Learn 50 Ways To Start Lowering Your Home Electric Costs
While we grumble at the increasing oil prices sometimes the answer to getting lower costs for your electricity charges each month can be achieved quite easily. Just learn some quick and easy ways to reduce your monthly electricity bill.
1. Switch appliances off
While we may switch off appliances, they continue using energy while they are on standby. You can save energy by turning appliances off at the powerpoint when they are not in use. For example, switch off computers, printers, DVD players, microwaves and music sound systems at the powerpoint.
2. Lights off
It can be easy to forget to turn off lights as you move from room to room, especially if you have a larger home. There is no need to have lights or lamps switched on if there is no one in the room. Remind yourself and others in your household to turn lights off when you exit a room, every time.
3. Lighten up
Lightbulbs have come a long way since traditional incandescent globes. According to the Government of South Australia, compact fluorescent lights use approximately a fifth of the energy of traditional bulbs while LED globes use even less than this. Both of these types of bulbs are becoming more affordable as their popularity grows. While they may be slightly more expensive, these varieties last longer than traditional light globes while also using less energy to brighten your home.
4. Look to the sky
It can be easy to overlook the most simple source of light – the sun. If you are looking to light up your home without increasing your energy bills, skylights could be the answer. Skylights will allow natural light into your home without adding to your power bill.
5. Rethink window dressings
Curtains and blinds can make a house a home, but they can also darken a room and make you reach for the light switch instead. You can make use of sheer summer curtains or semi-transparent drapes to let in natural light as opposed to adding to your power bill by turning on house lights.
6. Choose appliances wisely
Saving energy can start from the appliances you choose to purchase. In Australia, appliances such as fridges, dishwashers and televisions come with an energy rating. Products with more stars on their energy rating label are more energy efficient. Considering that appliances such as fridges run all day and night, buying a model that is energy efficient can help you slash the amount of energy you use. Simply upgrading to a newer fridge model could use up to 40 per cent less energy, according to Origin Energy. Origin Energy advises that a fridge’s motor should only run a few hours each day. So if your fridge’s motor is running continuously, it could be time to look for a newer energy-efficient refrigerator.
7. Prune back hedges to let in light
Trees, shrubs and hedges around your home can block out natural light if they are left to grow uncontrolled. This can mean you revert to electrical lighting to brighten your home instead of sunlight. Prune back greenery, especially around north facing windows, to let natural light into your home.
8. Brighten up with a lick of paint
A room painted in a darker shade can encourage us to switch on lights unnecessarily to brighten up a room. Painting the interior of your home a lighter shade can help natural light fill the room and also make your home feel larger whilst cutting down on the need to switch on lamps and lights.
9. Go solar
Switching to solar energy can cut down on your power usage significantly. Adding solar panels to your roof will allow you to harvest your own energy form the sun while allowing you to reap long-term benefits of reduced power bills. If you’re considering the switch to solar to cut your power use, you may also be able to make an up-front saving through the National Solar credits scheme. The Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) that comes with the equipment and the zone in which your home is located will determine the amount you can save.
10. Stop draughts
Spaces around doors and windows can let currents of cool air into your home which can lead to spending more on energy to heat or cool your home. You can easily use less energy by stopping these draughts. Door snakes will help to keep your home insulated so that you use less power to keep your home warm. More permanent fixtures from a hardware store such as rubber or foam strips around doors and windows or draught seal tape can also be used.
11. Use less air-conditioning
Air-conditioning is a must for some parts of Australia in the hot summer months. However, air-conditioning does use a large amount of energy. The NSW Government’s SavePower website says air-conditioning makes up 40% of all electricity used in summer. And though it may be impossible to bypass using air-conditioning completely, keeping the air-conditioner between 23 and 26 degrees will allow you to keep cool while using less power. Turning down the thermostat below this will mean you are using more energy to unnecessarily cool your home. According to SavePower, raising the temperature of your air-conditioner by just one degree can cut your power use by 10 per cent.
12. Tinted windows
Tinted windows will help you cut down on your energy use by blocking out hot summer sunshine. These can be used with curtains or blinds, or as an alternative to these. Tinted windows can be created by adding a film to existing windows that will reflect the glare and heat of the sun. There are small businesses that specialise in this field.
13. Use fans
Air-conditioning uses more power than upright fans or ceiling fans. Use fans instead of the air-conditioner where and whenever possible to cut your summer power usage.
14. Add shade to your home
Adding more shade to your home through awnings or a roof sail will absorb or reflect the light instead of allowing it to overheat your home. These fixtures will mean a cooler home for you to enjoy and having to use less power in the form of fans and air-conditioning. It will also make outdoor spaces more usable throughout the year.
15. Choose the right heater
Does your home really need central heating? While central heating will warm the entire home, it also uses much more power than space heaters. Electric or gas space heaters will allow you to heat only the rooms in use instead of wasting power on rooms that aren't in use.
16. Dress for the climate
You can easily cut down on power used to heat and cool your home by dressing more appropriately for the climate. Wearing natural fabrics in summer such as cotton or linen will help you keep cool. In winter, an extra jumper, bed socks, or a pair of ugg boots can help you curb your energy use to only what is necessary.
17. Switch to a front-loading washer
Front-loading washing machines generally use less energy than top-loading washers. If you have space for a front-loading machine, this change could help you use less energy and cut your power bills. They've also been said to be gentler on your clothes.
18. Wash clothes in cold water
Washing clothes in cold water instead of hot water can save a significant amount of energy. According to a government energy rating website ‘about 80% of the energy in a warm wash is associated with heating water, cold washing uses less than one quarter of the energy for warm washing’. The energy savings add up if you consider the number of times your household does a load of washing each week.
19. Sundry when possible
Using the clothes dryer less often can also help reduce your energy consumption. Remember, the hills hoist did a fine job before dryers came along. You can also buy smaller drying racks for balconies or apartment living. In winter months put the rack next to the heater so you get two for one; a warm house and dry clothes.
20. Turn heating off while you sleep
With blankets and doonas, leaving heaters switched on while you sleep is unnecessary and in some instances dangerous. Turning your heating off, or at least turning it down, can save a considerable amount of energy during those eight hours every winter evening.
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"Does your home really need central heating? While central heating will warm the entire home, it also uses much more power than space heaters. Electric or gas space heaters will allow you to heat only the rooms in use instead of wasting power on rooms ...Yahoo!7 News"
Actually some of these ways are downright common sense. But lets face it, many of us perhaps have been so accustomed to old habits or find these new ways hard to change to. But then again many people have found these ways to be easy to do and if they help save you money on your electric heating costs, that's all that matters in this expensive world we live in.