How do I… Cut my power bills?
With winter just around the corner, one thing is almost inevitable: the bills are about to go up.
|Heating your home is sure to put the biggest dent in your pocket. But there’s plenty you can do to save cash and energy – and make your home greener.
We’ve got lots of tips on how to save money on your power bills this winter too, it just takes a bit of thought and a bit of planning.
Power bills: the factsWhen it comes down to the nitty gritty, the figures on power bills can be scary.
Did you know, for example, that it costs in the region of 3 cents an hour to have your TV on standby? Every gadget – if left on standby rather than switched off at the socket – is costing you.
To save energy and money, all gadgets and appliances (TVs, DVD players, computers, stereos) should be switched off at the wall and not left on standby or in ‘sleep’ mode.
Also, turn lights off in rooms you’re not using, and switch any old incandescent bulbs for low-wattage compact fluorescent bulbs or LEDs.
Money-saving heating tips
Recently, we explored the options of home heating this winter. Now we have tips on how to save money on heating your home.
• Draught-proof the house: Fix draught stoppers on doors, draught-proof your windows with insulation strips, close off open fireplaces.
• Watch the windows: Cover windows with curtains or blinds at night. Don’t cover north-facing windows during the day – take advantage of the sun.
• Lower the heat: Don’t heat rooms to tropical temperatures – wear a jumper instead or use a hot water bottle.
• Close the doors: Close the doors between heated and unheated areas, and only heat the rooms you’re using.
Be water wise
Another way to lower your energy bills is to be economical with water – especially hot water. It can pay dividends when the bills land on the doormat.
Some tips on economical water usage:
• Shower, don’t bath: A seven-minute shower will use about 53 litres of water. Baths require about 80 litres.
• Use a full dishwasher: Only use the dishwasher when you have full loads. If the dishwasher is full, you’ll use up to 35% less water than washing by hand.
• Use a full washing machine: Wash full loads in the washing machine, at 30 degrees and on short wash cycles.
• Avoid the dryer: Don’t use the dryer if you can help it – hang clothes on a line instead. The dryer is one of the environment’s biggest enemies, sapping up to a whopping 5000 watts a time.
Home energy monitor
To find out exactly how much it is costing you to run appliances, leave things on standby and have that heater running 24/7, invest in a home energy monitor.
These devices tell you how much electricity you’re using at any one time – and which devices are sucking electricity and therefore costing you a small fortune.
There are lots on the market, but the Efergy e2 energy saving monitor is simple to use and includes software so you can track your energy usage on your computer.