101 ways to save on energy bills
With energy prices soaring, every cent counts.
So to get your home running as efficiently as possible, see if you've already tried all of these 101 ideas for saving on Energy bills.
1. Switch retailers! Average households can save up to $600-$1200 on Electricity, depending on your postcode, in just a few minutes by shopping around, according to research by Vinnies.
👉 NB: You can CLICK HERE to see the latest special offers unlocked by the People Power of 1 million-plus One Big Switch members.
2. Talk to the 'retention team'. Sometimes when you’re just about to leave, your electricity retailer will discover a better offer for you. Funny about that ... usually it's the 'retention team' that has access to these deals so ask to speak to them.
3. Dial the heater down. Research suggests men are most comfortable at about 22 degrees and women at about 24 degrees. So start at 19 or 20 in winter and see if that does the trick before going all the way to 'HIGH'.
4. Dial the air con up! Start at 22 or 23 in summer and see if it’s comfortable before blasting out the icy-cold air. Every degree adds about 10% to an average bill over the season.
5. Did you know? Reverse cycle air conditioners are two to 2.5 times more efficient than electric bar radiators or fan heaters! Even more so if they're powered by solar.
6. Choose window coverings and double-glazing. Leakage costs more than most of us realise. This will help keep a consistent temperature and, in turn, help reduce your power bills.
7. Avoid “Vampire power”. Save about 10 per cent by turning appliances off at the power point when not using them.
8. Fix leaky taps. A leaking hot water tap could add to your bill!
9. Use pots and pans with snug-fitting lids. Pans will heat up more quickly when covered.
10. Don’t overheat your water. Try adjusting your water heater to 50-60 degrees. Every degree there saves about 1 per cent of your water heating cost.
11. Count the Stars. A 3-star fridge/freezer can be $900 cheaper than a 1-star appliance over the life of the machine.
12. Join One Big Switch. If you haven't already! We use the “people power” of hundreds of thousands to get group discounts from providers at this link
14. Join a hardship program. All retailers have them. If you’re struggling, ask them for relief. If you then stick to the agreed payment plan they won't cut you off or call in debt collectors.
16. Try a smart thermostat. The EPA's Energy Star program concluded that homes with programmable or smart thermostats can save up to US$180 per year on heating and cooling.
17. Use my 'Rule of Thumb' for spotting a cheap Electricity deal. It changes from time to time but in general, the cheapest plans are at least 5% less than the Government Reference Price and preferably 10% less or better.
18. Claim as much as possible on tax. If you're working from home these days, energy is a new deduction.
19. Disconnect the gas. Natural gas has soared in price in recent years - there's a cost to switch your appliances over the electric but it could be cheaper in the long run, especially if you can power them with solar.
20. Get insulated! Ceiling and floor insulation will keep heat in during winter and out in summer.
21. Remember, time is money. Use timers to control heaters and air con.
22. Don’t be slack and leave on heating and cooling appliances if you don’t need them.
23. Heat or cool the space, not the house. Only heat or cool the spaces in your home you are using, rather than the whole house.
24. Draught-proof your home with draught-stoppers, door snakes and window sealing tape.
25. Keep your windows and doors closed and draw the curtains at night to help keep the heat in.
26. Got a chimney you don’t use? Block it off — Santa will be able to find another way in.
27. Put a jumper on! As your mother used to say... Dress for the season and you won’t need as much heating or cooling in the first place.
28. Buy a hot water bottle! They’re super cheap. Just pop it into your bed an hour before you jump in or wrap it in your PJs for extra warmth.
29. Rather not? Invest in an electric blanket — they use less energy than room heaters.
30. Run slow-moving ceiling fans in reverse to help push the hot air back down to where it is needed most.
31. Smart thermostat too expensive? Install a thermostat you can program yourself. This allows you to set timers for the temperature in your house.
32. Ditch the beer fridge. They tend to be older and therefore less energy efficient, and can chew through more than $250 a year.
33. Can’t do without it? Then just turn the Beer Fridge on a few hours before your big event.
34. Check your seals and replace if damaged. A broken seal is the same as leaving the door open!
35. Clean the coils on the back or bottom of the fridge.
36. Place the fridge in a well-ventilated position and allow sufficient gap at the top and around the sides of the fridge, away from direct sunlight or any source of heat.
37. Cook efficiently. Think of ways to get maximum use out of your oven and stove every time you turn it on. Do you need a heater on at the same time, for example?
38. Cook large amounts in the oven and freeze them for the week. Using a microwave is more energy efficient and cheaper to run than an oven when reheating food.
39. Thaw frozen foods before cooking.
40. Replace damaged coils and reflectors. Clean the reflectors for full heating benefit.
41. Keep your oven serviced. Keep the seals tight and oven clean to ensure no heat is wasted.
42. Simmer saucepans, don’t boil. Lower heat will save energy over the long term.
43. Clean the filters on the rangehood regularly. Vent the exhaust to outside your home and use the exhaust fan on the lowest speed.
44. Use the toaster rather than a grill. It uses less electricity.
45. Stack the dishwasher and don’t run it until it’s completely full.
46. Connect the dishwasher to cold water.
47. When boiling water, use a kettle instead of a hotplate.
48. Electric fan-type ovens are more efficient than conventional ovens.
49. Get an efficient hot water service. The energy star ratings will tell you. Old-fashioned electrical hot water services are very inefficient. Modern heat pumps are the most efficient.
50. Or get solar hot water. It’s also more efficient.
51. Shift your usage. Save about $260 a year by using washing machines, dishwashers or heating during off-peak times.
52. Fill in your backyard swimming pool if you never use it! A pool pump can cost anywhere from $600 to $1500 a year to run and a spa costs about $240.
53. No way? Then run the pool or spa at night on an off-peak tariff or controlled load meter to minimise cost.
54. Use timers on pool pumps to minimise when they run.
55. Make sure you have an efficient pool pump.
56. Clean pool filters often to maximise your pump’s efficiency.
57. Cover it. An insulated cover on pools and spas will save money.
58. Solar is cheaper than gas or electricity for heating pools.
59. Go camping! The stars are beautiful! But do pack a warm sleeping bag …
60. Visit your local library, theatre, cinema or shopping centre on hot days! Use their air con instead. Take the bus or walk (if it’s not too far).
61. Host a board games night by candlelight!
62. Generate organic energy. Feeling cold? Do 20 push-ups, sit-ups or star jumps. It’s green and keeps you lean.
63. Read to the kids at night using a torch. They’ll love it!
64. Bake on cold days to heat up the house. Then have your cake and eat it!
65. Take shorter showers. Did you know showering can make up to 60 per cent of your hot water usage?
66. Take a shower rather than a bath. It uses less.
67. Install a low-flow 3-star showerhead.
68. Use cold water where hot water is not necessary.
69. Cut two minutes off your shower time by using a shower timer. It can save a family $100 a year on power.
70. Get a competition going! See who can have the quickest shower.
71. Install cost and greenhouse-efficient hot water systems such as solar or heat pump.
72. Take advantage of government rebates for greenhouse efficient hot water systems. Go to energy.gov.au
73. Shower in twos!
74. Do some research. The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme allows you to compare the water efficiency of different products. Ratings are compulsory for all domestic washing machines, dishwashers, showers and toilets, so opt for high stars.
75. Wash clothes in cold water wherever possible.
76. Fill it up! Wait until you have a full load before you wash.
77. Keep the filter clean so water can circulate freely.
78. Use energy-saving features on your washing machine.
79. Adjust the wash cycle to match the load’s needs.
80. Spin dry before hanging out a load.
81. Make sure you clean the dryer’s lint filter regularly.
82. Or ditch the dryer altogether. It may take a little longer but it sure saves a lot of money!
83. Go for high-star-rated washing machines and dryers. Dryers that sense when clothes are dry are more energy-efficient.
84. Put on panels. The big government concessions are over, but solar panels can still cut your costs if you use energy during daylight hours. Go to sunspot.org.au for a free assessment.
85. Install a battery if you use a lot of power at night. They’re not cheap (yet), but batteries now allow you to store solar power until you need it.
86. Use your appliances during the day if you have solar power, so they run for free.
87. Otherwise, go off-peak. Ask your electricity provider if they offer it.
88. Switch off lights in those rooms that aren’t being used. It may seem a very obvious move but it’s something we’ve all been guilty of!
89. Avoid multiple fittings. Don’t be fooled and think you can trade a single light for multiple lights with low-wattage bulbs.
90. Opt for energy-efficient CFL or LED light globes over incandescent globes. Some of these bulbs are also dimmable!
91. The Light Bulb Saver App has handy tips about the best bulbs and right lighting for every room in the house.
92. Install motion sensors in the hallways and outside the home, so that lights only come on when movement is detected.
93. Opaque or dark shades require larger wattage lamps, so use light translucent shades instead.
94. Get cleaning — dust on light fixtures reduces light levels.
95. Install solar lighting in the garden.
96. Use timeout devices for all non-essential appliances e.g. televisions so that the power is cut to the appliance when it is not being used.
97. Give your appliances a staycation! Turn them all off for a day and read a book.
98. Unplug 'vampire' electronics like DVD players, chargers, printers and televisions when not in use.
99. Use a powerboard with separate switching and turn it off when not in use.
100. Watch the weather. Some appliances work more effectively than others depending on climate. Head to energyrating.gov.au to compare product types and brands.
101. Power up your pets. Train your cat to turn off the lights! Yes - it's time the whole household pulled its weight!
Check in regularly for the latest updates. As the money-saving experts, we’re working hard to give our million-plus members all the info you need to come through these tough times in good financial shape.
Any information is general advice, it does not take into account your individual circumstances, objectives, financial situation or needs. FiftyUp Club earns a fee for each customer that takes up an electricity offer.