Combating the rising cost of living can be tricky at times, especially with many people around the country still working from home. However, there are plenty of simple steps you can put into action to save energy around the house. Read on below for our top tips to help kill your energy bill.
- Make the most of your rooftop solar
Rooftop solar is an excellent way to reduce a household’s reliance on the grid by producing its own electricity. For best results from a rooftop (PV) solar system it can help to adjust some basic habits. Your solar produces its power during the day while the sun is shining, so your goal should be to use any appliances that aren’t time dependent during the day. For example, large appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines are best used during the day so they can take full advantage of your solar. If no one will be home during the day, try to utilise timers on your appliances to set their cycle to run at your desired time.
- Turn off lights and appliances when they’re not in use
Turning off lights and appliances when not in use is one of the easiest ways you can instantly make a difference to your energy consumption. Regular appliances like your TV, speakers, computer, washing machine and dishwasher can all consumer power while in standby mode. By turning these off when not in use, you can make a significant difference to your energy consumption.
- Manage how you wash and dry your clothes
By washing your clothes in cold water, you can save around $115 per year*. You can also save by ensuring that you select the shortest appropriate cycle for your load of washing and checking that your machine is full before starting. Clothes dryers can also use huge amounts of electricity per load, so if possible, hang your clothes up to dry outside allowing them to dry naturally. With rooftop solar, you should also look to start your loads during the day while your system is producing electricity.
- Save energy in the kitchen
Your fridge and freezer account for a large chunk of your electricity usage in the home when running 24 hours a day. The ideal temperature for your fridge is 4 to 5 degrees Celsius and -15 to -18 for your freezer. You should also check there are no gaps in the seal of your fridge or freezer to ensure the motor isn’t working overtime to maintain its low temperature.
Dishwashers are often not used to their full potential. Before turning your dishwasher on for a full cycle, make sure that it’s full and don’t use the drying feature if you won’t need to unload it straight after the cleaning cycle has finished. If you can set it on a timer, you should use it during daylight hours to ensure it’s being powered by your rooftop solar.
- Manage the heating and cooling of your home
Managing the heating and cooling of your house can have a huge effect on overall consumption and a few small changes can make a big difference. In winter, heating can often account for over 30% of your electricity bill and every degree above 20 degrees Celsius can add 10% to your heating bill*. In winter you should set your thermostat between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius and in summer 26 degrees or higher to be most efficient.
Where possible you should also try to zone off areas of your house by closing doors and stopping draughts to allow your heating or cooling to be more effective in rooms that are necessary. You can also utilise your blinds and shutters to keep heat in or out to better control your homes temperature.
- Install a solar battery
Peak solar production happens during the day between 10am and 4pm, however a large share of household electricity is needed at night when the sun isn’t shining. Solar batteries store solar energy for use when you’ll need it the most – at night when your solar system isn’t producing any electricity. In some states feed-in tariffs can be as little as 7c per/kWH, so why send your solar power to the grid during the day only to buy it back for more at night during peak rates for electricity. Storing your energy will mean you won’t require as much electricity from the grid, and the less electricity purchased from the grid, the more savings you’ll experience.
By committing to a lot of small changes around the home you can reduce your overall energy consumption and see noticeable savings over time.