Summer is nearly here, which means beach time, barbecues, and bigger electricity bills.
According to the Australian Government, electricity prices have risen significantly over the past 8 years.
What’s leading this cost rise? It’s mainly due to increases in network costs, which cover anything from repairing and replacing outdated poles and wires, increased peak demand times (hot summer days are a major culprit), and population growth.
However, there are still a lot of things you can do to control how much you actually pay. Keep reading to see how you can keep your electricity costs down this summer while still keeping your cool. Better yet, you’re reducing your carbon footprint while you save money.
1. Turn the Air Conditioner Up or Off
The first way to save big on your energy bill this summer is entirely free. According to Energy Australia, you can save up to 15% on your energy bill by turning the air conditioner temperature up at night and off when you’re away.
If your air conditioning unit has a timer, you can set and forget. It’s that simple to watch the savings roll in. Every degree matters, so experiment to try and see what you can get away with this summer. If you’re feeling especially brave, we recommend turning the air off completely when you’re not around.
2. Shut the Windows and Close the Curtains
It might sound simple, but shutting the windows and drawing the blinds and/or curtains can help trap heat and stop you from blasting the air conditioner all day long. When you keep your windows open, all of that bright sunlight streams in throughout the day.
Over time, this heat creates a greenhouse effect in your home, turning up the temperature and making your air conditioning unit have to work harder to keep the air cool. Keep any windows that face the sunlight closed during the brightest times of the day.
3. Close Rooms You’re Not Using
Closing the doors is yet another simple way to trap cool air in the rooms that need it most to reduce power consumption and energy costs. When you keep these doors open, your air conditioner works harder to cool down all of this extra space. This can add up!
In addition, closing rooms you’re not using makes it easier to use a small fan or just air condition a small portion of your home. Odds are you only use one or two rooms at a time anyway, so why not save energy and money?
4. Use a Clothesline
Clotheslines might feel a bit outdated, but there’s a reason they’re still in use today. Instead of running your clothes dryer, use a clothesline. You can use this outside or even in your home, and it’s inexpensive to set one up.
Not only will your laundry smell amazing, but using a clothesline even once a week can save you up to $79 a year. Once you try drying your clothes this way, you’ll never go back.
5. Turn Off Appliances
Did you know that your appliances use electricity even when they’re turned off? It’s true. If your appliances are plugged into the wall, they’re still using a bit of electricity which essentially goes to waste.
Most households have power-saving outlets installed already, so make use of them! Turn off your kitchen appliances, TV, and game consoles when not in use, and you’ll start to notice a difference in your monthly bill. You could save up to $193 a year just by switching off your game console after you’re finished with it.
6. Check Your Energy Plan
When was the last time you checked your energy plan? Do a deep dive into your energy bills and figure out how much energy you use each month and when.
While it’s certainly not effort-free, you can use this information to shop around and see which energy plan is right for you and your family. Make sure you’re not paying for more than you can afford in your monthly budget.
7. Find and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks are sneaky, and they can come from anywhere—windows, doors, mail delivery flaps, gaps in your floorboards, chimneys, and skylights to name a few. When cool air seeps out and warm air comes in, you’re inefficiently cooling your home.
Sealing these gaps is a great first step towards keeping your cool air in and your costs down this summer. This doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. There are a number of free resources online about how to find and seal air leaks in just a few steps.
8. Change Your Air Conditioner Filters
Having an air conditioner can be a god-send in the middle of an Aussie summer, but it’ll cost you. Save money on your cooling bill with some simple maintenance actions such as changing your filters to increase air circulation and turning the temp up and off at night or when you’re not using it.
In addition, don’t forget to have your air conditioning unit checked by a professional each year. Basic maintenance goes a long way in preventing larger, costly repairs. Nobody wants to find themselves without any air conditioning in the middle of the summertime!
9. Switch to Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Did you know lighting accounts for a large portion of your electric bill? A simple way to reduce this cost without breaking the bank is to switch out your bulbs for something more energy-efficient.
Try switching out your bulbs for CFLs, LEDs, or halogen lamps. This is one of the easiest ways to save big on your energy bill this summer. Better yet, you can set these up and forget about them for years to come.
10. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances
Last but not least, if you’re replacing old appliances or purchasing new ones, make sure they’re energy-efficient. This will affect your energy usage and bills for years to come.
When shopping around, use the energy-efficient label on most major appliances. This gives you a rundown of how much energy it uses in comparison to other products, and it’s the best way to make an informed choice. Though this is a higher upfront cost, it saves you big in the long run.
Lower Your Energy Costs This Summer
Reducing energy consumption is a win for everyone. It’s not only good for your wallet, but it’s also great for the environment. Most of these hacks above are zero-effort, taking little to no money or action to start.
With a few DIY tips, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when those energy bills hit your letterbox this summer. If you’re looking for more ways to save on your monthly budget, contact our friendly team today on 1300 368 322. We’ve helped thousands of Australians regain financial control, and we can help you too.