• J. Williams

10 Things You Can Do to Minimise Your Winter Power Bills

Electricity prices are a major economic concern for Australian’s, so it is important to know how to minimise those bills over winter. Reducing your carbon footprint will also help the planet, so here goes:

1. Turn off your appliances at the plug. Office equipment, computers, TVs, microwaves and even some washing machines suck energy even when they are not in use. It might be small, but from little things, big things grow. Stop the trickle.

2. Buy energy-efficient appliances when replacing items around the house. The more stars, the better and you will benefit for the life of the appliance.

3. Draught-proof where you live. Buying or renting, draught stoppers for windows and doors are cheap and can make a world of difference.

4. If you are not using your fireplace, put a damper in place to ensure the warm air doesn’t go up the chimney. Remove before building a fire again.

5. Set your heating between 18°C and 20°C. For every degree you increase heating, you increase energy use between 5% and 10%.

6. Close the doors to rooms you are not using.

7. Rug up with suitable clothes and blankets first, particularly if you use a portable heater that can use a lot of energy.

8. Let the light in during the day, and then close windows and curtains to keep the warmth in.

9. Wash your clothes in cold water.

10. Insulate your roof or ceiling (if buying).

These actions (all but #10) can be undertaken by anyone – buying or renting. To go further, replace bulbs and lights where possible to LED. They are more expensive initially, but much cheaper to run over time.

Finally, minimise power shocks by paying something towards your power bill every time you get paid. To do this, check your last power bill, divide it by 12 (they come every 12 weeks generally) which will give you your average weekly power usage. Every pay day send your estimated usage into your power account. This keeps the payments manageable and eliminates that horror bill shock quarterly.

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