One of the most common misconceptions about reducing your power bill or being a friend of the environment is that you’ll have to suffer through cold showers and live by candlelight.
The truth is that it doesn’t require significant lifestyle changes to cut your energy consumption and save money on your power bill. Rising energy prices in Australia are adding to the pressure on the household budget, but small and simple changes to the way you use your household energy can cut down your power bills significantly.
Here are some simple things you can do to reduce your power bill.
By simply switching to energy efficient light bulbs, you could cut your lighting bills by 50%. In Australia, the traditional but inefficient types of lighting (incandescent) are being phased out. By simply switching to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), light emitting diodes (LEDs) and fluorescent lights, you could cut your lighting bill in half. LEDs and CFLs are the most energy efficient of these options. Also, make a conscious effort to turn off lights when you leave the room.
Heating and cooling
Did you know that heating and cooling makes up approximately 38% of every power bill? If you’re in an older home, there are things like your house’s aspect that you can’t change. But there are small things to reduce the amount of air conditioning that you need and use. In winter, these include making sure your house is well insulated, draught proofing all doors and windows with weather strips (only a few dollars per roll), closing off rooms you’re not using and laying down carpets and rugs, particularly on surfaces such as timber and slab.
In summer, there are also ways to keep your house cool. Insulation also helps keep your house cool, so this is again key. Shade your windows from the sun and keep them closed during the hottest part of the day. At night when a breeze is flowing, open up your house and make sure that all obstacles to air flow are removed. By making these small changes the amount of air conditioning you’ll need (and thus the price of your power bill) will fall.
Most appliances now come with energy ratings, and buying wisely is a good start. But buying energy efficient appliances alone is not enough. It’s how you use them. Standby power accounts for around10% of your power bill. That means that if you leave your computer or TV on standby mode, it is still using energy. By taking the time to turn them off completely and switch it off at the socket, you’ll be taking advantage of the easiest way to reduce your power bill. This can be particularly effective when you’re going on holidays or know you’ll be out of the house for an extended period of time.
Not only will taking the above measures help to reduce power bills, you’ll be doing your part to help reduce Australia’s emissions and our impact on climate change.
If you’d like to take it further and have an even more positive impact on the environment, you can contact your energy suppliers to find out how you can offset a percentage (or all!) of the electricity you use with renewable energy.
Author bio: David Goadby from Australian Power &Gas offers simple tips for Australians to reduce their energy bills and adopt energy efficient practices. Australian Power & Gas is a leading gas and electricity supplier in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, helping Australians get transparent and fair deals on their power.