Top 10 ways to save on energy bills
Here are 10 easy tips to help keep your energy bills down.
1. Compare energy retailers
Go to Victorian Energy Compare, where you can quickly compare all of the electricity, gas and solar offers available in your area.
Victorian Energy Compare is an independent Victorian Government website which allows you to compare electricity, gas and solar offers from all energy retailers, based on information you provide about your household or small business.
2. Shut doors and close curtains
Cooling the whole house can be expensive. Where possible, shut doors to areas you are not using and only cool the rooms you spend the most time in.
Make sure your curtains or blinds seal your windows properly, and keep your curtains closed during the day when there is a heat-wave. Block draughts around doors and windows to stop cool air leaking out.
Use external shading, such as external blinds or canvas awnings, to keep the sun off the windows
3. Set your thermostat
In summer, set your thermostat to 26 degrees or above. In winter, heating can account for over 30% of your bill. Set your thermostat between 18 and 20 degrees. Every degree above 20 can add 10% to your heating bill.
4. Turn heaters and coolers off when you don't need them
Turn off when you leave the room, or go to bed. With some ducted heating systems you can turn off the heating in the rooms that are unoccupied. Make sure all your heating or cooling is turned off when you leave the house.
5. Wash clothes using cold water
You can save around $115 per year by washing clothes in cold water. You can also save by making sure you select the shortest appropriate washing cycle and waiting until you have a full load.
6. Run your fridge efficiently
Your fridge is always on, making it one of your most expensive appliances. Make sure the door seal is tight and free from gaps so cold air can't escape. An ideal fridge temperature is 4 or 5 degrees and an ideal freezer temperature is minus 15 to minus 18 degrees Celsius. If you have a second fridge or freezer, only turn it on when you need it.
7. Insulate your roof
An insulated ceiling makes a big difference to your energy bills. If you already have insulation installed, check that it is properly installed and has the right rating (measured in 'R-value'). In Victoria, insulation rated R3.5 or higher should be used for ceilings.
8. Save energy in the kitchen
Thaw frozen food in your fridge to reduce cooking time. When you are cooking, use the microwave when you can – it uses much less energy than an electric oven. If you use the stove, keep lids on your pots to reduce cooking time. Use the economy cycle on your dishwasher and only run it when it's full.
9. Use energy-efficient light globes
Replace old halogen light globes with energy-efficient LED globes. Energy-efficient globes save power and last longer. Light globes can sometimes be replaced for free or at reduced cost. See: Victorian Energy Upgrades.
Learn more about how to save energy with efficient lighting at Sustainability Victoria.
10. Understand and improve your home's energy use
A Scorecard assessment looks at the fixed features of your home – the way it's built and insulated, heated and cooled, your lighting and water heating – and suggests the most effective changes you can make to reduce your power use and increase your comfort. Scorecard's unique 'hot weather rating' explains how to keep your house cooler in a heatwave, even without air conditioning. See: Victorian Residential Efficiency Scorecard.