How’s your energy bill? If you’re like most of your fellow Australians, probably a lot higher than you expect or want. In fact, research has recently shown that there has been a 70% increase in energy bills in Australia since 2008. This makes people crazy, and drives them into debt and desperation, but there is something to be done about it. Specifically, if you can’t change the bill itself, change the consumption that’s leading to such a high bill.
One of the best ways to do this is to focus on not using certain excessive appliances that waste energy and end up costing you most of the bill. This is a way to keep your money as just that, yours.
Biggest drains on your energy source
Going from highest wattage usage to least
- Dryers (1800-5000 watts)
- Dishwashers (1200 – 2400)
- Hair dryers (1200-1875)
- Irons (1000-1800)
- Portable heaters (750-1500)
- Vacuum cleaners (1000-1440)
- Toasters (800-1400)
The following list has been taken from Energy.gov, who studied which appliances use the most energy and the least. Remember that having a higher rating doesn’t mean you can never use these appliances, it’s just something to keep in mind when using them.
This article is going to overview several tips to use your appliances efficiently and keep your costs down as low as they can be.
Being careful with the high cost, high usage appliances
We’ve referenced being ‘careful’ with higher usage appliances, rather than avoiding using them entirely. What does this mean? Well, let’s take a minute to consider fridges to see if we can’t provide an answer.
Did you know, you only need your fridge at between four and five degrees Celsius? And the freezer only needs to be at -15 to -18. These appliances can be kept efficient at this temperature, and the bill will be as low as it possibly can. This is an example of being careful, not avoiding it.
Similarly, consider the following tips when trying to be as efficient as possible. Like using the fridge to defrost instead of the microwave, and where that’s not possible use the microwave instead of the stove. Leave the stove closed when you’re using it. Only use hot water when you need it. Wash full loads of laundry, not partial loads.
Don’t power things you don’t need powered
Plugging in your phone to charge it is all well and good, but why is your charger plugged in when your phone isn’t charging? What about your television, why is it plugged in when nobody is around to use it? The bottom line here is to not use energy you don’t need to use, turn off appliances when they’re not in use.
Standby energy is one of the biggest drains on your energy bill, so cut down on it by powering down when appliances aren’t in use. Unplug the chargers you’re not using, hook everything to a power bar and turn it off when it’s not in use. It becomes easier and easier, the more you make a habit of it.
How newly proposed way of charging electricity customers will effect you
The Grattan Institute has recently released a report, called the Fair Pricing for Power Report, that has proposed changes to the way electricity customers would be charged.
Specifically, the Grattan Institute has recommended households based on usage. Pricing based on usage could likely result in seeing significant savings for consumers, as currently 43% of their bills are going to funding the network – rather than paying for actual usage.
In summary, you can save a lot of money simply by thinking about how you use power, reducing that usage where possible with power sucking appliances, and potentially just by watching the Grattan Institute proposed changes come into effect.