Whether you’re on a budget or looking for ways to cut waste, here are some simple and inexpensive ways you can save energy and cut costs on your energy bill.
Complete chores that use electricity, such as laundry or running your dishwasher, during off-peak hours. Electricity rates are lower during off-peak hours, helping you save money on basic household chores. Check out the Independent Electricity System Operator's website to know what hours are on-peak, mid-peak and off-peak.
Begin by taking a look at how you warm and cool your home, energy savings can be easily uncovered with a few adjustments to your thermostat.
If you use AC in the summer months, consider setting your cooling system to 24 – 25°C when you’re home, this will help keep your home comfortable while saving on energy use. You can also consider adding a ceiling fan which will help you feel cooler, without the need to turn your AC up. When you’re away from home, set the temperature to 28°C degrees for increased energy savings.
In the winter, it is recommended that you keep your home between 20°C – 22°C degrees when you’re home, and 17°C – 19°C degrees when you’re away or headed to bed for the night.
Investing in low-flow fixtures for your shower and faucet is a great way to save money over time. They use significantly less water than traditional fixtures, meaning your hot water tank doesn’t need to work as hard to keep the water hot – saving you money. These fixtures can be applied to showerheads, and faucets. Costing an average of $20, they can help shave down your energy bill.
Consider installing aerators for your kitchen and bathroom, they help reduce the amount of water used without changing the water’s pressure.
When doing laundry, opting for a cold-water wash and using drying racks more often is an easy way to save on your energy bill. Drying racks work best in well-ventilated homes, which reduce drying time and prevents chances of mould occurring. If indoor drying isn’t the best for your home, take advantage of the summer months and dry clothes and linens with the help of the sun.
A water heater blanket can help reduce the heat loss from your electric hot water heater tank by 40 per cent!* The simple addition of a blanket can have your heater working more efficiently in a matter of minutes. Water heater blankets can be found at your local hardware store and range in price from $30 – $50.*Water heater blankets should not be installed on gas water heaters.
When lights burn out, make the switch to LEDs. LEDs use 70 to 90 per cent less electricity than traditional bulbs and last up to 3.5 times longer. Consider pairing your lights with dimmer switches, to reduce energy use further. Just ensure the dimmer switch is compatible with LED lights.
Newer LED bulbs also incorporate smart technology so you can pair them with your smartphone, allowing you to change the colour and brightness remotely. An added bonus is you can turn them off even if you’re not home, great for if you ever forget to turn the lights off when you leave the house!
Another simple and inexpensive way to save energy is by unplugging electronics that are not in use. This can be done by sweeping your whole home and finding sneaky appliances that continue to drain energy.
An easy way to find these electronics is by seeing any glowing lights from appliances in dark rooms. These phantoms can be anything from your microwave to your charging devices.
To avoid phantom drainers, you can also try a smart power bar. These relatively inexpensive devices automatically turn off power to electronics connected to secondary outlets when the main device is powered down, so you can save energy without unplugging.