With the price of electricity steadily rising, now may be a good time to take a look at ways you can save on your power bill.
I'm not going to tell you to turn your power off and sit huddling around a lit candle for light and warmth. Far from it! There are lots of simple ways to save money on your bill without sacrificing your quality of life.
Photo: Martin Kingsley, Wikimedia Commons
1. Heating and cooling.
This can be a big drain on your electricity usage.
Simple ways to save in summer are, use a fan or air cooler instead of an air conditioner. If you do use air con, set the thermostat to 24 degrees. Or take a cold shower.
Photo: FriedC, Wikimedia Commons
In winter you can keep warm by wearing extra layers of clothing, go for a brisk walk, have a hot drink or take a warm shower.
2. Switch appliances off at the wall.
Appliances like your TV, DVD player, computer, games consoles and microwave still draw power even when on standby. This is one of the first things I did to reduce consumption and I noticed a considerable difference on my bill.
3. Turn off the light.
Having your house lit up like a Christmas tree can be a easy habit but a costly one. Try turning off the light when you leave a room. If you have a dark house like mine, you may want to consider installing a sky light. This avoids having to switch lights on during the day. Or you could also open the curtains to let in any natural light.
4. Washing, drying and showers.
Washing, drying and hot water can account for up to 27% of usage on your bill. Ways to save can include using cold water for washing and only washing once you have a full load. Use the clothes line to dry clothes or if the weather is poor use clothes airers inside instead of the dryer. You can also time your showers. With two teenagers in the house I find a timer is a necessity. No more 10 minute showers! I recently bought one at my local hardware for only a few dollars. It has definitely paid off as my last bill was more than $30 less than the previous one. This is great for only a $3 outlay!
5. In the kitchen.
There are a few ways you can reduce consumption here with ease. When using the stove top make sure you use lids on the pots. This keeps the heat in, thus using less energy. You can also try a bit of bulk cooking. Just say you have dinner in the oven and a bit of extra space in there, why not bake a cake, biscuits or slice for during the week while the oven is turned on. Another thing you can do, if like me you are home during the day, is to boil the kettle then pour the water into a thermos to keep it hot. The kettle can use a considerable amount of power especially if you are boiling it several times a day. Or instead of filling the kettle up and boiling it, you can just add one or two cups of water at a time.
I hope you find some of these tips useful. And by implementing a few can see significant savings on your next power bill.