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Smart steps for saving energy
With Earth Hour coming up, it’s a good opportunity to look at your home and see where you can be saving on energy now and all year round.
By making small changes to your home, you can save on your monthly electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint to help combat climate change.
1. Use energy-saving appliances
When you’re in the market to buy new electrical appliances, look for devices with high energy star ratings. They help you protect the environment and your wallet.
A fridge with a high star energy rating might appear more expensive up front, but it will save you month to month in your electricity bills.
2. Use a fan
Another appliance that chews up electricity is the air conditioning. We all know just how hot Australia can get in the summer, but there’s an alternative solution that won’t hurt your hip pocket: try a fan. By placing pedestal fans at strategic points throughout your home, and near the bed to keep you cool while you sleep, you’ll be able to get through summer without incurring extra electricity expenses.
3. Take advantage of time-of-use pricing
Electricity costs more during peak usage times. A great way to lower your energy bills is by using high-energy appliances such as your dryer, dishwasher and washing machine outside of the peak usage times. If you use appliances before 2pm and after 8pm on weekdays and between 3pm and 8pm on weekends you'll be able to take advantage of lower prices.
4. Wash clothes with cold water
Another great way to mitigate the damage to your electricity bill is by washing your clothes with cold water instead of hot water whenever you can to take the strain off using your hot water heater. Cold-water washes are perfect for dark and bright colours, so it’s best to separate your load to ensure you wash your clothes in the most cost-effective way.
5. Help your heater
When the weather gets chilly, you can keep things warm and cosy without overusing your heater. Wear warm clothes and keep heat inside by drawing the curtains and blinds in the late afternoon as the sun starts to dip. Close doors to section off specific areas of your home that require warming, such as your bedroom and living room.
6. Switch to efficient lighting
By making the switch to an energy-efficient lighting option in your household, you can greatly reduce your electricity usage. Audit the light sources in your home to see where improvements can be made – whether you use dimmers, downlights or something else entirely. Remember: while installing entirely new lights will require an electrician, you can DIY by simply switching the type of light bulb you use.
7. Unplug everything
You may think this is overkill, but by unplugging all your gadgets when they’re not in use you can avoid paying too much come bill time. Televisions, phone chargers, sound systems, computers, modems and all your other non-essential appliances still draw power when they’re plugged into an active socket, so by living life unplugged, you can help yourself and the environment.
8. Defrost food in the fridge
Your microwave is a thirsty little machine, so it’s important to only use it when it’s efficient to do so – and defrosting dinner isn’t one of those times! Don’t move meals immediately from the freezer to the microwave. Plan ahead instead and give yourself time to defrost your food in the fridge.
9. Use your dishwasher properly
Get the most energy savings out of you dishwasher by stacking plates and bowls correctly – this means facing inwards towards the centre. Scraping off excess food ensures your dishwasher cleans everything correctly, while waiting until it’s full means you’re saving money by making the most of each load.
10. Air-dry everything