Top 11 tips to save on your gas bill
Many Australian households use both gas and electricity. If you’ve already taken steps to reduce your electricity bill each month, you’ll be happy to know there are a number of actions you can take to trim your gas bill each month without having to change too much.
Heat your home selectively
Heating and cooling account for about 40% of household use making it the largest usage category in the average Australian home. Only heat the rooms you use the most and reduce the area you heat by closing doors to the rooms you are not using. Turning the heating off while you sleep and when you are not at home will also prevent spending money on unnecessary heating.
Adjust your thermostat (or buy a new one)
Adjust your thermostat as NSW each 1°C higher for heating or lower for cooling adds 10% to your energy usage. 18° to 20°C is recommended for heating. If you want to save money on gas but don’t want to manually adjust your thermostat, consider purchasing a programmable one.
Reduce hot water use
Using less hot water also means using less gas. Take a shorter shower (4-5 minutes) rather than a bath, since in general showering takes less water. A low flow showerhead will further reduce water and energy costs. And repair leaky taps.
Switch to an instantaneous hot water system
Heating water contributes up to 30% of your home energy use. While instantaneous hot water systems can cost more to install, they can save you money in the long run by only heating water when you need it, rather than round the clock. If an instantaneous hot water system is not an option, you can check if your storage tank and pipes are insulated. With good insulation on both the tank and water pipes, you can drastically cut the amount of energy used to keep the water at the right temperature. Up to 30% of the energy used to heat the water can be lost if there is a lack of insulation.
Insulate your home
The less heat you need for your home, the less gas you’ll use. As such, a common way to save money on your gas and electricity bill is to invest in better insulation. A well-insulated house is cooler in summer, warmer in winter and less expensive all year round. An uninsulated house can lose up to 50% of its heat through the ceiling in winter plus gain 60% of its heating through the ceiling and walls during the summer. An insulated roof prevents cold air from creeping in, while also trapping warm air inside your house, making you less dependent on your gas heater.
Replace your dishwasher and washing machine
Appliance manufacturers are constantly working at improving the overall energy efficiency of their appliances, and if your dishwasher or washing machine is more than five years old, it could be costing you a lot in wasted water and energy. If you replace them, starting with the one you use most often, you should not only look at the energy rating, but also for an eco-wash feature that allows you to control the water level or water temperature, especially when you have to use hot water.
Close curtains & doors
Your home can lose up to 40% of its heating in winter and gain up to 87% of its heat in summer through its windows. Heavy weight curtains can protect your home from outside temperatures more effectively than blinds. Opening curtains during the day in winter allows the sun to naturally warm up certain rooms, but it is important to then close the curtains again as soon as the sun starts to set, helping to trap heat inside.
Closing doors and curtains helps you save on heating and cooling costs any time of the year, but if you use a gas heater or fireplace to warm up your home in winter, this simple habit can cut your gas costs considerably.
If you’re at home during the day in winter, resist turning on your gas heater or gas fireplace to warm up. Instead you can throw on a cardigan, pull on some woolly socks, or drape a throw over your shoulders while you read or watch TV. And you can even get away with turning the heater to a lower setting at night if you’re just planning on curling up on the sofa, using a blanket or plush throw to keep you warm.
Don’t preheat the oven
Gas ovens can reach cooking temperatures quickly, so pre heating your oven before putting the roast in isn’t always necessary. You can also save a bit of money on your bill by limiting how often you open the oven door while cooking, limiting the amount of heat that escapes by checking if the seal around the door is intact.
Get a better energy plan
Looking for a better energy plan isn’t limited to electricity. While you aren’t forced to use the same provider for both electricity and gas, going with the same provider can be beneficial if they offer a bundled rate. If not, don’t be shy about using a different provider for your gas, and just as you should with your electricity provider, reassess your needs and usage each year before comparing rates with different providers in your area.
Even if you aren’t prepared to make the jump to using solar power for your energy needs, switching to a solar powered water heating system will reduce your gas and electricity bill substantially. And if you have a large family and are concerned about running out of hot water, you can easily install a system with a gas booster to heat water at night.
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