Energy, whether it’s gas or electricity, is always a contentious topic. It’s not breaking news that energy prices in Australia are so expensive, that issues about the energy price increase and what the government plans to do to alleviate the cost are mentioned in the media almost daily.
While the government is trying to work it out and make energy prices more reasonable, making small changes and switching to a more suitable energy plan can make a huge difference to your back pocket.
Tips on how to reduce your energy costs
Some suggested changes that you can make straight away are:
- Turning off the air conditioning when you’re not at home. It might sound logical, but according to News.com 4% of Australians leave the air conditioning on when they’re not at home. This is not only bad for the environment but collectively it’s also costing us approximately $222 million per year.
- In summer, make sure the air conditioning is set between 25-27°C and in winter between 18-20°. Anything over can really start to increase your energy use by 5 to 10%.
- Make sure your windows and doors aren’t open whilst the air conditioning is on. Especially in rooms not in use, make sure the doors and windows are closed so the heat or cool air (given the season) stays contained within the room you’re in.
- Unplug your electrical devices when they’re not in use. Make sure the wall sockets to appliances around the house and your television are turned off especially before bedtime.
- Turn the dishwasher on only when it’s completely full and before you go to bed. Cooler nights mean the heat from the dishwasher won’t contribute much to the heat already in the house. So, less energy is used on fans and air conditioners.
- Wash your clothes in cold water rather than hot water and make sure the washing machine is full before commencing. You’ll use less power to heat the water, and in turn, this will reduce your energy consumption.
- Shop wisely. If you’re purchasing appliances, make sure they have a good energy efficiency rating. Look at the stickers (such as the one below) on the appliances to ensure they are energy efficient.
- If you have curtains or block-out blinds, close them on hot summer days to keep out as much heat as possible. In winter, make sure they’re open during the sunny periods of the day to allow heat into the room.
Further advice from energy.gov.au suggests the following savings* can be made per year for a household of four:
- Get rid of the second fridge. If you don’t really need it, getting rid of it could save around $172 per year.
- Switching off your game console after use could save up to $193 per year.
- Using the clothesline once a week instead of using the dryer could save around $79 per year. And using it twice a week could save you even more. If you’re going to use the dryer, make sure it’s full so you’re not wasting energy on half loads.
- Save water and energy costs by installing a water-efficient 4-star showerhead. This could save your household around $315 per year on water bills. There will also be savings on energy bills because less water will need to be heated.
When it comes to your energy provider, make sure you shop around before switching over to another provider as there are a few options to consider when looking to save money on your energy plans. Always make sure you are comparing energy plans against one another to ensure you’re getting the best plan for you and your household.
Some contracts offer off-peak hours, usually between 10 pm – 7 am which can make a significant difference to your energy bills, especially for your hot water service. This means that your hot water system will heat water up during the cheaper off-peak period for that day and store it for use. You will also need an off-peak hot water system for this. This option could work for you depending on your work schedule, lifestyle and household.
To make sure you’re on the correct energy plan, look over your current agreement. Compare energy and gas bills with plans from a pool of providers through Cashrewards and you can end up saving yourself some money and also earn cashback.
If you’re unsure of certain elements included in a plan, make sure you ask the provider to clarify them for you before agreeing to the contract.
Energy prices will always rise. However, making sure you put simple practices into place such as the ones above can save you some extra cash. Shopping around for competitive energy plans and knowing what you want to avoid, and what’s using the most energy in your household are key aspects into managing your energy consumption better.
*These are suggested from energy.gov.au amounts to be used as a guide only. Your savings will vary depending on the type and age of your appliances, the size of your home, the climatic zone you live in, the energy prices you pay and the type of energy contract you choose.