How to save money on your Electricity Bill?
We all want to make savings on our electricity bills … right? How to save money each and every quarter on the electricity usage and the electricity bill is one of the most common questions we get asked day to day.
Why pay more when you don’t have to? One of our licensed electricians can help you save each and every quarter by going over a checklist of electrical services and items.
Savings can be made in the following areas (click on the links to read more);
If you have a pool, you will know that the pool pump is one obvious area of electricity use and a large contributor to the household electricity bill. There is an opportunity to have your pool pump hard wired back to your switchboard on a lower electricity tariff – known as Off Peak Tariff 33.
Although you will require a licensed electrician to make the connection, which is an up front cost, the savings in power usage over time will pay off. Energex advised that the average pool pump accounts for more than 20% of a household’s electricity use. At today’s charges this can cost more than $700 each year. Economy tariffs may save you up to 44% of your pool pump costs. So, you can see that the change will be worth it.
Additionally, Energex has incentives regarding the use of efficient pool pumps. The current reward is $200 cash back and can be claimed via the Energex website. Energex provides this energy efficient pool pump reward as a means of lowering the demand for electricity on the network.
As with all good things, you must wait for Energex to process your reward, which is a whopping 6 weeks. However, again, why pay more than you have to.
Changing appliance plugs to off-peak tariffs
Another way to save on your electricity bill is to have certain appliances run off the Off Peak Tariff. These appliances include hot water systems, dishwashers and washing machines.
Energy Efficient Appliances and how to maintain them
There are a number of other “tips and tricks” you can follow that will help minimise your appliance use in the kitchen, laundry, home office and lounge room (the busy rooms in the house).
First and foremost, try and choose an energy efficient appliance. Look to the star ratings at the time of purchase and if you can research online first so you know what you are getting yourself in for. Energy efficient appliances naturally reduce usage when operating and have a reduced standby energy use rating as well. Ultimately this will save you money in the long run.
If you have a dishwasher with a hot water connection, use an efficient hot water system and ensure that the hot water system has been connected to the economy tariff. A licensed electrician can make this connection for you. Experiment with your dishwashers setttings and use the shortest and the coldest setting you can to help save on your electricity bill. The hottest and longest setting may clean the dishes a little better, but at what cost? The dirty job of cleaning the filter regularily (or between washes) will also help.
A refrigerator loves to chew up electricity and contribute to the cost of your electricity bill. This is especially the case over Christmas, when the second fridge is connected up in the garage and filled to the brim with food and drink. Keep a second fridge disconnected as much as possible. A half full refrigerator can contribute greatly to your electricity costs. The way to keep the fridge operating at it’s best, is to ensure that there is adequate air flow around the appliance, it is out of the sun or hot part of the house and away from other heat sources (such as an oven or cooktop nearby). Energex recommends that about 20% of the fridge shelves should be left bare, to allow for cool air to circulate. Sounds simple, but check your refrigerator seal and ensure that the freezer has not been iced up. Both of these will contribute to bigger electricity bills.
The constant use of washing machines and dryers is also a big user of power in any household. We know what it is like … lots of work clothes and school uniforms day in and day out. Number 1 tip; buy energy efficient appliances to start with. This will ensure that the power use is at its minimum and the standby power is the lowest it can be. Like the dishwasher, if the washing machine has a hot water connection, use an energy efficient source of hot water and connect that to the economy tariff. A licensed electrician in your local area, can assist with this electrical service.
There is something to be said for doing one big load of washing, rather than many smaller loads. Your electricity bill is one major reason to start getting into the habit. If you can use the economy cycle on your machine and load sensing (water levels and length of the wash), this will also help. Watch your time of day of doing the washing. If you can put your loads on at off peak times, again, you have saved yourself the peak demand rate. A wash on the cold cycle saves electricity since the machine doesn’t need to heat the water. And drying clothes out in the sun on the clothesline makes sense if you are trying to reduce your electricity bill. Last, but not least, if you do use the dryer, clean out the filter and remove any lint on a regular basis.
Review your lighting
How many lights do you think you have in your home? 10, 20, 50? You may be surprised at how many you actually have; especially down lights!
A review of your lighting throughout your home – and a switch to LED lighting can have a big impact on your electricity bill. Although Energex estimates that the costs of lights are only around 10% of the household bill, there is an opportunity to reduce those costs by a huge 80% by making some smart electricity saving choices.
Do the kids drive you crazy leaving the lights on? One way to mitigate this is to have certain lights placed on a sensor or a timer. This ensures that lights are only operating when needed … and if you’ve left the room or are never in a certain location after a certain time, you can ensure that the power is off at that moment. One clever idea is to have the kids bathroom/toilet light on a sensor. This is particularily handy for toddlers or children under 10 that need a little more help when it comes to bathroom stops. By installing a sensor, your desired light will turn on as the kids (or any motion is detected!) approach the bathroom, and turns off after the kids have washed their hands and scuttled off to their next adventure. Great idea, right?
Great house design can also make a big difference when trying to save money. You can reduce your electricity bill by ensuring that you take advantage of windows and natural lighting (or a sky tube or solar tube). Even the choice of furniture colours (for fabrics and materials) can greatly impact on the brightness or darkness of a room.
The best energy efficient lighting is that of LEDs. LED stands for Light Emitting Diodes. Although the light fittings themselves are more expensive to buy initially, they use significantly less power to run (80-90% less).