I’m pretty anal when it comes to trying to save money on our electricity bill. Some of the things I do are:
- Switch unnecessary lights off, use alternative light sources (like the Nintendo DS, candles, Aldi LED booklights, etc). My husband would be happy just cooking and eating in the dark, but I have to draw the line somewhere
- Use thermal curtains to keep heat out or cool out depending on the season.
- Leave the air-con on low fan and actually put a jumper on in winter. Temperature is usually set at about 25-28°C. My husband would rather walk around in a singlet and shorts in winter and crank up the heater to compensate! In Summer there’s only so much you can take off (and I’d like to maintain the certain level of friendship I currently have with the neighbours) so I’ll sometimes have the air-con on a high fan at about 18°C. My husband has no inhibitions let’s just say…
- I have Solar hot water heating
- I use a supplier that offers a pretty good discount on the bill each quarter. I even had their competitor door knock once and even he was surprised at the great deal I’m getting!
- My husband expertly attached a draft stopper on the bottom of the front door and we keep all doors shut to rooms that aren’t used that often if the air-con is on.
So it was a surprise when a charming man (who could’ve done with a bit of TLC and a lather of BO basher) who was a government representative, visited us to talk to us about the NSW Government’s initiatives to help households save on power and energy and he was able to point out areas we could improve on or add to the list of things we already do.
He came brandishing a goody bag of power saving items: stand-by saver power board, 4 energy-efficient light bulbs, low flow shower head, shower timer, tap aerator, draught-proof strips for around the door, a few energy-saving lightbulbs and a good old door snake. I must admit they’re still in the bag untouched except for the stand-by saver power board which is now nicely connected to the tv and co.
The man left me with a list of things he’d recommended I should do to further save on my electricity bill and subsequently save the environment. As I love sharing and want to help the environment, thought I’d share these things with you to challenge you to make the same changes at your place.
- Keep rooms at 18-21°C in winter. Every 1°C rise in temperature can increase your heating bill by up to 15%. This I was surprised with but it does make sense. The cooler it is outside, the harder the air-con has to work to get the inside room temperature to a higher heat.
- In Summer set your air-con to 23-26°C. Raising the temperature by 1°C can reduce the amount of power you use for cooling by up to 10%. The hotter it is outside, the harder the air-con has to work to get the inside room temperature to become cooler.
- Draw the curtains and blinds at dusk to keep the air inside your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
- Use a fan rather than an air-con as they are cheaper to run. We have been using an oil heater as well as air-con this winter actually.
- Switch off your microwave, TV or DVD player at the power point when you’re not using them. This can save you up to 10% off your energy bill. This is where the standby powerboard comes in handy
- Close off rooms that you aren’t using so that you have a smaller area which needs to be heated. If you’re going to close off the bedrooms though it might be a nice idea to separate heater or cooler in there ready to keep the room toasty or crisp at bedtime. (The room, not the relationship!)
- Replace your halogen down lights with energy-efficient globes or use a lamp with an energy-efficient light globe instead of your downlights.
- Keep your seals around your fridge and freezer clean and in good condition so that they don’t let cold escape. This also is linked with not keeping the fridge or freezer door open for lengths of time. The fridge has to work harder to bring the temperature back to the colder level otherwise
- The cheapest appliance to use in the kitchen is the microwave. This suits me fine as I couldn’t live without mine. Cook up perhaps a lasagne or something that can be frozen and reheated over a few nights so that you’re not using your stove and oven constantly. This is also a great idea for those time poor people. Newer appliances are better for the environment also depending on their energy rating.
Every day since this charming man paid his visit I’ve been very conscious of the temperature of the air-con, what globes I’m using, where there may be drafts around the home and am conscious of switching off unused powerpoints. These little changes are not hard to do and be aware of but how many people actually take action to do these things or knew to do them.
Visit here to see more ways you can save around your home.