Like most Aussies, your household probably consumes a lot of power. This power doesn’t usually come cheap, especially with all the household appliances you can find in our homes these days. Some are light on power consumption, such as lights, fans, television sets, DVD players and music systems, whilst others are more expensive when it comes to power consumption, like air conditioners and central heating systems. Overall, Australians shell out a lot of money to keep themselves comfortable and entertained, but there are ways you can save on these costs.
Let’s look at the two main types of energy available to Australians. Electricity powers all of the gadgets and gizmos mentioned above, while gas is used mainly for cooking, warming a home and heating water. As most parts of the country have a relatively warm climate, central heating, either gas or electric, is not as common as it is in much colder countries. However, there may be higher reliance on cooling systems like air conditioning or fans during the warmer months. This means you need to consider where you live, what you use and how you use your appliances when trying to save money on energy.
There are a few ways in which you can save money on electricity and gas. Costly energy bills are often caused by a failure to realise the importance of a few simple things you can do to save money. Getting the most value for money with your electricity and gas provider isn’t always a high priority, but with a few changes, you can save money which helps your household budget. Once you appreciate the simplicity of implementing these changes and the inevitable reduction in electricity and gas expenses, you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.
How to save on electricity and gas
There are some simple things you can do today to reduce your electricity and gas bills. The more you do them, they may become habits and help save you more money in the long run.
- Turn off lights and fans if you’re not using them.
- Switch to LED lights if and where you can as they consume less electricity than conventional bulbs or tubes.
- Using cold water rather than warm or hot when washing clothes is cheaper. Also, never run your washing machine or dishwasher before it is full.
- Keep all your doors and windows closed when you have the air conditioning or central heating on. You could also consider closing the curtains if the air conditioning is on.
- Ensure that there are no drafts or areas where cool or heat can seep out of your home. Check things like window seals and under doors. The less air you let out when running things like air conditioning or heating, the less electricity these systems should use.
- If you have central heating, if you set it to between 18 – 20 degrees Celsius instead of 22 – 23 degrees, it may help you save some money.
- If you’re going to spend most of your time in one or two rooms, then focus your heating or cooling on these rooms. This is where zoned heating or cooling may work, as you can select which rooms you turn on.
- If you’re using the heating or cooling systems, close the internal doors to keep the heat or cool in one area. This should lower the electricity the system will use as it’s not trying to heat or cool a larger area.
- Don’t leave your heating or cooling systems on overnight or while you’re out of the house. If you can set timers, have them come on maybe an hour before bed to get the bedrooms cool or heated and have a similar schedule for when you get home. The more you use these systems, the more electricity they will use.
- Don’t set your refrigerator to a temperature that is much lower than that recommended by the manufacturer.
- Be conscious of the hot water when you shower, don’t overheat water and try taking a shorter shower.
- Ensure there is no leakage in the ductwork for any central heating and central air conditioning systems you have installed.
- If your showerhead is not working properly or is leaking, then you need to replace it. This will make your water consumption more efficient, especially your hot water, which should help to reduce energy costs.
In addition to this, you also need to realise there is a gap in the prices charged for electricity and gas from one service provider to another. So, it’s very important to find an energy retailer who offers you value for money. There is no point in paying higher charges for electricity and gas when you don’t have to.
Also, charges vary from one region to another. Try finding an energy retailer in your area that is lower in cost and has the features or deals that are most suitable for your needs. Figuring out which energy provider and plan suit your property best will go a long way towards saving you money.