With children it can be hard to avoid a peak of energy use on weekday afternoons and early evenings. Victoria has a highly competitive energy market so it's likely you can find a flat rate that gives you a better deal for your household.
Compare and save
Make sure you have the best plan for your gas and electricity use by going to Victorian Energy Compare. Enter some basic details about your energy consumption using your latest bill and you can easily compare gas and electricity offers, including flat rate and flexible pricing, from energy retailers in your area.
Nine out of 10 users of this tool were able to save money by finding a better deal, with 50% of users finding they could save more than $330 per year.
Keep an eye on your electricity use
Install an in-home display or use your electricity retailer's web portal to monitor your energy use. Encourage your children to see the patterns in how electricity is used in your house.
Watch your standby power use
Did you know that your phone charger is still using energy even when your phone is not plugged in? Up to 10% of your electricity use could be on gadgets that are on standby, including audio equipment, TVs, DVD players and gaming consoles.
A standby power controller will automatically reduce standby time and switch appliances off when not in use. You may be eligible through Victorian Energy Upgrades.
Installing solar panels is a great investment for your energy future. The initial cost will be offset by energy savings. See saving with solar for details.
Thinking of upgrading an old inefficient appliance, or buying a new appliance?
Before you buy, check our appliance calculator. Choosing a highly efficient model can provide considerable energy savings. Remember to factor in changes in family size – and children's size and energy use!
Other ways to save
With a young family you might find yourself at home a lot more. Visit our interactive energy-efficient house for hints and tips about small changes you can make around your household that quickly add up in energy and cost savings.
A more energy-efficient house is likely to have a higher resale value. Check our interactive energy-efficient house for ways you can reduce energy waste when updating your home.
Sustainability Victoria provides renovations advice on incorporating energy efficiency and reducing energy costs.
Moving house – what to look out for
Renting or buying a new place? It's a good idea to check that your new home will be energy efficient. Consider these questions when making your choice.
- Will the living areas get enough sun in winter?
- Is the house insulated?
- What type of heating system does it have?
- Is there a problem with damp?
- Are the windows double-glazed or lined with heavy curtains?
- How efficient are the appliances that come with the house?
- What sort of lighting is installed?
Check out Victorian Energy Upgrades - there are some things you can easily change in a rental or a house you own that will make a difference to your bills for example lights and your shower-head.
Case study: Jodie, stay at home mum with 2 boys
Jodie is a stay-at-home mum with two young boys. She used Victorian Energy Compare and discovered that she can save $540 a year in energy bills.
Jodie noticed that the cost of cooling and heating her three-bedroom weatherboard in Fairfield seemed to be going up and up.
"We have been with our current retailer for about 18 months and paying about $600 a quarter in electricity costs."
"While I'm at home with the boys, we're down to a single income. I've been concerned about the increasing costs and how much electricity is eating into the family budget," she said.
Jodie used Victorian Energy Compare to find a more competitive electricity plan. After including information such as how long the TV is on during the day and the different appliances the family use, she was able to compare her plan with other offers.
"We are paying $2,380 a year in electricity costs, when we could be paying $1840 a year. The whole price comparison process took less than ten minutes and now I've found an alternative power company with a great deal; it's really worth doing."