How to save electricity and reduce your energy bill in winter
Winter is here. And as often happens in Australia, we go from warm and sunny one week, to really cold the next.
It’s no wonder that we don’t always feel we get a chance to acclimatise over a gradual period to the changing weather.
And what do we do? We crank up the heaters and air conditioners… and as the thermostat rises, so do your energy bills.
The good news is that there are many ways you can reduce electricity bills, and these tried-and-tested tips will make a difference to your hip pocket.
We Aussies don’t love piling on the clothes. Especially when the majority of the year is so warm. But most households don’t have the sort of central heating systems they do in Europe and North America. So we just can’t walk around with T-shirts and bare feet in the winter time.
By adjusting how you dress for winter, ensuring you are layering up for warmth, then you won’t need to crank up the thermostat as highly as you would if you weren’t dressed warmly enough. You don’t need to dress for the ski slopes… but making sensible choices about warm clothing will save you money on your electricity bill.
Reach for a blanket… before the heater
It’s so easily done, isn’t it? You sit down to watch your favourite show… and turn on the heater so that you can be snuggly and comfortable. Unfortunately, the evening is the worst time of day to use electricity, because peak charges run between 2 pm and 10 pm… encompassing your best TV-watching time.
By reaching for a blanket, and dressing warmly, you won’t need to turn on the heater for the same duration of time, if at all on less cold evenings. Which will definitely save you money over the course of winter.
Plug all draughty leaks
This should be your standard check every winter. By plugging all those areas that cause draughts, you not only stop cold wind from entering your home… you also stop warmth from leaking out.
Simple things like using a fabric door-draught stopper and sealing any areas around a window that cause a draught, will make a dramatic difference to you being able to keep the heat in and keep the cold out.
And don’t forget to roll out rugs over cold tiles and floorboards – these will make a huge difference to the cold seeping in through the floor.
Install solar panels
If you haven’t already discovered the power of solar energy, then now is the time. That’s because installing solar panels on your roof will save on energy bills… no matter the season, for many, many years to come.
We have tremendous sunshine in Australia, and we should all be harnessing it every day to reap the rewards. So, even in the winter months, when the days are shorter, you will be able to power your home with energy from the sun.
And because you will produce more solar energy in the summer, your overall use will average out over the year. Which means you will save money over the course of twelve months.
Use solar energy during the day
If you are home during the day, you are in the perfect position to make the most of your solar energy… but even if you aren’t home during the day, you can still maximise your solar energy for big savings.
How? It’s simple. You can:
- Set appliances on a timer so that you can run washing machines, dishwashers and dryers while you’re at work. Of course, please check that things like the dryer are running optimally and you have cleaned out the lint filter.
- Set your air conditioner on a timer to heat your home during the day. If you heat your house during the day, using the energy from your rooftop solar panels, you will come home to a warm place, and won’t need to use electricity at night.
Sell your excess electricity to the grid
It’s true that there isn’t as much sunshine in winter as there is during the summertime. But what’s wonderful about having solar panels is that you can produce lots of solar energy in the summer months (and in Australia, through our warm spring)… and then sell your excess electricity to the grid.
What does this do? This offsets those fixed charges that make up half your electricity bill. Which means you can enjoy the savings with solar over a twelve-month period, and benefit from solar panels all year around.
Start saving on your energy bills
Every little bit adds up to make a big difference. Wearing a jumper here or using a blanket instead of the heater there will contribute to big savings in your energy bills.
The biggest difference will come with an efficient solar system sitting on your roof converting the sun’s rays into electricity for your home. There is no comparison!