Tips on slimming down your power bills

WITH temperatures going down and electricity prices going up it's time to get serious about slimming down those expanding power bills.

Electricity is a modern convenience we love to hate. Hot showers, home heating, clothes dryers and ovens on comfort cooking overload are must-haves for many on damp and chilly days.

We don't feel so warm and fuzzy when we open up the letter box and see the familiar bill windows staring back at us.

There are heaps of simple ways to compensate for the extra power used up by heating, hot water systems and other appliances that tend to get an extended work out during the cooler months.

With a bit of diligence you can keep warm this Winter without having to worry about throwing holy water on your power bill when it turns up in three months time.

Ergon Energy has some advice on keeping our power bills under control.

Top Tips on Trimming your Winter Electricity Bill

Heating:

  • In Winter, set reverse cycle air conditioners or heaters to an energy efficient and comfortable 18 degrees Celsius.
  • Focus heating in commonly used rooms and trap in warm air by closing windows and doors.
  • Before turning the heater on, close the curtains, check for drafts and dress appropriately for Winter.
  • When purchasing a heater, choose the most energy efficient and the one that's the right size for your room/home.

Hot Water:

  • Install a low flow showerhead or a flow control valve to reduce the amount of hot water used without reducing pressure. An inefficient showerhead can use more than 20 litres every minute compared to a triple A rated showerhead.
  • Take shorter showers. Tough rule to follow on those cold mornings - but be strong, you'll reap the rewards in a couple of months time.
  • Fix leaking hot water taps as soon as possible. Sixty drops a minute is equal to 9000 litres of water in a year.

Laundry:

  • Hang your clothes on the line outside on dry days. Reserve the use of the dryer only for wet days or special "I need it dry NOW" emergencies.
  • Clean the filter in your dryer before each load. If it's blocked the machine will use more electricity and take longer. Clogged filters are also a known cause of house fires.
  • Use cold water for washing rather than hot or warm.
  • Adjust the water level to economically wash a partial load. Make sure you check manufacturer recommendations for your machine's capacity.
  • Drying clothes on hangers or folding items as soon as your take them off the line minimises the need for ironing.

Kitchen:

  • Fan forced ovens reduce cooking time and energy use.
  • Use pots and pans with snug fitting lids and flat bases that stay in contact with the hotplate. The base of the pot should be the same size as the hotplate.
  • Clean oven door seals regularly and check for signs of wear or damage. Flat or split door seals should be replaced.


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