For many Queenslanders, electricity is one of the highest household expenses. But it doesn’t have to be! You don’t need to be an environmental scientist to save energy. By implementing these seven easy tips, you can cut down your electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint.
How to save money indoors
1. SWITCH OFF OR UNPLUG ANY CHARGERS OR APPLIANCES YOU’RE NOT USING
Most appliances that have a standby light, a display or are hot to touch, will be using ‘vampire energy’ just by being plugged in. You can easily reduce your electricity bill by turning everything off at the wall when not in use.
2. WASH YOUR LAUNDRY AT A LOWER TEMPERATURE
Heating water to do laundry is one of the largest users of energy in a typical home. To save money and help the planet, try switch to washing in cold water or lower the temperatures. Cold water gets clothes just as clean as hot water, while using less energy and money. For example, simply washing at 30ºC rather than 40ºC can save you a third of the cost to run the cycle!
3. MAKE SMALL CHANGES IN THE KITCHEN
If you’re looking for ways to reduce how much electricity your household uses, you might be surprised at the difference just a few small changes in the kitchen can make. For example, thawing food in the fridge first to reduce the cooking time and trying not to continuously open the oven door when you’re baking can have a big impact on your bills over time. Another great tip is to keep lids on pots when cooking to reduce the amount of time and energy used, and to use the economy cycle on your dishwasher for everyday dishes.
4. INSTALL ENERGY EFFICIENT WINDOWS
New technology has made it possible to design windows which insulate against heat and cold up to four times better than conventional windows. To reduce your electricity costs, we recommend investing in double glazing with uPVC window frames. This will encourage you to use your air conditioner less and keep your home well insulated when you are using it. There’s nothing worse than spending hundreds of dollars on heating if it’s leaking out your window frames.
How to save money outdoors
5. USE SOLAR TO LIGHT UP THE OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME
Do you have lighting along your garden pathway? Or perhaps lights beside your swimming pool, fairy lights on your deck, or a motion-sensor light in your driveway? Switching your outdoor lighting to solar-powered is a great way to save money on your electricity bill. Most solar-powered outdoor lights are environmentally-friendly, weatherproof and easy to maintain.
6. INVEST IN A POOL COVER
Queenslanders love backyard swimming pools. A nice dip after a long, hot day can be a godsend. But according to CANSTAR, an in-ground pool can use as much as 17% of your home’s electricity bill. The costs associated with running a ‘creepy crawly’ pool cleaner, for example, can be avoided by installing a pool cover to prevent leaves and debris from falling in. A pool cover will also help to maintain its temperature, which will require less heating in the cooler months.
7. TREE PLACEMENT FOR ENERGY CONSERVATION
Planting trees in the right place can save you a lot of money in heating and cooling costs, increase the value of your property and even offset your home’s greenhouse gas emissions. Shade your home in summer and protect it from the cold winter winds by strategically placing leafy trees around your property. This guide to landscaping for energy efficiency by the Queensland Government is a great place to start if you’re not sure where to plant for maximum protection.