Staying warm and comfortable in winter doesn't need to be expensive. These are some simple ways to stay warm while saving energy at home in winter.
- Set your heating thermostat to between 18 and 20 degrees. Every degree above 20 degrees can add 10 per cent to your heating bill.
- Shut doors to areas you're not using, and only heat the rooms where you spend the most time.
- Turn off appliances and devices, such as laptops, tablets and computer equipment, when you’re not using them. Turning them off at the powerpoint can save even more energy.
- Wait until your washing machine and dishwasher are full before running them and select the shortest possible washing cycles.
- Save money by switching to more energy efficient heating. For example, switching from an electric fan heater to a split system can save the average home nearly $700 a year on bills. Rebates to install more efficient heating in your home are available through the Victorian Energy Upgrades program.
- Need help with your bills? Having trouble paying your energy bills has information about the support available.
There are many other things you can do to help keep your energy bills down. Our top 10 includes some simple tips to help you save energy no matter what time of year, and most won't cost you a cent.
Turn off your heater, cooling units and appliances when you go to bed or leave the house.
Turning things off at the powerpoint can save even more power than at the switch or remote control.
Switch off your computer and equipment such as printers or wifi routers overnight, or while you're away. Most computers have energy saving settings which can be activated to turn the computer and screen off after a period of inactivity.
Energy-efficient globes could save you up to 80 per cent off your lighting costs. LED bulbs use less power and last longer. That means you spend less money and time replacing them.
There are simple things you can do to reduce the costs of heating and cooling without making life uncomfortable.
Shut doors to areas you're not using, and only cool or heat the rooms where you spend the most time.
In cooler months, make sure your curtains or blinds seal your windows properly.
In warmer months, keep your curtains closed during the day. By keeping the sun off your windows with external shadings such as external blinds or canvas awnings, your house will remain cooler.
Stop cool air leaking out by blocking draughts around doors and windows.
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. Wait until your machine is full before starting a washing cycle.
Clothes dryers use lots of energy. Hang clothes outside and let them dry naturally or use a fan to help dry them indoors.
An in-home energy assessment can help you identify and improve the features of your home that are contributing to high energy bills.
Whether you're selling or renovating, renting or worried about energy bills, you can a home energy assessment and find out how to make your home save energy and money on bills. There is more information about home assessments at Scorecard.
Your fridge runs 24 hours a day and is one of your most expensive appliances to run.
The ideal fridge temperature is 4 or 5 degrees Celsius. Your ideal freezer temperature is minus 15 to minus 18 degrees.
Make sure the fridge door seal is tight and that no gaps or cracks let cold air escape. If you have a second fridge or freezer, only turn it on when you need it.
Put frozen food in your fridge in the morning to thaw out and reduce cooking time in the evening. When you're cooking, use the microwave when you can. Microwaves use much less energy than an electric oven.
If you use a stove, keep lids on pots to reduce cooking time. Plan to cook more and have leftover meals for the next day or the whole week. Keep leftover meals in the freezer.
Use the economy cycle on your dishwasher, and only run it when it's full.
Every degree above 20 degrees can add 10 per cent to your heating bill. In winter, heating can account for over 30 per cent of your bill.
In winter, set your thermostat between 18 and 20 degrees. In summer, set your thermostat to 26 degrees or above.
Some ducted heating and cooling systems allow you to turn off the heating or to only cool rooms that are unoccupied.
Consider replacing your heater with a more efficient model. Find out about discount energy saving products such as heaters at Victorian Energy Upgrades.
One of the easiest ways to reduce energy costs is to compare energy offers.
Victorian Energy Compare is the Victorian Government's free and independent energy price comparison tool. It compares offers from more than 20 energy retailers across gas, electricity and solar, to help you find the best and cheapest energy offers.
To use Victorian Energy Compare, you'll need access to a device connected to the internet, a recent bill, and some information about your household. Victorian Energy Compare does the rest.
The comparison only takes about 10 minutes, and users can typically save $330 a year on energy costs.
You can find more information on switching retailers and energy plans on the Victorian Energy Compare.
An insulated ceiling can make a big difference to your energy bills. Effective ceiling insulation can save you up to 20 per cent on your cooling and heating costs.
Information about insulation can be found at Sustainability Victoria.
Using solar energy can help your household save money on energy bills.
By using the solar electricity that you generate, you can avoid buying energy from your retailer. Additionally, solar hot water systems can also help you avoid gas charges often associated with a gas-fired water heater.
Saving with Solar has more information on solar, including feed-in-tariffs, incentives, installation and energy companies.
Page last updated: 02/06/20