There are steps we can all take to stay warm and save money this winter, whether you own your home or rent.
Draughts can increase heating costs by up to 25%. Consider door snakes, draught stoppers, foam window sealing tape, blinds and curtains to reduce heat loss and stop draughts. Ceiling insulation can reduce heating costs by up to 30 per cent, saving you more than $100 a year.
The best way to save money on home heating is to keep the cool air out.
Ausgrid energy efficiency expert, Robert Simpson
Use the sun to naturally heat your home by opening blinds and curtains on north facing windows. Winter is the time to rug up. It’s one of the easiest and cheapest ways to keep warm so pull out a warm blanket and wear lots of layers.
There are lots of cheap portable electric heating options available but they can be costly to run. It’s easy to spend more money on electricity using a personal fan heater in one week, than the cost of the heater itself. They’re usually best for personal heating in small spaces and for short periods of time.
Oil column heaters can also be costly but have the advantage of being safe to run in a bedroom while you sleep. It’s best to choose one with a timer so it doesn’t run all night.
A typical electric heater running for four hours every evening over winter can add more than $150 to your electricity bill and will generate up to 750 kilograms of CO2.
If possible, invest in an efficient gas heater or reverse cycle air-conditioner for larger areas. They cost more upfront, but if used efficiently they cost up to two thirds less to run compared to electric heaters.
A comfortable room temperature in winter is between 18 and 21 degrees. If you’re using air conditioning, each extra degree higher can add 10 per cent to the running costs.
Hang clothes in the sun or use an indoor drying rack. Clean the dryer’s lint filter regularly to maintain full air flow and maximise the drying efficiency. Never put dripping wet clothes in your dryer - use the spin cycle to dry them first in the washing machine. Buy a high star rated model and make sure it has a sensor to minimise drying times.
If you have time-based pricing, use your clothes dryer during off peak times to save money (i.e. after 10pm and before 7am)
If your pool isn’t heated, you only need to run the pump for about two to four hours a day during cooler weather, that’s about half the running time needed during summer. See our pool savings brochure.
If you use a second fridge for drinks and extra food over the summer period, you can save money by emptying it and switching it off until next year. Remember to leave the door slightly ajar. A 15-year-old fridge running 24 hours a day, seven days a week could be adding up to $250 to your energy bill every year and 1.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
We all have electrical appliances that can sit in standby mode. In fact, the average home now has between 20 and 30 appliances that consume standby power, when not being used.
These hidden energy guzzlers can potentially add more than $100 a year to bills. The key is to switch off the power button on the appliance or better still at the wall when you’ve finished using them.