Prices for energy may be going up, but your energy bill doesn’t have to. Being careful with how you use energy shouldn’t mean going without or feeling uncomfortable. Here are a few things you may not have thought of that you can do to help save energy, save money and live well
Seven ways to take action
1-Heat and cool your home the smart way
heating and cooling can make up to 40% of the energy used, but it’s also vital for health and wellbeing. Here are some things you can do and still feel comfortable:
- Only heat and cool the rooms you are using and close all other doors.
- Every degree up or down when it comes to heating or cooling can increase energy use by 5-10%, so if you can:
- – In winter set the temperature at 18-20 deg
- -In summer set the temperature at 24-26 deg
- If you can, avoid cheap plug-in fans or column heaters as they can use a lot of energy.
- If you have a split system air conditioner you might also be able to use this to heat your home. Look for the ‘sun’ ☀️ on your remote or check the manual for instructions. If you can see the model call the manufacturer or look it up online.
- Always use ceiling fans in summer first, if it’s safe for you or someone else to do so, check if your fan works in reverse. Along with your heater, this can draw the hot air down from the roof and heat the room more efficiently.
- If you can, have thick curtains put up to create an extra layer between you and the cold glass. If you can add pelmets, (or something rolled up to cover the top of the curtain) this will help to stop the air travelling.
- Do you have floorboards or tiles? Buy or find some second-hand rugs at your local op shop – the
2- Stop the draughts
Our homes can be ‘leaky’. Try old-fashioned but still smart tricks like a rolled-up large towel or a door snake against the door.
3- Switch off at the wall
Did you know that a TV can continue to use power even when it’s switched off? Up to 10% of electricity usage can come from appliances on ‘standby’ so off, but not turned off at the wall. If you don’t need it, switch it off.
If you haven’t already, switch to LEDs (check for government offers) and only have the lights on that you need. Every bit counts!
If you need to replace an appliance, consider the size you need (is it time to downsize?) and energy star rating when making your decision.
Boiling the kettle? Only boil the amount that you need. The less water. The less electricity used.
6- Limiting hot water use
Around 20% of energy use in the average home is for heating water. Having shorter showers between 2 – 4min and doing your laundry in cold water can really help.
7- Talk to your energy retailer
Ask your retailer to check:
- If you are receiving concessions or rebates you are eligible for
- If they have a seniors energy plan offer that is better than what you are already on
- If they know of any government grants or rebates in your area for things such as appliance or light bulb replacements, and
- Let them know if you require life support equipment.
If you are worried about your energy bill, don’t sit in the cold or go without. Call your energy retailer they are there to help and are obligated to do so.