13 Ways to Save Electricity

13 Ways to Save Electricity

Summer is well and truly underway, but just because the weather is heating up, our electricity prices don’t have too as well. Nowhere is the heat felt more than in the Sunshine State and Queenslanders are always looking for new ways to save energy and reduce electric bills. In this article, we will share 13 ways to save electricity that will not only stay within your budget, but also keep the temperature well within your comfort zone.

energy efficient lighting

Install Energy Efficient Lighting

Even things as small as light bulbs can take up a surprisingly large chunk of your power bill. If you are using incandescent or halogen light bulbs, it might be time to make the switch because they require more electricity and need to be replaced more often. Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) and LED light bulbs are energy-efficient alternatives that reduce electricity use and last much longer. Not only will you save on your energy bills, but you'll also save money by not having to replace burnt-out light bulbs so often.

Be Energy Aware When Washing Clothes

Doing the laundry consumes a lot of energy, and there are several simple but effective ways to save electricity when washing you and your family’s clothes. A great place to start is by doing full loads sparingly instead of partial loads consistently and try using cold water instead of warm or hot. When it comes to drying, opting to hang your clothes out in the sun can save you plenty on your electricity bill.

But we understand that sometimes the sun isn't always out, especially during the summer storm season, so if you have to use the dryer, ensure the lint trap is clear to ensure the machine is working without any blockages, and if possible, use the eco-friendly option.

Economise on Hot Water

A hot water system can account for around a quarter of a household's total energy consumption, making it full of opportunities for saving. Used every day, the shower can rack up the costs, but there are ways to ensure that this part of the day isn’t wasting energy, including:

  • Installing a low-flow showerhead
  • Take shorter showers; no longer than 4 minutes

Other simple ways to save on electricity and hot water costs include:

  • Washing the dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher
  • Running the dishwasher with an eco-friendly setting
  • Regularly checking your hot water system for leaks.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Keeping the home cool during the summer can be expensive if you're not mindful of how you’re keeping the temperature down. A programmable thermostat can help you with saving electricity at home by allowing you to adjust the temperature around your lifestyle and weekly schedule. This way, you can set the air conditioner to turn on before the kids get home from school and off when the house is empty, or everyone is asleep.

Keep in mind when adjusting your thermostat that every degree below 25 can add around 10% to the running costs of your bill. So when taking the steps to reduce electric bills this summer, be sure to set the temperature at 25 or 26 degrees.

Check Your Air Conditioning

Your air conditioner is a hot weather essential, but it might require a maintenance check to ensure it is functioning well, especially if you’ve have had the same unit for many summers. A poor-performing air conditioner could be using up unnecessarily high amounts of energy, amounting to higher costs for your energy bill. Luckily, you don’t have to be a certified technician to give your air conditioning unit some TLC; try vacuuming the air vents regularly to remove any dust build-up and ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking the airflow coming out of the vents.

While it might be difficult to do or we simply just forget, one of the most effective ways to save energy is by turning off the air conditioning when the room is just cool enough. You can also try having it on as early in the day as possible, cooling down the room before it gets too hot outside later in the day.

Insulate Your Home

Insulate Your Home

Insulating your roof or ceiling is a cost-effective way to reduce electricity use and overall cooling costs this summer by making your home energy efficient all year round. A significant amount of natural heat can get trapped in the roof and ceiling during the summer months, which could have you spending more on ways to keep your home cool. By paying the money to insulate today, you can reduce electric bills in the long run with a home that maintains a comfortable temperature throughout the summer without the excessive usage of air conditioning.

Keep The Curtains and Doors Closed

When using your air conditioner, closing the doors of nearby rooms is a handy way to save electricity by cooling down the space you are using much faster. Basically, the harder your air conditioner has to work by filling up those extra rooms, the higher the costs on your bill. Another way to help keep out the heat and maximise the cool air inside is to close any nearby curtains and blinds, focusing specifically on those windows on the sides of your home that get the most sun throughout the day. 

Purchase Energy Efficient Appliances

About time to upgrade old household appliances? When shopping for replacements, always consider the energy efficiency ratings (the more stars, the better) and the appliance size. For example, if you're looking for a new fridge, opting for one that is the right size for you and your family's needs naturally means less energy consumption. You could save hundreds on your energy bill when upgrading to more energy-efficient models and one’s that use up the right amount of electricity.

Double Check Appliance Settings

For the appliances you do own, there might be some small setting changes you can make to have a significant impact on your energy output. Check that the fridge isn’t on the coldest setting and use any eco settings on dishwashers, washing machines and air conditioners if possible. You can even think outside the box by adjusting the brightness on the television; they can be easy to miss out on but there are so many ways to take advantage of the appliances we already have to reduce electricity use.

Turn Off At The Wall

Continuing with how you can save with your appliances, the most effective ways to save energy is; if you aren't using it, turn it off. Think of all the devices you use daily but not as often, like, televisions, microwaves, dishwashers and even phone chargers. Each of these appliances consume electricity when not in use, so after the next family movie night, switch the TV off at the wall instead.

Other appliances that consume energy when not in use include:

  • Computers
  • Gaming consoles
  • Laptop chargers
  • Printers
  • Home entertainment speakers.

Another helpful tip to reduce electricity use is investing in a smart power board. These handy little things look and act like regular powerboards, but with built-in Wi-Fi, so you can use your smartphone to turn off the outlets connected to appliances or devices.

Switch To Solar

Switch to Solar Power

A solar system not only has the potential for you to save big on energy, but it also leaves a positive impact on the environment. Installing solar panels on your roof means you can generate free, renewable energy during daylight hours, which is then converted into electricity via an inverter. The only costs you’ll be making is to install the system but in the long run, sunlight costs nothing and during the summer months, there is an abundance of this reliable source of energy. 

New Brighton homeowners have the opportunity to harness the power of solar and reduce electric bills with SolarPay.

Monitor Your Energy Output

It's now easier than ever to identify opportunities to save on electric bills this summer with an energy monitor; a simple device that can take data from your meter to display energy usage in real-time. You can track how much electricity is being used and at what particular times you're using the most, allowing you to make the necessary adjustments to help you save. 

The significant sources of energy in the typical Australian home include:

  • Heating and cooling
  • Hot water
  • Pools and spas
  • Refrigeration and similar appliances.

An energy monitor can help you identify patterns and trends in your electricity usage by focusing on these areas. They can also be linked to your smartphone so that any energy sources can be turned off from wherever in the house such as tv’s on standby, lights left on and air conditioners running longer than necessary.

Compare Energy Plans

If you've been with the same electricity provider for years, it's encouraged to shop around and compare rates to seek out a better deal. Plans and prices are constantly changing to improve customers' chances of saving electricity at home, so while you might have had a good deal when you signed up, you might find a great deal with another provider. However, if you are satisfied with your current provider but aware of a better deal with another, you can let them know and see if they can match the rate or beat it without switching.

When looking around, keep an eye out for plans that match your household and lifestyle to avoid paying more than you need. Start by understanding your current plan and whether you can maximise your savings by comparing it with another plan that rewards you as well such as reduced tariffs or time-of-use-pricing.

Have you found this article helpful and are looking for even more new and fresh ideas for budgeting? Check out our Ways to Save on a Tight Budget and discover some really life-changing tips you can put into action today!