8 quirky energy saving tips to help you save money on your power bill
Saving money on your power bill doesn’t mean making drastic changes in your life, skimping on creature comforts or splurging on energy-efficient appliances. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of creativity and a willingness to think outside the box.
Not sure where to start? We asked around the Grey Power Electricity offices to get some feedback from our staff on all the weird and wonderful things they do to save power at home.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. Have a blackout night
Share a fun experience with your household and save money on your power bill at the same time by organising a blackout night.
“Weekly, fortnightly or monthly, have a night where you pretend there’s a blackout,” explains Jordan. “That means turning off all the lights and electronics (except the fridge), preparing a meal that doesn’t require electricity and playing some board games by candlelight. Doing this once a fortnight could save you around $150 per year on an average $200 monthly power bill.”
2. Make a playlist for the shower
One of the most effective ways to save on power is to keep your showers short and sweet. A family of four could save up to $900 a year on power by reducing their shower time from 15 minutes to 5 minutes.
Getting out of the shower is sometimes easier said than done, so Priscilla suggests using music to encourage everyone in the family to stick to the time limit.
“Play a song before you get in the shower. The moment the song finishes, you turn the water off,” she says. “The shorter the song, the more you’ll save on power.”
To save even more money in the shower, think about installing a water-saving showerhead when the time comes to revamp the bathroom.
3. Invest in some woolly socks
Keeping the heater cranked up through winter can have a pretty big impact on your power bill. Dressing appropriately for the conditions can help keep you snug, reduce your reliance on the electric heater and stop your winter power bills from creeping up.
“Woolly socks are your best investment,” says Aimee. “They look terrible but home is not a fashion parade.”
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually lose most of your body heat from the top of your head. Your extremities - your hands and feet - are most likely to feel the chill, so investing in a good pair of woolly socks can help prevent heat loss and keep your core body temperature up.
4. Make the most of your workplace
Depending on where you work (and what sort of mood your boss is in) you might be able to use your workplace’s amenities to save on power at home.
“There are lots of ways to use your workplace to achieve maximum power savings at home,” says Natalie. “For example, you might be able to do some basic cooking in the work kitchen. And if the company has well-equipped bathrooms, you could think about showering at work. Free air-conditioning in summer is always a great benefit, too!”
5. Insulate the home
About a third of your power usage is spent on heating your home. Improving insulation helps keep your house warm, prevents draughts and allows your heating systems to work more efficiently.
“Shield hot water cylinder pipes with aluminum ducts to avoid heat loss and install double-glazed windows if possible,” explains Paramita. “To block draughts, you can shield windows and doors with weather sealing, draught excluders or weather films.”
6. Rescue a dog
We didn’t need another reason to adopt an adorable fluffy friend, but we got one anyway: rescuing a dog can help you save on power, according to Peter.
“A dog needs exercise and that will force you to get out of the house and keep active. When you leave the house to walk the dog, turn off all of your electrical appliances. When you’re at home, the dog will keep you warm by sleeping on your feet, your lap and your bed,” says Peter.
7. Turn saving power into a game
It’s not easy to get the whole family on board with saving power. A great way to get the kids involved is to turn it into a game and see if the family can work together to use less energy.
“The kids don’t really understand the importance of saving power, so we’ve turned into a game,” Jared says. “We work together all month to keep our power usage down. When we get the power bill, we compare it to that month’s bill from the year before - if our energy usage has gone down, we win and the family gets a small prize.”
8. Embrace the meal prep life
Cooking enough food for several meals in one big cook up is far more energy efficient than cooking one meal at a time - particularly if you’ve got a small household.
“Get in the habit of making big recipes that you can have for leftovers or freeze for later,” suggests Rosie. “Preparing your meals in advance helps you save time and energy, and reduces food waste. Plus, you’ll have some delicious meals on hand for those nights when you just can’t be bothered cooking.”
Check out this blog post for more tips on how to save energy in the kitchen.
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