Saving on energy throughout Summer
- 17 January 2019
Energy bills can tend to skyrocket just as the temperatures do in summer, which leaves many Australians wondering what they can do to keep costs down. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to help keep your electricity bills down during summer, without sacrificing on comfort.
Set the air-conditioning to 24 degrees
Experts say that 24 degrees is the ideal temperature for air-conditioning, both for comfort and energy-saving, so try setting your air-conditioner to this temperate when you’re using it. If you want to really save on energy costs, however, consider foregoing the aircon altogether and opting for fans where you can. A typical fan uses around 15 – 95 watts, whereas an air-conditioner can use as much as 3,500 watts. So, making this change could have a huge impact on your energy bills this summer.
Close curtains and blinds to keep out heat
To give your air-conditioner and fans a helping hand, shut any blinds and windows that are likely to heat up from the sun during the day. This simple trick makes a surprising difference to the amount of heat that your rooms will absorb from windows during summer. (This same trick can be applied to keeping the house warmer during winter.)
Cold water washing
Using a cold wash cycle for your washing machine saves you on hot water, whilst washing your clothes just as effectively. This small change to your washing routine can save you hundreds of dollars per year. What’s more, consider skipping the dryer and hanging your clothes out to dry the old-fashioned way. Dryers and other heating devices are responsible for the largest portion of your home’s energy bills, so these two tips together could save you loads on your energy bills.
Use dishwasher at off-peak times
Power prices from major electricity retailers tend to have a peak and off-peak rate. So, it makes sense to avoid using power at peak times wherever possible. Whilst you might not be able to change your family’s showering routine by too much, there are a couple of little things you can change to use less power at these peak times. This includes setting your dishwasher to begin only at off-peak times, thus only using power and hot water at the cheaper times of the day. Depending on your energy provider, this is generally overnight.
Program your hot water system
Another way to save by taking advantage of off-peak energy rates is to set your hot water system to heat up overnight and switch off during the day while no-one’s in need of a shower. If your current hot water system doesn’t allow you to program its running times, considering getting an external device such as a smart meter to do it for you (more about that soon).
Unplug unused devices
One energy-sucker that many of us don’t tend to pay much attention to is our electronic devices. Anything that’s not being used can be unplugged and can help to save on energy bills. This includes anything with a clock or a light, and even device chargers which aren’t being used for charging. Each may only draw a small amount of power, but as our homes become increasingly device-heavy, it can all add up.
Get a smart meter
A handy little gadget like a smart meter can help you understand what the biggest power-users are in your home and can give you advice on how to lower consumption and make the best of your off-peak energy rates. There are plenty of these devices on the market these days, and a quick online search will give you a number of options. These devices also allow you to program different devices in your home, such as your hot water system, your dishwasher, your washing machine and even your pool pump, to run at more low-cost times.
Consider solar power
One thing that smart meters can also help with is predicting the amount of energy and money you could save by switching to solar. If you’ve not considered solar power before, now might be the time. Speak to your energy supplier or your local solar installer to find out what size system could work for your home, and just how much you could save.