Conveyancing Home “Life Hack” Series – Save on Home Conveyancing AND Electricity
The good news is that you can reduce your energy use and save money with rising power prices prices in July. You may not see it until your next power bill, but here are some ways it may hurt less..
• Wear more layers – this is an easy one. Warm, comfortable clothes whether sitting around or working, a blanket will help too. The extra clothes you wear will help reduce your overall heating bill.
• Thermostat can be both lower in winter and higher in summer. About 1 degree in heating or cooling costs you about 5 to 10% more in heating and cooling costs. Whilst we have earnt 23 degrees, consider something a little cooler in winter and a little warmer in summer.
• Insulation is one of the easiest ways to reduce costs. The humble draft excluder or door snakes, go at the bottom of your doors and make your home less drafty and warmer in winter. You can insulate your hot water system too. Even wrapping your hot water pipes in insulation means the water out of the taps is much hotter. You can also buy a water heater blanket for your hot water system. The tank naturally cools and has to be heated again.
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• More on Insulation – Closing curtains at night helps reduce heat loss.The heavier the curtains, the better. Floor coverings are good as well. If you have a wooden floor then put down rugs in winter. Don’t heat the whole house, close off rooms and heat them individually. Open-plan houses can be expensive to heat; instead, at night, watch TV in your bedroom.
• Use toaster ovens, air fryers and pot cosies. Cooking can be an expense as well, especially when using the oven. Toaster ovens are just small ovens, so are cheaper to use, and air fryers are just small fan-forced ovens (they don’t fry anything), so they are also cheaper to use than a full-sized, fan-forced oven. Chances are grandma had a tea cosy or a pot cosy.
• Like Mum said, “turn your lights off when you leave the room.” Lighting costs about 6% of energy costs and a lot of that comes from keeping lights on more than they need to be. For outdoor lights, it is also easy enough to get motion sensors or even solar-powered paths or other outdoor lights. .. And no, it doesn’t cost you more to turn off and on your lights. Modern lights, including fluorescent bulbs, don’t use more energy to turn on than using them regularly. They also don’t wear out faster.
• Buy energy-efficient light bulbs. In particular, modern LED lights can save you up to 80% on your lighting costs. Incandescent light bulbs last about 750 hours, fluorescent bulbs, around 10,000 hours, and LEDs about 50,000 hours. This saves you money in the long term and these days you almost never need to change your lightbulbs.
• Turn off your appliances at the wall that are not in use. Many modern appliances go into standby mode rather than turn off. This has actually been a big saver in electricity use, as printers, computers, monitors and other devices would shut down automatically when not in use, reducing the amount of electricity used. But they still continue to use electricity. When appliances are not in use, turn them off at the wall. The best solution is to buy a powerboard with separate switches when you have lots of appliances and they also give you easy access. You can also buy powerboards which can be operated by remote control to make this easier.
• Energy-rated appliances. A new fridge or freezer with a high energy star rating can save you money in the long term over a used fridge with a low energy star rating. Another trick is to look at the settings on appliances. Your laptop can go into sleep mode or hibernate. Both use electricity, but the latter uses less than sleep mode. My heater has an eco mode too, so it heats at a lower rate but reduces the electricity used. Read the manual for every appliance you own to work out how you can configure or use them more efficiently.
• Clothes washing and drying; a big user of both water and electricity. With your washing machine, generally wash your clothes in cold water. The biggest user of power is of course your clothes dryer. Whenever possible, use the sun to dry clothes. Even people in apartments can dry clothes on the balcony because the rule is, you can’t hang clothes from your balcony, but you can put a clothes horse on your balcony to dry your clothes. Also, if you don’t use a dryer, your clothes will last longer, saving you money on clothes as well.
• Finally, find a better electricity plan. You can save up to 20% on your electricity bills by switching to a new provider or plan. The way the electricity market works is that energy producers sell their electricity to retailers, who put together plans for customers. This encourages innovation in the market, such as green energy plans, but it also encourages energy retailers to try and get as much money out of customers as possible. If you stick to the default plan, you might be paying more. You can try and find a better plan with another company or ring your current company and look for a better deal. They count on you doing nothing so that they can charge you more.
A side note; as wholesale energy costs are higher now, many smaller energy retailers are struggling to give customers good deals. In the past, these smaller retailers were often a good option, but less so now as the larger retailers can often negotiate the best deals with energy suppliers and some of them are also energy suppliers in their own right.