Household energy bills have jumped by 20-30% in the second half of 2023 adding more pressure to the cost of living crisis. Though we all want to save money, saving money on energy is one of the best ways to reduce living costs. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to shiver through winter or boil during summer just to save on energy. With a few tips, you can slash the amount you pay for electricity or gas by making a few minor but necessary adjustments to your home.
Change to LED lights
There’s no going around having your lights on – although some of us might keep them on when we’re not in the room, which we shouldn’t do! – but you can reduce your energy consumption by switching from traditional incandescent, halogen, or CFL lights to LED lights. Most LED lights can be fitted to conventional bayonet or Edison sockets and in some cases, can be programmable (as we’ll get into below). A conventional halogen globe will consume 60 watts – an LED comes in at a tiny fraction of that, topping out at about 6 or 7 watts. They also last around 10 times as long, saving you long-term on replacements.
Home automation and smart appliances
Leaving appliances on “standby” may use a trickle of power but it all adds up over time. Installing foot switches or remote-control power boards to only turn your appliances such as TVs, hi-fi systems, or heaters/fans on when you’re using them can save you a lot of money by stopping these “energy vampires” at the source. Home automation switches or smart appliances may also be programmed to turn on or shut off when certain conditions are met. For example, your electric heater might only turn on below a certain temperature and turn itself off when it detects your smartphone isn’t connected to home wi-fi. You can use smart switches to control anything that can be hooked up to an outlet.
Consider solar power and insulation
Installing proper insulation in your home can reduce your power bills as it enhances the efficiency of your heating and cooling – less heat escapes during winter and less heat penetrates the walls during summer, which means less reliance on heating/cooling. If you can, installing solar panels or solar hot water can reduce your energy bills as you use less from the grid. This is a substantial investment, but it will pay for itself – and increase the value of your property.
Change energy providers
Changing energy retailers can reap significant savings in your power or gas bills, especially if you haven’t compared providers in a while. Some retailers may offer off-peak times (great when you want to use power hungry appliances for less, such as dishwashers or clothes dryers) default offers (varies per state), and pay-on-time discounts. Just make sure the rates on offer are lower than what you are currently paying. You can make like-for-like comparisons online, so always consider your options via a reputed comparison service.
With a few small changes, you could be saving hundreds of dollars a year on your energy bills!