The Simple Guide To Cutting Your Energy Bills [With Zero Effort]
That’s what the average Australian household pays for energy every year. That really hurts the hip pocket.
There’s nothing worse than being hit with a bill that takes away all that hard-earned money, but what can you do?
Although it’s impossible to cut your bills down to $0, there are ways to save energy and some serious dollars.
We could tell you all about installing solar panels, buying the latest high energy star-rated home appliances, getting your roof insulated and the myriad of other ways to save energy…but let’s leave those for another day.
Because today, we want to share with you some simple energy-saving tips – easy things you can do starting today, to save triple digits on your next energy bill. The best part is, it costs little to nothing to make these changes.
Lighting – Bright ideas to cut the costs
First and foremost, turn off your lights when you leave a room.
A no-brainer, right?
This is probably the most obvious one, but we’ve mentioned it anyway because so many people forget to flip the switch, falling victim to this energy and money-sucking trap. Try getting into the habit of switching off the light when not using a room, even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes – because every minute contributes to your bill.
Another common-sense tip is to turn off the power at the wall for electronic devices that aren’t in use. All it takes is a couple of seconds if that!
If you want to take it a step further, replacing regular incandescent lights with (Light Emitting Diode) or CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) lighting are super simple solutions that use up to 70% less energy.
The standard incandescent bulbs use 90% of the energy for wasted heat, which leaves a measly 10% to make visible light. Whereas the numbers for LED are 20% heat, 80% light. Impressive stuff right?
The Fridge – Some food for thought
When it comes to the fridge, you can still save a substantial amount of money without having to upgrade to a new, more energy-efficient one. Just follow these simple energy saving tips.
The key here is temperature – you don’t want your fridge and freezer to be colder than what’s necessary unless you like it that way. The fresh food compartment should ideally be between 0-4°C while the freezer temp should be -18°C. Also, make sure your fridge is out of direct sunlight and not in close proximity to heat sources. It’s also a good idea to not cram your fridge, but at the same time not leave it too empty.
Often when we’re feeling a little peckish (or bored) our arms develop minds of their own and open the fridge door every 5 minutes – despite there being nothing to satisfy our cravings. Try to avoid the constant opening and closing of the fridge door!
Last but certainly not least, wait until food cools down before you pop it in the fridge. By putting hot food in the fridge, not only will your fridge have to use more energy, but you also run the risk of spoiling perishable foods like eggs, vegetables and meat.
The Laundry – Loads of helpful tips for a load of washing
Washing clothes can use up a substantial amount of energy. To all the mums with a few boys at home, we know how fast those sweaty shirts and dirty socks accumulate in a matter of days. So we’re sure you’re dying to know how to cut energy costs in this department.
Although using warm water for the washing machine can be more effective at removing some stains, cold water can do the job just as well, but in a more energy-efficient way. Approximately 70%-90% of the energy used by a washing machine goes to warming up the water.
Oh, and take the tip from above and unplug or switch off the washing machine at the wall when not in use!
An obvious one again, but opt for line drying over using the dryer. This may be a little tricky for all the Melburnians out there with the typical unpredictable weather, but when the sun’s out, drying your clothes on the line will cost you nothing. And if you do need to use the dryer, don’t overfill it and remember to separate heavy clothes from light ones. These will guarantee a faster drying time.
The Kitchen – Cook up a storm and avoid a hefty bill
Now let’s move onto the room where all the culinary magic happens.
Did you know that energy use in the kitchen accounts for approximately 20% of your total energy bill? Here are a few things you can do, starting from your next meal, to reduce your bills…
Turning off the heat a few minutes before you finish cooking is one of the great ways to save energy. The residual heat will continue cooking your food slowly and keep it warm – but keep in mind, the extent to which your food retains heat will depend on the type of cookware you’re using. It’s also good to use pots that are the appropriate size for the amount of food you’re cooking. It goes without saying, but larger pots will take longer to heat up, using more energy.
Also, ovens are no competition to microwaves when cooking food in an energy-efficient (and faster) way.
And what should we do once we’re done using the microwave? That’s right, turn it off at the wall.
Bonus tip: Don’t overfill your kettle! Only boil the amount of water you need.
Now you have a wealth of knowledge on how to save on energy costs at home – so you can treat yourself to something special with all that money you’ve saved!