Here are 10 easy tips to help keep your energy bills down.
1. Wear the right clothes
Dress for the temperature. Layering clothes and wearing wool helps keep you warm in winter, and means you can turn your heater down.
2. Shut doors and close curtains
Heating or cooling the whole house can be expensive. Where possible, shut doors to areas you are not using and only heat or cool the rooms you spend the most time in.
Make sure your curtains or blinds seal your windows properly, and keep your curtains closed at night, and during the day when there is a heat-wave. Block draughts around doors and windows to stop air leaking out, or in.
3. Set your thermostat
In winter heating can account for over 30% of your bill. Set your thermostat between 18 and 20 degrees. Every degree above 20 can add 10% to your heating bill. In summer, set your thermostat to 26 degrees or above.
4. Turn heaters and coolers off when you don’t need them
Turn off when you leave the room, or go to bed. With some ducted heating systems you can turn off the heating in the rooms that are unoccupied. Make sure all your heating or cooling is turned off when you leave the house.
5. Wash clothes using cold water
You can save around $115 per year by washing clothes in cold water. You can also save by making sure you select the shortest appropriate washing cycle and waiting until you have a full load.
6. Run your fridge efficiently
Your fridge is always on, making it one of your most expensive appliances. Make sure the door seal is tight and free from gaps so cold air can’t escape. An ideal fridge temperature is 4 or 5 degrees and an ideal freezer temperature is minus 15 to minus 18 degrees Celsius. If you have a second fridge or freezer, only turn it on when you need it.
7. Insulate your roof
An insulated ceiling makes a big difference to your energy bills. If you already have insulation installed, check that it is properly installed and has the right rating (measured in ‘R-value’). In Victoria, insulation rated R3.5 or higher should be used for ceilings.
8. Stop standby power waste
Did you know your phone charger is still using energy even when your phone is not attached? Up to 10% of your electricity could be used by gadgets and appliances that are on standby.
A standby power controller will automatically reduce standby time and switch appliances off when not in use. You may be eligible for a discounted standby power controller. See Energy Saver Incentive.
9. Save energy in the kitchen
Thaw frozen food in your fridge to reduce cooking time. When you are cooking, use the microwave when you can – it uses much less energy than an electric oven. If you use the stove, keep lids on your pots to reduce cooking time. Use the economy cycle on your dishwasher and only run it when it’s full.
10. Use energy-efficient light globes
Replace old incandescent and halogen light globes with energy-efficient globes. Energy-efficient globes save power and last longer. Light globes can sometimes be replaced for free or at reduced cost. See: Energy Saver Incentive
Learn more about how to save energy with efficient lighting at Sustainability Victoria.