While many more of us are working from home and generally spending more time around the house during social distancing restrictions, many Aussies may be noticing an increase in their electricity bills, especially in the cold months. Here are some tips we have found to keep costs down without sacrificing comfort.
Shut off and unplug all devices that aren’t being used.
This one might be familiar to a lot of people already, and it’s quite a simple answer – but it’s an easy one to forget about. If you have extra monitors, lamps, TVs, and other devices set up, they will all use ‘background power’ while you have them left switched on, and when they are all put together, they can put a dent in your pockets. A good way to combat this is to do a quick ‘room check’ and switch off anything that isn’t being used. Another option is to use an energy-saving power board, so that you can turn off a whole range of devices in one simple switch, instead of unplugging each one at the wall.
Use energy-efficient lighting
Think about the type of light bulbs that you use and choose ones that are energy-efficient and long-lasting. Also try to reduce the number of lights you have on, whether that’s by turning off lights or using more mood lighting such as lamps to reduce the number of bright lights you have on all the time. If possible, use natural lighting during the day.
Look out for tax reductions
If your electricity expenses are related to your job, some of your electricity bills may be tax-deductible. It’s definitely worth looking into it to see if you can get any of your money back!
Think about temperature
While it’s tempting to turn the heater onto full blast on a chilly winter morning, it can cost you more than you think. Try to keep things under 20 degrees, as going above that costs a lot of energy. You can also turn it off when you aren’t at home, or when your house reaches a comfortable temperature. If you have good insulation, you may not need to run your heater 24/7.
Be conservative with your heat
If there’s a bit of chill in the air, try putting on a jumper or other warm clothing before you turn to the heater, or consider small portable heaters that can heat areas such as an armchair or workspace, rather than heating your whole house. If you’ll be spending most of your day in the study, there isn’t much point in heating the whole house with a ducted heater. This can reduce the amount of power that you need to stay warm and comfortable. Close doors, try to stop drafts and breezes, and enjoy a warm haven to relax in that costs a fraction of heating a whole house.
Switch off your TV in the background.
Many of us just leave the TV on in the background without really watching it, in this case, it’s better to switch it off and maybe play some music or the radio instead. You’ll be able to focus better on your work and you’ll also reduce your energy usage!
Make sure your devices are energy efficient
Try to use appliances that are energy-efficient, and work to maximise the ones you’re using. If you can, use a laptop instead of a desktop computer, as they are more energy-efficient, and turn down the brightness of the screen to reduce battery usage.
Invest in solar
Switching to solar energy allows you to save a lot of money, even when you’re using the same amount of electricity. And solar can still provide plenty of power – even during winter! Investigate whether solar is worth the switch for you – not only will you save more money, but you’ll be ecologically friendly as well.
Stay safe and stay cosy. Here at LPE we are always happy to help you work out how to manage your energy and how to make sense of your electricity bills.