How to cut your power bills

As anyone trying to reduce their power bills will know, it’s often the standard supply that makes up the bulk of the charges so shopping around is important – here’s what you should consider.

The first step is to compare what you’re being charged currently against what other energy retailers are offering. When doing so, 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 and which charges they apply to (the whole bill amount or only usage charges)
  • any incentives offered
  • length or contract and payment options (e.g. direct debit, BPay, Centrepay, monthly billing)
  • price increase terms – can fix the price for a certain period
  • any fees – early termination fees or incentive payback terms.
  • fees for a paper bill or credit card payments.

Once you have chosen a new energy retailer, or perhaps you decide to stick 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
To keep you warm in the winter, try layering clothes and wearing wool, which should enable you to turn your heater down. In the summer opt for cool, loose clothes.

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

Wash clothes in cold water
Not only is a cool wash better for your clothes, washing them in cold water can save you around $115 per year. Using the shortest cycle possible will also help cut costs.

Fix your fridge
As your fridge is always switched on, making sure it’s sealed and stacked properly is key to using your energy efficiently. Ensure your door seals are tight and don’t over fill your fridge. To ensure the motor doesn’t over heat, your fridge should also have at least a 10mm gap between it 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. You can simply ensure everything is switched off, or install standby power controllers that switch appliances off when not in use. 

What’s your tip for reducing energy bills? Have you found a great deal with an energy retailer that you’re happy to share?

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Written by Debbie McTaggart

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