Ten out-of-the-ordinary ways to save power
Days are shorter, temperatures are colder and your fellow public transport commuters are starting to smell decidedly more damp than usual.
Yep, winter must almost be here.
If you’re anything like us, you’re already putting together a cosy hibernation plan to get you through the chilly season. However, binging on your favourite TV shows and getting snug with the heat pump does come at a price: your electricity bill.
The good news is that there are many things you can do to keep your power bill under control over the winter months. You’ve probably heard all the usual power saving tips, such as reducing shower time and keeping your curtains closed at night to retain heat, but we’ve rounded up a few ideas that are a little less traditional.
Read on to learn 10 out of the ordinary (but surprisingly effective) ways you can reduce power consumption and keep your electricity bill low this winter:
1. Shower at the gym
What’s the most effective way of reducing the amount of energy your household uses? Using someone else’s! Your neighbour probably wouldn’t appreciate you popping around every day for a shower, but your gym will have no qualms about it. Given that the average 10 minute shower costs about 75 cents in electricity, you could save around $200 a year by showering at the gym five times a week. And while you’re there, you might as well get a work out in at the same time - you’ll have that beach bod ready to go by the time summer rolls around.
2. Buy a water-saving shower head
The average modern shower head delivers hot water at about 12 litres per minute. This flow of gushing hot water creates a luxurious, high-pressure shower, but it can also wreak havoc on your power bill. The easy solution here is to invest in a water-saving shower head, which delivers about 8 litres per minute. You probably won’t notice the difference in water pressure, but you will notice the savings - according to Consumer, switching to a more efficient shower head could save you over $150 annually on your power bills!
3. Draught proof your home
Draught proofing your property is one of the most cost-effective ways of improving your home’s energy efficiency. Over time, small holes and cracks may develop in the building materials that make up your home, which allows cold air to enter and warm air to escape. To counter this, you essentially want to make your home as air tight as it can be. This might involve:
Sealing gaps and cracks in your walls, ceilings and floors. Pay special attention to the rubber seals around your doors and windows.
- Installing draught stoppers at the base of your doors to prevent warm air from escaping.
- Tightening window hinges and latches to ensure they can close securely and minimise drafts.
4. Dust off your fridge/freezer
When it comes to household chores, dusting is usually somewhere near the bottom of the to-do list. However, you might be surprised to learn that giving the old feather duster a workout from time to time can actually help you save on your power bill. How? Well, your big appliances and whiteware usually feature elements and extractor fans that allow them to function. Keep these mechanisms free of dust and other obstructions allows them to work more efficiently, thereby reducing your energy consumption and power costs.
5. Buy more lights
It might sound like a bit of a contradiction, but investing in some desk and freestanding lamps can actually help you save on your power bill. Living rooms, kitchens and other large indoor spaces in older homes often take an all or nothing approach to lighting. Multiple light fixtures are connected to one switch, meaning you can’t select which individual bulbs are illuminated. This is a waste of energy because there are many occasions where you don’t need your lights on at full capacity. Investing in a few well-positioned desk and freestanding lamps allows you to light the room according to your needs and help you save on your power bill.
6. Go raw
Curious about the latest raw diet everyone’s been harping on about recently? This is the perfect time to give it a go. One day per week, give your kitchen appliances a break by eating nothing but raw food and tap into all sorts of nutritious benefits while reducing your power consumption. Steer clear of the chicken.
7. Invest in smart lighting
The cornerstone of any smart home, smart lighting can do a bunch of cool stuff you never knew you wanted. Smart lights can be individually programmed to a certain colour or brightness and can be controlled remotely so you can switch them off when you’re out of the house (or if you’re reluctant to get out of bed on a cold winter’s night). Many models also come with geofencing technology that automatically switches the light off when you move a certain distance away, while others can be used in conjunction with sensors so they’ll automatically turn on and off when you enter and leave the room.
8. Keep your feet warm
The majority of heat loss occurs in our extremities - that is, our hands and feet. With this in mind, an easy way to reduce heating costs this winter is to ensure there’s always a barrier between your feet and the floor, particularly if you live with uncarpeted floors. Invest in a good pair of slippers or put down some tasteful rugs to keep your tootsies toasty this winter.
9. Buy some new windows
A huge amount of your home’s heating is lost through your windows. You can minimise this effect by investing in double glazed windows. Okay, so this isn’t the most cost-effective way to cut power expenses, but if you’re carrying out renovations or need to repair or replace your existing windows anyway, it makes sense to opt for the most energy efficient option. Check out the Energywise website for more information.
10. Run full loads when you’re doing the chores
Put your procrastination skills to good use by avoiding doing the chores until you have enough dirty items stockpiled to fill the appliance. Whiteware such as the washing machine, dryer and dishwasher use a significant amount of power, so wait until you have enough for a full load before putting them on in order to get the best bang for buck from these appliances.
Not happy with your power bill? Become a customer of Pulse Energy and enjoy some of the lowest electricity rates around. Give us a call today on 0800 785 733 to find out more.