How do you manage your power usage?

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Rather than the proverbial ‘teaching your granny to suck eggs’, we asked YourLifeChoices members to share their tips for managing power usage. Here’s what you told us.

Your tips:

  • install solar panels
  • reduce electricity
  • be careful with power.

While all these are great tips, it’s often the standard supply charges that make reducing power bills dif?cult. As the cost of installing solar panels may be prohibitive, your first step should be to compare your current charges against what is being offered by other energy retailers.

To do this, you should compare:

  • the supply charge, (fixed daily amount)

  • the price (tariff) you are paying for energy (how many cents per kWh or MJ)

  • discounts offered

  • incentives on offer

  • contract period and payment options

  • price increase terms – can you fix the price for a certain period

  • any fees, including early termination fees or incentive payback terms.

  • any fees for a paper bill or credit card payments.

Once you have decided on a new energy retailer, or decided to stay with your current provider, then you should look at how you use your power. These five simple tips may help reduce the energy you use.

Dress correctly
Layering clothes helps you to manage your body temperature more easily.

Drop the thermostat
Every degree above 20 can add 10 per cent to your heating bill. Conversely, the opposite is true in summer. So set your thermostat to 26 degrees or above to save on cooling costs.

Wash clothes in cold water
You can save around $115 per year by washing your clothes in cold water. It’s also better for your clothes.

Fix your fridge
Ensure your door seals are tight and don’t overfill your fridge. To prevent the motor from overheating, there should be at least a 10mm gap between your fridge and any wall.

Stop standby power waste
Up to 10 per cent of your electricity could be used by gadgets and appliances that are on standby. Take care to completely turn off appliances, or install standby power controllers.

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Total Comments: 9
  1. 0

    We went through all these cost saving measures a few years ago under the labor government. There was a government scheme where a person could pay $50 and get their house checked for electricity leaks and get a monitor installed.

    Then Tony Abbott was elected and the property market went silly because there was a liberal government in power, resulting in an increase in my rent the likes of which I have never seen before.
    About the same time the electricity bill came in and was double the previous one.

    I think its time we saw a reduction in the price of electricity. I have heard this before.

  2. 0

    Since having the NBN installed, my house is lit up like a Christmas tree!! I have 2 box things connected, one for the home phone and the other a modem for the Internet. Only thing is, I am on a pre-paid wireless plan, so do not use a modem. Tried disconnecting it and attaching an ADSL filter but then the phone won’t work. I HATE being forced into something I neither want or need. What an absolute waste of power!!

    • 0

      Exactly NBN didn’t ask if you still wanted your phone on the regular landline connection, they just put it through the modem and will charge you if you want it changed back again.

      When the internet goes down, you can’t ring and complain about it because the phone goes down too.

      Dig out the mobile on prepaid charges and spend $10 before even getting connected.

      That’s how it happened with me anyway. Naturally I told them about it. Eventually got some discounts, but still stuck if the internet goes down. Had to change my mobile to vodaphone who let me keep a prepaid credit for a year.

  3. 0

    We found that the hot water system (here in Townsville) was the biggest electricity guzzler, so we only turn on the HW system when it becomes too cool to shower which, in winter, was about once every third day and in summer hardly ever. Our HW system was using about 5 kW every day and it is now 3kW every third day. A HUGE saving!

  4. 0

    I went through the scheme too.

    I did that scheme too. Back then I was renting another place and my electricity saving were good, Over the years my electricity bills have gone up dramatically, I do all the saving power tips, What we need is a reduction in electricity prices. I know one lady who has air conditioning for heating and cooling. We need urgent action now so that people cab live in comfort.

  5. 0

    Solar Panels might be OK IF you are quite young and intend to stay in that home — be darn expensive if not — plus the amount paid back to you has dropped heap from what it was.

  6. 0

    The supply charges are excessive and no way can you save on them. I have cut back on leaving lights on back to using a torch, and I use heating and cooling only when absolutely necessary. We are becoming a third world country very quickly, and the more people they bring in to Oz the quicker it will happen.

  7. 0

    You will also find that if you have “Smart Meters” your power will be way over the top. My Friends have Solar I do not — they have SMART METR I do not–they use less power than me and my bills are 1/2 what their’s are

    They might be smart but not for the consumer.



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