Annoyed with ever-increasing electricity bills? You’re not alone – 2.8 million households in Australia are getting bill shock. There is a way to give your retailer less and save you hundreds a year.
Solar is seen as the simple sexy solution. Put panels on your roof and bam, reductions in electricity bills. But for many the upfront costs, or the time of day you’ll be using electricity, make solar not the right investment just yet. Household energy efficiency measures, while about as sexy as a cane toad, could save you hundreds of dollars a year from simple changes. Do you have a second fridge? A large number of us do for gatherings. When it’s not party time, turn it off. This could save you up to $200 a year.
Standby, or “vampire” power is when an appliance is left on at the wall and is gently sucking electricity all the time. Turning appliances off at the switch when not in use can save up to $100 every year. Want to make your clothes and bedding last longer? Wash in cold water. Many of us wash in hot water because it’s considered more hygienic, but a good detergent is better than water temperature at cleaning clothes. Switch to cold water and save up to $140 a year. The time of day we use our appliances can also have a big impact. Call your electricity retailer and ask them what the cheapest times are. Switching your times for the hot water system and washing machine can be a big saving.
Finally, if you’re like me and like a bit of control in your energy use, smart switches allow you to turn something on and off from a smart phone. This is a good solution for the big energy suckers in your home – TVs, washing machine, heating/cooling and lighting. For more information, visit: www.yourhome.gov.au/energy
Joanna Greenlees is co-founder and director of Energy Panda. This column is general advice and will be different in every circumstance. Please make sure the advice is right for you.