1. If it’s not in use, turn it off. This goes for televisions, computers, heated towel rails, dvd players, game consoles – just about everything.
2. Ensure your air conditioning unit is serviced and the filters are clean. Clogged units have trouble pushing the air through; in turn using more energy.
3. Use the sleep and hibernation features on your computer. This can save up to 15% energy.
4. Keep the artificial heating and cooling to a minimum. Dress for the weather and avoid unnecessary heating.
5. Use fans instead of air conditioning, they require much less energy.
6. If you must use air conditioning, keep it on a neutral temperature. High and low settings use far more electricity.
7. Save hot water any way possible. Hot water can account for up to 25% of your total energy bill, so use it wisely. Take showers instead of baths and wash clothes in cold water.
8. Use low-flow shower heads, you will still have good pressure without the water wastage.
9. If you must use the dishwasher, only do so when you have a full load. The same goes for washing machines.
10. Ensure your window seals are in top condition. If not, all your homes heat will be escaping through the window surrounds, which raises the electricity bill.
11. Only buy energy efficient electrical products. Look for the energy star rating and compare models.
12. Replace all normal light bulbs with energy saving CFL bulbs. They use two thirds the energy of a traditional bulb and last up to 10 times longer!
13. Use recyclable shopping bags, plastic is harmful to the environment.
14. Recycle everything. Make use of the weekly recycling collection it will save you money with rubbish collection.
15. Ensure you home is suitably insulated. Have a trained technician check your roof and underfloor insulation for signs of deterioration.
16. Use the washing line instead of the clothes dryer. Using an inside line at night is a great way to dry clothes.
17. Avoid unnecessary car trips. With careful planning, you can organize your day to involve just one or two car trips.
18. Use power boards for all household electrical items and switch them off at night and before leafing for work.
19. Install thermal lined drapes to keep the heat in. Drapes that reach the floor are more effective than the shorter varieties.
20. Get the kids involved in more outdoor play, switch the game consoles off!
21. If you need to upgrade your computer, consider a laptop as they use less energy.
22. Don’t preheat the oven for too long.
23. Use the microwave instead of the oven where possible.
24. Choose the correct pot size for the stove and always use pot lids.
25. Never leave electrical devices on standby, ghost loading uses excessive electricity for nothing.
26. Keep fridges and freezers on a neutral setting, the lower the temperature the more energy is consumed.
27. Get rid of unnecessary appliances such as electric can openers, electric bread knives and electric graters.
28. Wash the car in cold water, a good detergent will get it clean without wasting precious heated water.
29. Keep your hot water cylinder turned down. It only needs to be hot enough to shower comfortably.
30. Make use of the hot water cupboard. Dry damp clothing or shoes without using the clothes dryer.
There are a lot of little things that you can do that will make a big difference to your power bill. Monitoring your power usage is a great way to see the reductions in cost that little changes can make. Getting a smart meter installed in your home means that, with half hourly updates, you can get real-time information about your power usage and become energy efficient faster.
Jessica Best is a featured writer for Arc Innovations, a company who specialise in making homes more energy efficient with smart meters.
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