Making small changes to your electricity usage can help reduce your electricity bill and it is good for the environment too. There are three appliances which use the most energy and making these simple changes can save you money:
1. Air conditioners
Set the temperature: In summer, set your air conditioner to between 24°C and 26°C and in winter between 18°C and 20°C. Every degree outside of these ranges adds 10% to your cooling and heating costs.
Adjust the settings: If your air conditioner has adjustable louvres, adjust them towards the ceiling when cooling, and towards the floor when heating (as cool air falls and hot air rises).
Close off rooms: Only cool the rooms that are being used and keep doors and windows closed.
Keep the heat out: In summer, close curtains and shade windows during the day to prevent heat from entering your home.
Let cool air in: Turn off air conditioner and open windows at night to let air circulate and cool the house down.
Insulation: Check that your roof has appropriate insulation for effective heating and cooling.
Use fans: Where possible.
2. Hot water systems
Shorter showers: Four minutes or less.
Use cold water: When rinsing dishes and washing your clothes.
Check for faults: Regularly check your hot water system for faults, e.g. visible leaks.
Wash full loads: Use the shortest, most efficient cycle in your dishwasher or washing machine.
Water efficiency: Install a low-flow shower head and attach water efficient devices to internal taps.
Temperature setting: Set your fridge between 3°C and 5°C, and your freezer between -15°C and -18°C. Get rid of your second fridge or turn it off when it is not in use.
Check the door seals: If your door seals are worn out, your fridge may be leaking cold air which will cost you more to run.
Upgrade your fridge: Some old fridges use up to three times more electricity than a new fridge so purchase a more energy efficient model.
You can read more on savings made with energy efficient appliances at www.energyrating.gov.au and you may be able to access a No-Interest Loan Scheme through the Foresters Group for upgrading your appliances.
More quick electricity saving tips
Turn it off: Turn off lights and appliances at the wall when you are not using them (standby power uses electricity too).
Air drying: Clothes dryers are expensive to use so place clothes on an indoor rack and dry them with a fan (especially if it is raining outside).
Outdoor lighting: Consider solar lights or sensor lights rather than leaving outside lights on overnight.
Keep the heat out: Find ways to keep the heat from entering your home by using blinds, window tinting, glazing, curtains, etc.
What else is there? Consider what else might be using electricity and impacting your bill. Do you have a pool pump, plasma TV or fish tank? How many TVs, fridges, air conditioners or heaters do you have?
Even if you reduce your electricity usage to zero, you will still get a bill because every household in Queensland pays a fixed daily service charge. If you have reduced your usage and are still struggling to pay your bills, contact your electricity retailer for advice and assistance.