How to save money on your electricity bills

installing solar panels

Alice Piper

Posted March 23, 2022


Save energy and reduce your electricity bills this year with these easy tips around the home.  
 
With more time spent at home, many households are noticing an increase in their electricity consumption and power bills.

The good news is there are some quick and easy things you can do around the home to reduce your energy use and emissions, and save money on your power bills.


How to save electricity and reduce your power bills

Shop around for the best energy deal 

Switching electricity providers and energy plans can deliver instant savings on your electricity bills. While you may have signed up to a great deal when you first connected power to your property, there might now be an energy plan available that is cheaper and more suited to your current needs. 
 
Best of all, shopping around for a better energy deal is easy to do and costs nothing. This independent government site can help you compare energy plans based on your current energy consumption.

Install energy efficient lighting

Lighting is a big consumer of electricity in the home, particularly if you rely on older-style incandescent or halogen light bulbs. According to Energy Rating, these types of light bulbs can use 60W of power, compared to new energy efficient bulbs, such as LEDs and CFLs, that use only 10W.  
 
Therefore, switching to energy efficient lighting can help to reduce your power bills, with an estimated annual saving of $16 for each bulb in your home.

installing energy efficient light bulbs

Energy efficient light bulbs use 10W of energy, whereas traditional light bulbs use 60W. 


 

Wash your clothes in cold water

While hot water is generally considered the best way to wash clothes, washing lightly soiled clothes in cold water can deliver savings on your electricity bill.  

In fact, switching to a cold wash can cut between 80 to 90 per cent of washing machine running costs, according to Energy Rating. New washing machines are also often equipped with an ‘eco’ wash program which reduces power consumption by automatically using a colder water temperature and spin cycle. 

Update your appliances and adjust their settings

It’s important to check your appliance settings as this can impact your energy consumption. For example, ensuring that your fridge is set the right temperature (and not running too cold), as well as adjusting the brightness of your television or wash program of your washing machine, can all play a part in reducing your electricity bill. 
 
Older appliances are also usually less energy efficient than new ones. So, while it might be appealing to hang on to the same washing machine, clothes dryer or television until they no longer work, replacing them with newer and more energy efficient models may save you money over the long run.

Also, don't forget to switch appliances off directly at the power socket when they're not in use. Appliances left on standby mode can still add to your electricity consumption.

solar panels on a rooftop

Solar panels can help you save money on your electricity bills.


 

Install solar panels  

Australia already has the highest population of residential rooftop solar energy in the world with around 3 million solar homes and businesses, with residents using solar energy to power everything from electronics and appliances to lighting, hot water systems, air conditioners and even Electric Vehicles. 
 
In fact, installing solar energy can save the average household over $1,000 annually in power bills according to Victorian Government’s Solar Homes Program, meaning not only is solar energy good for the planet, but it’s also good for your pocket too. 
 
Installation of solar panels can be completed in just one day on most single story homes, and you may be eligible for a rebate of up to $1400 depending on the size of your home. 

To estimate the cost of a solar system and your potential annual savings (both financial and carbon), plug your average daily energy use and the number of panels you want into the RACV Solar calculator.

Purchase an energy monitor

An energy monitor can help you track your energy consumption through the day and identify opportunities to save money, 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.

adjusting the temperature on an air conditioner

Save on electricity by setting your thermostat between 18°C and 20°C.


 

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. Each extra degree on your heater's thermostat can increase energy use by up to 10%, according to energy.gov.au. 

Similarly, try using a portable or ceiling fan to keep cool on moderately hot days, which use only a fraction of the electricity of air conditioner systems.

You may also be able to save money with a programmable thermostat that keeps the temperature in your home steady between 18°C and 20°C.

Close doors and draw curtains

When heating or cooling the home, ensure that all doors are closed so that air doesn’t escape the room you’re in, because the harder your heater or air conditioner works, the greater your energy consumption and power bill is likely to be.  
 
Drawing the curtains during the hottest part of the day (typically from 11am -3 pm) can help keep your home cooler and reduce your reliance on air conditioning. Curtains that are thick, touch the floor and completely cover windows are best at blocking out the sun.

Draught-proof doors and windows

Draught-proofing is an easy home improvement that can deliver significant savings on your electricity bill, especially in winter when draughts allow warm air out of a room and force your heating system to work harder.

Use weather stripping around doors and windows, and a door snake or door seal at the bottom of doors, to reduce draughts in your home.

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