The old saying goes: “the only things certain in life are death and taxes”. Well, perhaps this should be extended in today’s society to include higher power bills. The cost of producing electricity is going to continually rise, so if you want to safeguard yourself, keep reading for ways to cut power usage around your home.
Take a look at your hot water system
By far the biggest energy consumer in any household, is your hot water system. Hot water systems are incredibly inefficient and are guilty of consuming around one third of the total energy bill for households that use them. The cheapest solution is to use less hot water (eg. shorter showers) and to check with your energy provider what tariff you’re on. You might be able to change over to a less expensive, off-peak tariff.
If you can afford it, replace your electric storage hot water system altogether. Gas is far more efficient and gives you hot water instantly. This will also reduce your water costs as you won’t be waiting for the water to get hot while taking your shower. For ultimate energy efficiency, ground-sourced heat pumps or solar hot water systems are the way to go. Obviously, these big ticket items require a large outlay of money initially, so be sure you’re planning on living in the same place long enough in order to reap the longer-term financial rewards.
Aim for energy efficient appliances
Next on your energy consumption hit list are your appliances. The top culprits are the clothes dryer, fridge/freezer and washing machine. If your ‘white goods’ have seen better days and it’s time for an upgrade, choose energy efficient appliances from leading manufacturers like ASKO. While it might cost a little more to purchase a quality machine, bear in mind they will have lower running costs as they are more efficient and are less likely to break down. They will also typically last for longer. Overall, they will save you money in terms of your power bills, repair costs and eventual machine replacement.
Shutdown the standby
Following your large appliance energy audit, take a look into smaller electronics like computers, TVs, stereos, etc. Most of these stay on stand-by if you don’t turn them off properly, and this actually consumes energy and increases your power bill. You can rectify this by switching appliances off at the wall, or buying a purpose built power-board to plug all of your entertainment appliances into that can then all be switched off in one go.
Get serious, get solar
If you want to get really serious about reducing your household energy consumption and therefore power bills, solar is the way to go. Obviously, this is a major expense and something you need to seriously research and consider before committing. Some energy providers will allow you to pay off the installation of a solar energy system through your energy bills. It’s also worthwhile thinking about how long you intend to live in your home, as it will probably take you four to five years to pay off your system. Having said that, if you do decide to sell, most real estate agents will tell you that having solar power, can add up to $10,000 to the value of your property.
These methods indicate how you can easily use energy more efficiently to future-proof yourself against rising power costs. There are plenty of ways to reduce your power usage, just start small and work your way up to bigger ticket items.
How do you use power efficiently around the home? Tell us your recommendations in the comments below!