How to use less electricity

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Find out just how much power your gadgets are sucking up, even when they’re not switched on, and learn how to use less electricity in order to save money on your bills.

Did you know that phone and computer chargers use electricity, even when they are not charging your device? If you leave a phone charger plugged into a power point, and the power point is turned on, then the charger will continue to use a small amount of energy even if it’s not plugged into your phone or laptop. Often if you feel the transformer box attached to the charger it will feel warm, even when it’s not charging anything, showing that there is still energy being used. Turn these chargers off at the wall to ensure that you aren’t wasting electricity.

Standby mode
One of the biggest energy suckers is standby mode. Any device which is left turned on and plugged in when you are not using it will be using electricity. Your television, for example, continues to use electricity even when you turn it off with the remote. DVD players and VCRs are some of the worst culprits. If you watch three hours of television per day, that means your television is still using electricity during the other 21 hours you’re not watching it. You can now get little power-saver boxes, which plug in between your television, DVD Player or VCR and the power point. They can tell when you’re not using the device and can switch off the power supply accordingly. These nifty little gadgets can save you up to 15 per cent on your electricity bill.

Anything with a hot element uses an enormous amount of electricity, and kettles are one of the least power-efficient appliances. Many people fill the kettle right up, and then keep reboiling the water inside, even if they only want a small amount of hot water. It is much more energy efficient to only fill the kettle up with as much water as you think you will need.

The fridge
Knowing the best way to stock your fridge can significantly reduce your energy consumption. A real no-brainer is to avoid leaving the door open for longer than necessary. Wait until food has cooled down to room temperature before putting it in the fridge – warm food makes your fridge work harder.

You can also defrost food in your fridge. The frozen food acts as an ice-pack, helping to cool down the fridge. Fridges and freezers work at optimum efficiency when they are three-quarters full. If your fridge is quite empty, why not fill up some old two-litre milk bottles with water and use these to reduce the empty space?

It’s also important to clean the coils at the back of your fridge. Use a vacuum to suck up the dust – thick dust on the coils can reduce their efficiency by up to 25 per cent.

Do you have another great energy-saving tip? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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Total Comments: 14
  1. 0

    My Dec quarter $197 the summer bill just in $221.1 month of Xmas lights,Air-con and 3 overhead fans going pretty solidly in Feb still only added an extra $23.I turn off all stand by every night and turn off hot water only turn on when I use it. All blinds down on hot days inside and out.Why do some people have whopping big bills I don’t know

  2. 0

    • In winter you can usually get by with a shower every second day.
    • Limit showers to 4 minutes. In-shower egg-timers stuck to the wall tell you how you are going.
    • Put the dish washer and washing machine through after 10 pm if you are on an off-peak system.
    • When going away from home for a period of time, turn off HW at mains. Email a neighbour to switch it on the day before you return. Disconnet all other powerpoints in the house except the fridge/freezer.
    • Make sure you are getting your pensioner’s discount through your electricity company.

    I am still looking at ways of further cutting heating bills in winter.

    • 0

      Move to Macquarie Island may help ??

    • 0

      No Power Station there!!

    • 0

      You’ll only get off-peak benifits if the appliances are on the same circuit, or you have an account that has everything on off-peak at that time.
      There is no way I’d go to sleep leaving a clothes dryer running after having two different model dryers give off a smouldering smell. Some lint eventually gets past the filter and can cause a fire. So far so good with our latest model dryer.

    • 0

      For a single person….shower once a week…..if you not running around doing things…folks get into habits during their life but when you stop and look you’ll find many things are not so much needed. You can make 1 room your place for winter…then you only need heat is easily with a fan heater…you can be snug…..lots of things you can do. Also if you can pay some money towards your power bill each fortnight, that makes it better, saves a big payout that way

    • 0

      What’s wrong with wrapping yourself in a nice cuddly blanket when watching T.V?
      I’ve been doing this for years and hardly ever use a heater.

  3. 0

    Re: tiger

    How many people do you have living with you?

  4. 0

    I own a 46 inch Sony LED TV. I have calculated that if left on standby for 9 months it would use one unit of electricity. That is whopping $0.23. My previous Panasonic 32 inch LCD TV would use one unit in about 3 months. On one occasion I went on holiday for a week so I turned off the Pansonic at the power outlet. When I turned it back on it had lost all the programmed stations becuase the programming is kept alive using a built-in backup battery that could not last that long. I have never turned off standby since that day. I would rather pay the tiny amount of power required to keep my appliances running correctly. There is also a school of thought that turning appliances on and off frequently shortens their life span. The stand by feature keeps them at a more constant temperature so they last longer.

  5. 0

    Cooking vegetables such as carrots and peas in one saucepans saves using multiple rings. Cook up enough to have as lef overs for the following day. Use natural light by the window to read by.

  6. 0

    Cooking vegetables such as carrots and peas in one saucepans saves using multiple rings. Cook up enough to have as lef overs for the following day. Use natural light by the window to read by.



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