How to Save Money on Your Winter Energy Bill

How to Save Money on Your Winter Energy Bill

For the average Aussie household, the winter months mean many more hours indoors – and with that inevitably comes higher energy bills. While this is a fact of life, there are still many handy tips you can use to help soften the blow. Every individual change you implement will add up to make a huge difference!

Finding ways to save on energy starts with understanding where most of your money is spent. Here’s a rough breakdown:

  • Heating and cooling: 40%
  • Appliances and equipment, e.g. refrigeration and cooking: 35%
  • Hot water heating: 20%
  • Lighting: 5%

Heating and cooling

Since the average home uses the most energy on heating & cooling, this should be the primary area of focus. If you’re like most people, there are rooms in your house that aren’t being used as often as others. Start by only heating the rooms you use regularly, and close off any that are unused such as the bathroom, kitchen, or spare bedroom to ensure they are not needlessly consuming energy.

Turn down the thermostat

Did you know that every degree you set over 20°C on your thermostat can increase energy usage by up to 10%? Being mindful of this and adjusting the temperature accordingly is an easy and effective way to save money with minimum impact on your comfort.

Don’t let any heat escape

If your home is not well sealed this makes your heating system work much harder than it needs to. You can reduce your heating bills by up to 25% this winter with draught-proofing and seals. Your local Bunnings will be able to provide advice on the best products to use. Another cheap option is a door snake, which will keep cold air from coming in under your doors.

Close your curtains

It’s estimated that over 40% of a household’s heat can escape through windows in the winter months. Put your curtains to work in the evening and close them as soon as you get home from work. This helps insulate your home and keep that expensive heat from escaping through the night. During the day, you want to do the opposite. Allow as much sunlight to pass through the windows as possible by keeping curtains open. This harnesses the sun’s natural energy and warms your home for free!

Appliances

The second biggest culprit on the list are your appliances – responsible for roughly a third of your energy bill. Tackling this problem requires one to think long term – maybe it’s time to finally replace that old fridge! Old and faulty appliances are far less energy efficient and are going to have a considerable strain on your electricity usage.

But it’s also essential to keep in mind that not all new appliances are created equal. When upgrading, you want to inspect the star rating and energy consumption score. The star rating tells you how energy-efficient the model is compared to others of the same size, while the energy consumption score is a direct measurement of how much energy it uses, regardless of size. The lower the score, the less a model costs to run – and the less you pay on your electricity bill. The key is to find an appliance with a high star rating that is also no larger than you need.

Use your hot water wisely

Hot water accounts for roughly 20% of your energy costs. When you use less hot water, you not only look forward to lower bills but also lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Most hot water is used in the shower, and, as we all know, it’s incredibly easy to lose track of time and drag them out longer than necessary – especially in winter. An easy solution to this is a shower timer that will motivate you to finish it in 4-minutes or less.

Another place you can save is in the kitchen and laundry. Most dishes or clothes are only lightly soiled and cold water can handle the job easily. Simply set appliances to eco-mode or manually lower the temperature to enjoy extra savings.

Thinking more long term, solar hot water systems are a smart investment for any household. The investment in a solar hot water system will pay for itself over time and provide affordable, clean energy. It’s a positive step forward for the environment, and for your wallet. You may even qualify for a rebate from the government!

Lighting

Instead of using incandescent light bulbs, switch to LED lighting. These bulbs last longer and use less energy.