Switch and save
When developing a budget, it’s easy to think that you have no control over costs for essential items such as electricity, particularly when every bill seems to be higher than the last. But if you look closely at your energy usage at home and make a few small changes to reduce your consumption, you will be able to use that extra cash in more enjoyable ways than paying it to an electricity provider. In addition, you are making a valuable contribution to the environment.
The following five tips can help put more money in your pocket.
1. Install efficient appliances. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use 80% less energy and can last up to eight times longer than conventional bulbs. Similarly, installing a water-saving showerhead can cut water usage by up to 50% and save on water heating costs.
2. Control the temperature. Set the air-conditioner thermostat at an appropriate level that is optimum for comfort and efficiency. 25°C is the recommended temperature. Wearing appropriate clothing for the climate and installing insulation can reduce the need for additional heating or cooling.
3. Go natural. Using the sun and fresh air to dry your laundry is a free alternative to the clothes dryer.
4. Consult the stars. When purchasing new appliances, check the star or energy rating. The more stars, the greater the energy efficiency, and the more you can save.
5. Turn it off. Turn off appliances if you are no longer using them; even turning off the standby function on electronic equipment will save dollars. A very simple habit is to switch off the light every time you leave a room.
There are many more ideas– just look around your home to discover ways you can switch and save. Don’t forget to involve your kids. It will help them to learn about saving money at the same time.
And finally, with so many energy companies vying for your business, shop around for the best deal for you. Visit the Australian Government’s website www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/ to compare energy offers.