Reducing electricity consumption

Have you cringed at a quarterly power bill? You’re definitely not the first. It’s something that many of us fear now. This post is designed to help you, with real strategies to cut your electricity usage.

Lets hear from some experts who understand the importance of turning light switches off.

1. Invest in a solar power system

Consumer website CHOICE offers some good advice on how to choose a solar power system. By investing the money you would spend on your power bill, you’ll save money long term. Plus you’ll feel good about helping the environment too.

Generating your own power and using it during the sunny hours of the day, in real-time. This reduces your electricity bill by the amount you would have normally have purchased for the same period.  CHOICE suggests that a 5KW system in Adelaide will pay for itself in 2-3 years.

2. Peak and off-peak times are important

Down to Earth believes finding out about your peak and off-peak times for electricity usage is very important. Either you go to your electricity supplier’s website or phone them.

You need to know when peak time starts and stops, when off-peak starts and stops, and how much you pay for your electricity during those two times.

3. Powerpoints still consume power

Turn of your appliances at the powerpoint, not just using the remote control. Yes, this is a bit of extra work but do it for a few times and it’ll become a habit. And according to Fuse Electrical, it’s worth doing.

Turning off a modern TV at the powerpoint could save you as much as 10kWh/year. If the little light is on, your appliance is using electricity.

4. Check your fridge

The fridge runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This makes it the most expensive appliance to run in your house, according to Compact Appliance

Make sure that the door seal is tight and free from gaps, so cold air doesn’t escape. Lower the thermostat during winter. And if you have a second fridge, give it a winter break – just turn it on when you need it.

5. Use natural light where possible

Many of us forget we have access to natural light. We turn on lights before we open curtains. We hit the air conditioner button before we open windows. One of the best ways of getting more natural daylight is to have more windows installed.

6. Get out of the house if it’s hot

If you can, don’t rely on your own air conditioner during those really hot days. While it’s tempting to stay at home, out of the heat, you’ll be spending a lot on electricity to keep your house cool.

SA Health suggests taking a day trip to go swimming or visit a public building where the air conditioning will be provided for free. And if you’re really feeling the effects of the hot summer heat, restrict the temperature on your air conditioner to around 24 degrees. Remember, every degree lower will increase you summer electricity bill.

7. Arrange an energy audit. An energy audit is the stepping-stone to saving both energy and money. 

The auditor will check your appliances, look at switching your energy provider and reviewing your lighting.

ESME is a local company offering this service.

Whether you are a business or domestic energy customer, one of the simplest ways to reduce your energy bills is to ensure that you are on the correct tariff for your needs. As part of your energy audit, you can analyse your energy use and advise you on whether you are on the right tariff for your needs. 

8. Switch to LED lights

LEDs consume 80% less energy than regular incandescent globes without impacting on luminoscity. In other words, they’re just as bright – in some cases, brighter – but require less than a quarter of the energy other globes do.

Go Bulk says there are is some initial capital outlay as LEDs are quite expensive, but they’re also virtually maintenance free, lasting up to 50 times longer than typical incandescent lights. There are also some installers that offer financing, allowing you to pay for the LEDs using the savings from your electricity bills.

9. Reach for the blanket, sit outside more

We’re in the habit of reaching for the remote as soon as we get slightly uncomfortable. And this is chewing up electricity in our homes.

Stay warm in winter with hot water bottles or thick cosy bathrobes. And in summer, why not sit outside more?

10. Always monitor your spending

Frugal and Thriving thinks it’s easy to waste electricity because we don’t actually see it. We spend an average of $99 a week on energy. Put this into context with something tangible as a reminder to stay conscious of how much you’re using. What else do you spend $99 on each week?

These are just some of the ways you can save money. Saving money in this way not only helps your pocket, you can hold up your head knowing that you are doing your best for the environment