Saving power isn’t just good for your wallet, it’s also good for the environment.
Here’s a few ideas for reducing power consumption:
- Switch it off. Even better, unplug it. This includes mobile chargers when they aren’t being used, as well as any appliances with a ‘standby’ light or display. If they are on, they are using power. Some can even use ‘phantom’ or ‘vampire’ energy while plugged in – even if they are off. It’s estimated devices and appliances that aren’t in use can waste as much as 10% of your homes energy!
Use a power board or multi-plug with an on/off switch and plug several devices (eg TV, freeview or sky box, computers, chargers, etc) into it and switch it off when you go to bed and leave for the day.
- Shut down your PC or laptop when it’s not in use. Leaving a screen saver running can waste power. Turn monitors off at the power button (or even better, switch them off at the wall).
- Turn off lights when you aren’t in that room or part of the house.
- Use a lid on pots on the stove. This helps reduce the amount of power needed to heat or cook things, as well as not releasing moisture into the air.
- Kettles use a lot of power, so rather than filling it to the recommended maximum, only fill your kettle with as much water as you need at that moment.
- Cold, damp air takes more to heat, so wipe down windows with condensation every day. Open your windows as much as you can during the day to ventilate your house to help stop mold and damp.
- Use cold water to wash clothes. This saves up to 90% of power used to do a hot wash!
- Use the line to dry clothes. Using a dryer is about $1 per time, so make the most of any winter sunshine and dry clothes outside. Portable clothes airers are good as you can tuck them under cover. If you do use the dryer, make sure it vents to outside, otherwise you are just pumping damp air back into your house.
- Keep bathroom doors shut after showers and baths, and if you can, install extraction fans in the bathroom and kitchen and keep their filters and fans clean from dust and debris.
- Take shorter showers. Hot water heating takes up to 30% of your power bill, so cutting showers by even 1-2 minutes can add up.
- If you have a heated towel rail, only use it when needed. A heated towel rail left on 24/7 can cost you $170 per year to run. You can buy timers for towel rails that come on automatically at certain times of the day.
- Wrap your hot water cylinder and as much of the pipes as you can get to safely can also help reduce the power needed to keep water hot.
- If you have a beer or drinks fridge, consider turning it off for winter. If it’s an old inefficient model it can cost up to $200 per year!
- When you’re buying new appliances, look for those that are most energy efficient. You may pay a bit more upfront, but you’ll save more in the long run.
- Use draft stoppers around doors and windows. These are particularly good if you have cold air coming off a window by a bed. Place stoppers along the window sill to help stop cold air coming out between the curtain and sill.
- Air your bedding - especially in winter. Duvets, pillows, and other heavy bedding absorbs moisture over time, so air them outdoors when it’s sunny. Just don't forget it's out there!
Posted: Friday 14 June 2019