Cut electricity and water costs

Reduce the costs of your household electricity and water.

Cut electricity and water costs

Electricity and water are the two largest expenses of any Australian household, but with a little forward planning, you can drastically reduce your household costs.

Save on electricity

Think about making the switch to LED lightbulbs. LEDs use at least 75 per cent less energy than regular lightbulbs. They last 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent lighting, and about two to five times longer than fluorescent lighting. They also emit very little heat, so you’ll also save on cooling costs.

Consider going solar. By installing solar panels on your roof, you can save on energy bills. Solar panels convert sunlight into energy, generating ‘free power’. The energy is fed back into the power grid and used by multiple homes. The energy you generate is measured and then deducted from your energy bill.

Clothes dryers are some of the most power-hungry appliances in your home. Sunlight kills bacteria like nothing else, so let the washing air-dry outside whenever possible.

When next purchasing a household appliance – such as fridges, clothes dryers, air conditioners, dishwashers and televisions – choose one with a high-star Energy Rating Label (ERL). The ERL is a mandatory label designed to give consumers information about the energy performance of an appliance at the point of sale.

Also, replacing seals around your fridge and windows as soon as you notice them beginning to wear will help you to be more energy efficient.

Save on water

Try to use a water-saving showerhead with a Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) star rating of at least three. A standard showerhead can use up to 25 litres per minute, while a water-efficient one might use as few as seven. If you’re living in Melbourne, Yarra Valley Water runs a free showerhead exchange program.

Twenty-one per cent of energy used in the home is for heating water. To save on power and water, try taking shorter showers and reducing the temperature of your hot water. Energy Australia recommends setting your hot water heater no higher than 50 degrees Celsius.

Also, be sure to replace leaky tap washers quickly. It isn’t just the noise of constant dripping that is annoying, but also the hole it makes in your wallet.

Consider washing your clothes in cold water and handwashing individual items if you don’t have enough washing to justify a full load.

For more ways to save money around the house, why not read our articles on Tips for stretching a fixed income and Beat the winter bill blues?





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login

    1st May 2015
    10:18am
    Have a "sea shower" to conserve water. Get wet, turn off water, lather, and water back on to rinse. Simple and a more efficient use of soap and shampoo.
    Tim@toc
    1st May 2015
    5:37pm
    Spot on Fast Eddie. In my opinion it is impossible to clean oneself properly with the shower running all the time. And as you said wastes soap, shampoo and water. I took my shower rose off, fitted a small tap called a cistern valve, then screwed the shower head on to that. Turn it on, set the temperature with the other taps, get wet, turn it off, apply soap and shampoo, turn it on and wash off soap, shampoo and dirt. It's hardly rocket science and far more effective than the stupid, useless "water saving shower heads".
    tiger
    1st May 2015
    12:28pm
    My Dec 14 power bill $137, my last bill $143, never had bills this cheap before. Single male pensioner but I do get about $80 concession off each bill. With cheaper power proposed from July S.A. AGL one wonders will it go below $100 one has to wait and see. Only turn my hot water on when I need it that saves me nearly $100 a quarter. All my new appliances are Energy Efficient.
    particolor
    1st May 2015
    5:21pm
    So are Mine !! :-) I donated them all to Vinnies !! :-)
    tiger
    1st May 2015
    12:28pm
    My Dec 14 power bill $137, my last bill $143, never had bills this cheap before. Single male pensioner but I do get about $80 concession off each bill. With cheaper power proposed from July S.A. AGL one wonders will it go below $100 one has to wait and see. Only turn my hot water on when I need it that saves me nearly $100 a quarter. All my new appliances are Energy Efficient.
    Anonymous
    1st May 2015
    2:58pm
    Consider a heat-pump hot water system, if you don't have one already, of course, should replacement time roll around. They use only about 25% of the electricity that a convention hot water system uses without solar panels uses and solar panels are not required for this savings.
    tiger
    1st May 2015
    12:28pm
    My Dec 14 power bill $137, my last bill $143, never had bills this cheap before. Single male pensioner but I do get about $80 concession off each bill. With cheaper power proposed from July S.A. AGL one wonders will it go below $100 one has to wait and see. Only turn my hot water on when I need it that saves me nearly $100 a quarter. All my new appliances are Energy Efficient.

    1st May 2015
    1:02pm
    The saddest and scandalous thing about such savings we are forced into is the insatiable greed of those providers, with one unusual exception;

    http://www.ora.tv/offthegrid/dan-price-0_x6tl5qbtamj

    1st May 2015
    1:02pm
    The saddest and scandalous thing about such savings we are forced into is the insatiable greed of those providers, with one unusual exception;

    http://www.ora.tv/offthegrid/dan-price-0_x6tl5qbtamj
    Peterrj
    1st May 2015
    9:21pm
    Hey HKW ... go easy on the Post Reply button!!!!
    Sadie
    1st May 2015
    5:15pm
    If you have a BBQ with a lid, use it instead of your oven. Anything cooked in the oven can be cooked in your BBQ. Just be sure to raise your pans NOT put them directly on the BBQ plate. And use an oven thermometer.I have found the temp is not that the BBQ thermometer reads on the outside.
    tiger
    1st May 2015
    5:55pm
    I bought a brand new Fan-forced Ceramic top oven 2 years ago have never roasted in it. Used my BBQ for all roast meats, saves me a motso
    tiger
    1st May 2015
    5:55pm
    I bought a brand new Fan-forced Ceramic top oven 2 years ago have never roasted in it. Used my BBQ for all roast meats, saves me a motso
    BettyBoo
    1st May 2015
    5:35pm
    The links 'Tips for stretching a fixed income' and 'Beat the winter bill blues?' take me to a page that says "We're sorry, the page you are searching for can't be found.' Can you fix this please as I'd like to read them. Thanks.'
    Young
    1st May 2015
    6:22pm
    We find it is not how much you use that skyrockets the bills.It is the fees you pay before any use that is the problem.
    Chris B T
    2nd May 2015
    1:28pm
    The slide of hand tactics.
    Let the consumer think they are getting a benefit to only increase the service
    fee/meter charge. My electricity service fee has nearly doubled in two years
    water by one third. :-( :-(

    2nd May 2015
    6:20am
    /

    Heard on radio today that a new battery could be on the market soon which may mean that a householder could be completely off the electricity grid. Now that would make some electricity companies very nervous I would think, but no doubt they would still find a way of squeezing money out of you on the grid or not.

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/01/tesla-announces-low-cost-solar-batteries-elon-musk

    /
    Blossom
    2nd May 2015
    6:34pm
    I live in a retirement village and every residence has solar hotwater with gas booster. It has to be plugged into electricity. Presumably it is usually electricity too. My gas bill is cheaper than it was at the house I was living in. We also have dishwashers. I don't use mine unless I have a lot of visitors. It takes several days of dishwashers to fill mine + uses a considerable amout more hot water than a half a small sink bowl does. Many people don't believe me but it takes a few minutes for the water required to run into it.. I love Fast Eddie's "sea shower" but in cold climates you would get mighty cold just washing and shampooing, and the warm/hot water doesn't stay that way in your pipes for long. In the warm weather the water warms up quicker. I also love adjustable height shower heads. If they are too high some of the heat of the water is lost before it even hits your body. In the cold weather put more clothes on or use a blanket rather than turning up the thermostat on your heater/ airconditioner. Occasionally I leave mine on a little longer to air clothes that didn't dry enough outside. If you have a sheltered area where the rain doesn't beat in consider hanging small items on clothes airers. You can get the slightly more expensive ones that "rungs" on the ground, not just the bottom of the legs which don't blow over like the cheaper ones do. Make sure you set your water level to the amount of the washing you have. It also depends how dirty the clothes are which setting you need too. You can use quick wash if they aren't aren't too grimy. Using too much washing detergent won't get them any cleaner. The extra may not rinse out of the washing properly, making it stiff.
    During one quarter of electricity account, I was away for just over 2 weeks at short notice which meant not lights or stove usage, the refrigerator not being opened letting warm air into it at all, no washing machine use, no TV or computer yet my bill didn't drop at all. The service charge cist that much more.
    tiger
    2nd May 2015
    7:03pm
    I too live in an Seniors Home complex don't pay rates or water just a very low fee. Am male 77 old pensioner I own the Equity of my unit, which is spacious 2 bedroom and lovely garden that surrounds my unit. Washing machine uses cold water, My last bill was $143 the cheapest yet turn off hot water when not needed and also stand by power every night. I live very comfortably and have a good lifestyle on the Pension I sometimes wonder why most pensioners whinge about.
    jpalin
    3rd May 2015
    9:37am
    We have solar and our last electricity bill was $48. The cheapest was a credit of $9!