Now that we’re well into winter, that time of year when your heater gets a solid workout but you still feel cold, it’s a good opportunity to assess just how energy efficient your place is.
You see, by making a few simple changes around the home, you could reduce your energy bills, not to mention doing your bit for the environment.
1. Figure out how you’re actually using energy
The age of your house, how it’s been built, and the appliances you rely on will all play a big part in how much energy you consume, and where you could save. Think about hiring someone to do an energy audit, or download apps like the Energy Rating Calculator or Powerpal to show you how much power your appliances are using.
2. Invest in some smart plugs
Plugging your appliances into a smart plug means you can set the plug to switch off at a certain time (like when you’re phone is fully charged or you’re not watching TV). Appliances that are plugged in but aren’t in use still consume energy, so these plugs can save you a pretty penny in your bills.
Hot tip: don’t leave your phone plugged in overnight, where they’ll guzzle up excess energy. Most phones will fully charge in a few hours.
3. Program routines into your smart home device
It’s great being able to tell your Google Nest or Amazon Alexa system to play Lil Nas X as soon as you get home from work, but they can actually do a whole lot more. Set up a program so appliances and lights are switched on – and off – at a certain time, schedule heating and cooling preferences in winter and summer, install smart curtains or blinds to close at the same time each evening, and watch the savings roll in.
4. You’re hot then you’re cold
The most cost-efficient temperature for your heating/cooling system is between 18-20 degrees in winter, and 20-24 degrees in summer. Whatever the season, it should still feel like that season – setting your heater for 27 degrees in winter (and swanning around the house in a t shirt) uses up a lot of energy and isn’t great for the environment either.
While we’re at it, make sure you’re washing your clothes on a cold cycle. It’s better for your clothes and is another great energy saver.
5. Let there be light
Do an audit of all the lights in your home, and switch to energy efficient LEDs. There are a few government schemes that will replace your bulbs for free (or give you a rebate if you do it yourself).
Remember to turn off lights when you leave a room too. Lights make up around 10% of the standard residential electricity bill.
6. Download an app to reduce your carbon footprint
Think of One Small Step as your own personal sustainability coach. After answering a few questions about your lifestyle and home setup, the app offers up simple, achievable ways for you to reduce your carbon footprint. Along with providing easy changes to make around the home, it also helps you build eco-friendly habits and live a more sustainable life. Nice.
7. PUT ON A JUMPER
If you’re feeling a little chilly but you’re the only one home, pop on a nice warm jumper instead of cranking up the heater. Or have a cup of tea (but only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need for one cup). Or get your blood pumping with a solo dance party/aerobics session in the loungeroom.
Alexa, play Feeling Hot Hot Hot by the Merrymen – STAT!
Want to save even more on your energy bills? Check out our range of electricity and gas plans now.