Most parents (most people really!) are always looking for ways to save a few extra dollars around the home, with cutting the electricity bill at the very top of the hit list.
Thanks to Energy Australia and our spend-savvy Mum’s Grapevine community, we’ve found 33 ways to save money on your energy bill. Some of these ideas are so smart and simple, you’ll wonder why you never did them before!
Flick the switch
1. Off doesn’t always mean off! Appliances in standby mode continue to use a small amount of power, so turn everything off at the powerpoint when not in use.
Use power boards with switches so it’s super easy to turn one or multiple appliances off with one easy flick.
2. Make sure you turn off lights when you’re not in the room. Simple but easy to forget!
When you’re rushing out the door, ask the kids to do a quick whip around and make sure all the lights are off.
3. Install motion detectors for outdoor lights. That way they’re only on when they need to be on.
Change it up
4. Swap energy-sucking light bulbs for more efficient LED options.
5. Install more efficient shower heads to save on your hot water.
6. Change up your routine as well. Where possible, run appliances like the tumble dryer, dishwasher and washing machine at off-peak times.
7. Get educated. While not an immediate money-saving device, using a monitor or app to learn about your energy habits will help you make changes and reduce usage where possible.
In the kitchen
8. Fill your freezer up – it’s more efficient when it’s full.
If you don’t have enough food in the freezer, you can use bags or containers of water.
9. Regularly clean the coils at the back of your fridge. Dust can make them heat up and operate less efficiently.
10. While you’re looking at the fridge, also make sure (as much as possible) that it’s well ventilated and not in direct sun.
11. Use a slow cooker rather than the electric oven. Not only do you have delicious, nutritious meals that are prepared in advance but the slow cooker is more efficient than your oven!
12. Only fill your kettle with the amount of water you need, rather than boiling a full kettle every time.
In the laundry
13. Only do full loads of washing. Your machine uses the same amount of energy whether the load is full or not (unless you have smart sensors).
14. Always make sure the lint filter in your tumble dryer is clean – your clothes will dry more quickly.
15. Add a dry, fluffy towel to the tumble dryer along with your wet gear. It will help to remove moisture. (But take it out after 15-20 minutes, otherwise, your TD will expend energy drying that towel as well!)
16. Use a cold water wash setting on your washing machine.
17. Instead of doing a long wash, add nappy soaker and pause the washing machine after about 10 minutes. Let it soak for an hour or so before finishing the cycle
In the bathroom
18. Keep showers short to reduce hot water use.
Use a timer or play a song on a water resistant bluetooth speaker (like this one) so you know when your time is up.
19. Adjust the temperature on your hot water system down a degree or two. You won’t notice the difference, but less energy for heating means more dollars for you!
20. Try running your air conditioner on the dry or de-humidifier setting, rather than the cool setting. This setting removes humidity from the air, which makes it feel cooler. And it doesn’t work your air conditioner quite as hard, saving you money.
21. Set your air conditioner’s thermostat a little higher – around 23 degrees. Every degree lower requires more energy to run.
22. Get the air moving – using a fan can make a big difference to how you feel without the budget-busting cost.
23. Clean the filter on your air conditioner. It will mean it doesn’t have to work as hard.
24. Use blackout window shades to reduce the heat from that scorching summer sun.
25. In the winter, cozy up under some blankets instead of pumping up the heater. (As a bonus, you get extra cuddles!)
26. DIY date night by staying home and treating yourself to cheese and wine by candlelight – no power required! The kiddos will love cracking out the torches too.
27. Plug any draughty spots in your house, using draught stoppers or make friends with your inner handy-woman and get caulking.
28. Tear down those blackout shades you put up for summer and let the sunlight in – when winter comes around, the Australian sun becomes our heating friend again!
29. Run your heater a little cooler (around 19 degrees) and wear a jumper. Just like in summer, every degree makes a difference!
30. If you are using your oven, turn the heating off in adjacent areas. No need to double heat when the oven can do the job nicely.
31. If you can afford the upfront expense, installing solar is a great way to go for long-term energy bill savings.
32. Choose eco settings on your dishwasher and washing machine – the cycles will be cooler and/or shorter.
33. Install a meter that allows you to control the brightness of lighting. Sometimes we need the lights on, but not at full beam!
Want to know more?
Join the conversation over on our Facebook page and ask other mums what worked for them…
(This post is sponsored by Energy Australia)