Saving Money On Your Electricity And Water Costs
Energy prices are a hot topic right now, as is our rising water consumption. As prices rise we tend to look around the home and what we can change to see a big difference in the bill when it inevitably arrives.
Thankfully there are solutions, and you can implement several smart solutions around the house to lower the overall water and electricity bills.
Every Australian household is unique. Therefore, the changes you set to bring about to your energy consumption can differ from your neighbour’s. You can start by understanding how much energy and natural resources your household consumes every day (and when) along with specific energy-saving actions that will have maximum impact on your overall home.
Some Of The Important Factors To Consider Are:
- The features and size of your home
- The overall energy efficiency of the appliances
- The lifestyle patterns and the duration of the day when you use energy the most
- The way of managing and using different equipment around your house
- Choice of energy and resource retailer and the respective energy contract
Once you know the facts you can start to bring about change and get all your household members on board with these changes. If you have children, you can try to make these changes fun and like games to encourage everyone to be on the same page.
[Please know; that the information we share is to give you general household guidance, we suggest you contact your personal energy supplier and request more information on how to save on your electricity and water bills.]
Understanding Electricity Bill
The electricity bill in Australia comprises several costs. Electricity retailers usually bill you in different ways – variable charges and fixed charges. The variable aspect of your energy bills can be impacted directly. For instance, you can simply change when and how you utilize power and the energy contract you will select. The fixed energy bill serves to be a fixed daily fee that is charged by the retailer towards covering costs in association with an active energy connection.
Costs shared by network users in the given area also affect your energy bills. It will include network costs – including wires and poles delivering electricity to your home.
Understanding Water Bills
The water you consume in your house and garden area makes the overall water use charges. You will be paying for the overall water supply. Some important water-related charges to consider are:
- State Bulk Water prices: It is the amount the state government will charge the power company for purchasing water for supplying to the customers. The price is set by the state government and the retailer is legally expected to pass on the cost.
- Variable Usage Charges: These are variable because of the tiered structure. This implies that up to a fixed amount, you will be paying a single rate for water. It will increase if you surpass a specific threshold.
- Fixed Access Charges: It makes up a major part of your water bill. It is the amount you pay to keep the house connected to the continuous water supply.
Tips to Save On Your Energy And Water Bills
Here is a collection of our top energy-saving and water-saving tips that you can begin with. If you have any to add to the list, please leave them in the comments!
Install Lighting That Is Energy-Efficient
Light bulbs are known to contribute significantly to the overall energy bills -especially if you are using halogen light bulbs or old incandescent lighting. You can think of installing energy-efficient light bulbs or systems that consume minimal energy. They not only consume less energy, but also last longer.
LED light bulbs are regarded as the best energy-efficient alternatives to traditional sources of electricity. It is estimated that as you switch from conventional light bulbs to modern LED light bulbs, it can help in saving around $102 in annual running costs.
Insulate The Home
Insulation turns out to be a cost-effective way to improve the overall energy efficiency of your home. It also helps in reducing your cooling and heating costs. Insulation can assist in keeping your home comfortable and a balanced temperature condition. It is estimated that Aussies can look forward to reducing the overall energy costs by around 45 percent with proper insulation.
Insulate Your Pipes
You can insulate your pipes to make sure they don’t get so cold during the night or through Winter meaning they won’t take as long for the water to heat up. Insulation can see water wastage decrease and energy (from heating water) decrease. You can read more about insulation hot water pipes from your hot water heater here.
Switch Off Wall Appliances
Standby appliances all around your home are estimated to cost around $100 every year in the form of wasted electricity. Appliances like dishwashers, microwaves, televisions and even phone charges continue consuming energy when they are not in use. Therefore, you are essentially paying for nothing. If you do not remember switching off these appliances, it could cost you significantly.
Wash Clothes With Cold Water
Indeed, warm washes deliver great results than cold washes. However, sometimes, warm washes might not always be necessary. Hot water is a major power consumer. Therefore, you should aim at going for the option of cold washes for your day-to-day laundry. With respect to washing machines, you can make use of the eco setting while ensuring that you are loading your machine to the right load size.
Close Curtains And Doors
The harder your air conditioning unit must work, the more power it will be consuming. Eventually, your energy bills will be higher. When you run the air conditioning unit in your house, ensure that you have kept the windows, doors, and curtains closed properly. This easy energy-saving tip will not take much effort.
Identify Energy Hotspots Around the House
If you wish to reduce your overall energy bills, it can help significantly when you know the sources of maximum energy consumption around the property. In a typical Australian household, some of the core areas of energy usage are across cooling and heating units, refrigeration, heating water, and other types of electrical appliances. Think about which appliance or lifestyle habit could be impacting the overall energy usage and how you can minimize the same.
Think of installing a water-saving or water-efficient shower head for your family. It could help in saving around $315 annually on your water bills.
Be Smart About Appliances
- Make it a point to run the dishwasher with the full load capacity – ensuring fast wash cycles or on the economy mode. Aim at cleaning the filters regularly.
- Select an energy-efficient washing machine.
- If it’s a sunny day, skip the dryer, and let the sun dry the clothes! This will save you $$$ on your energy bill.
Fix Those Leaky Taps
Fix leaking taps around the house as soon as you encounter them. A dripping or leaking tap is known to waste around 2000 litres of water every month.
Repurpose Your Water
Save on your water bill by not using as much water. Cooking water especially for boiling, steaming or cooking can be repurposed for gardening or car washing. The 50ml left in the bottom of every water bottle can be used to water the house plants.
Set The Timer On The Shower
The average shower duration is approximately 7 minutes, and the average shower volume is approximately 55 litres! Set the time for 4 mins and cut that water consumption.
Save Baths For Special Occasions
Filling the bath can see up to 140 litres of water used. WOW. Imagine not having a bath every night and how much water you can save.
Consider Changes Around The Home
Consider installing a rainwater tank to harvest free rainwater and use it for your household’s gardening or cleaning needs. You can think about converting your home to be completely reliant on rainwater if you have sufficient capacity.
Think about investing in solar panels to cut your electricity bill and give back to the grid.
Think About Gas Alternatives
Would a gas heater or a gas hot water heater fit your household’s needs more efficiently? Sometimes gas heaters can be more efficient in the long term and save you money over time.
As prices rise these small steps will make a big difference to your energy and water bill. Taking the time to minimise your energy and water use is about taking small steps every day and making necessary bigger changes over time. Being conscious of day-to-day usage is a great first step and having the entire household, including your children on board will serve the whole household well. Good luck!