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5 easy tips to help you save power

Here’s a few practical tips and tools to help you save power around the house. 

Appliances

  • If you’re not using it, switch it off at the wall. When the wall switch is on, you’re still using a little bit of power.
  • Look for efficiency when you’re buying. Large appliances will have an energy rating from one to six. The more stars, the better.
  • Calculate how much energy your appliances use so you can identify the worst offenders.

Easy appliance wins

Lighting

  • Make a habit of turning off the light as you leave a room. It’s a simple way to save.
  • Pick LED bulbs, instead of incandescent ones. They last 10 to 20 years – and use way less electricity.  We’re talking up to 85% less.
  • Think outside the bulb. If you don’t get much sun or have a few dark corners that could use brightening up, try putting a mirror on the wall. It’ll reflect the light you do have and up your décor game. 

More on lighting

Windows and doors

  • If your windows and doors don’t quite fit the frames properly, draught stopping tape works a treat in keeping the breeze out. You can pick it up at most hardware stores.
  • Do your windows get a bit teary sometimes? You’re not alone. Luckily, there’s a cheap fix for that: insulation film (also available at most hardware stores). It has a similar effect to double glazing, but without the price tag. You can cover five windows for around $30. That should help keep the heat in and reduce condensation. 

Keep the draughts out

Timers and sensors

  • Timers and sensors are a cheap and cheerful way of turning off things that aren’t being used.
  • Group your appliances (eg the TV, gaming console and decoder) with one timer. It'll sense when the primary load, such as the television, is switched off – and turn off all the rest. Clever. 
  • Heated towel rail timers will cost you about $30 upfront but they’ll save you quite a bit in the long run. Towel rails may keep your towels warm and dry, but they chew through the power when they’re left on 24/7. Timers will switch on automatically at set times of the day so you can still enjoy a toasty towel without the cost. 
  • Pathway and security lights are super useful at night, but there’s no need for them to shine during the day. Invest in solar powered path lights, set your security lights to a sensor and see the difference.

More about timers and sensors

Calculate your appliances’ power usage

This calculation will help you work out how much power each of your appliances use, and what they cost:

  • Find the watts of your appliance (on the appliance itself, or the tag)
  • Multiply that by the hours used per day
  • Divide that by 1000 to get the daily kilowatt per hour (kWh) usage
  • Multiply that by the cost of your power.
    • Use a per kWh cost that includes Electricity Authority levies but excludes daily charges. You can find this on your power bill under ‘total electricity rate’.

For example:

  • 1000 watts (average clothes iron)
  • x 0.25 hours per day
  • ÷ 1000 = 0.25 kWh per hour
  • x 27 cents per kWh (example power price)
  • = 6.75 cents per day / 47.25 cents per week / $1.89 per month.

You can also use energy efficiency calculators online.