re at it, perhaps you can also evaluate your old appliances at home. While they contribute to the vintage appeal you’re going for, these may be one of the culprits to your shocking energy bill. Compared with old appliance models, modern ones have the best technologies and are more efficient when it comes to power consumption. So, consider selling your appliances to businesses that buy or refurbish them. Then use the extra cash to purchase a new one with a high star rating.
6. Use Energy-Efficient Water Heaters
Electric water heaters are no longer allowed in some Australian states due to their high household energy consumption. So, if possible, install energy-efficient alternatives like a solar or gas-powered unit and also set your hot water temperature to 50C. You can also pair this energy-saving tip with water waste reduction by shortening your shower time and installing a water-saving showerhead.
7. Wash and Dry Clothes Wisely
Finally, apply useful energy-saving tips even when you’re doing your laundry. For instance, unless necessary, use cold water when washing your clothes. Also, make sure to run your washing machine on full load. When you can, choose a front-loader washing machine over a top loader one as it uses energy, water and detergent more efficiently. And I know we love how dryers can instantly dry our clothes and make them super soft. But, as much as possible, use the clothesline for drying instead. We can use as much solar energy as we can for free, and it disinfects our clothes from bacteria, too.
Ready to save even more money? Complement these energy-saving tips with this list of ways to reduce household costs!