Purchase an energy monitor
An energy monitor can help you track your energy consumption through the day and identify opportunities to save on energy, such as undertaking some household tasks at off-peak times.
Energy monitors are available to most households with a smart meter, and you may even be eligible for a rebate through the Victorian Energy Upgrades program.
Some energy providers may also offer discounted usage rates during ‘off-peak’ periods when typical use is often lower, thus placing less strain on the grid. Running energy-thirsty appliances like washing machines during these off-peak periods can help you reduce your bills, but it may not be convenient for all households. Check with your energy provider to see if your plan offers off-peak discounts.
Adjust the thermostat
Heating and cooling the home is one of the biggest contributors to your electricity bill. While it might be appealing to keep your home extra toasty when it’s cold outside (and run the heater all night), look for more energy efficient ways to keep yourself warm, such as an electric blanket.
The same principles apply in summer when overusing air conditioners can increase your energy bills. Try staying cool with a portable or ceiling fan instead, which are relatively cheap to run. If your air conditioning unit has an external compressor, make sure it’s covered by shade so it’s not having to cool itself, as well as your house.
Aim to keep your heater between 18 and 20 degrees celsius in winter and your air conditioner between 25 and 27 degrees celsius in summer. Every degree outside of those parameters can add 5 to 10 per cent to your energy use.
Regularly servicing your heating and cooling systems can also make sure they’re running at their maximum efficiency.