Are you really switched on to saving energy?

Are you really switched on to saving energy?

Ah, life admin. You know, things like paying and reviewing the bills. It’s not the first thing we rush to do on a weekend, or even during the week. But it’s got to be done.

And we’re sure there’s a whole cohort of online influencers that are telling us that with, ‘all the time’ we have at home at the moment, we should be on top of it, especially tracking our energy usage (or wastage).

We asked some experts for their thoughts on what the top three common mistakes we are making when it comes to saving energy, and why it should be easy to get it right when we could be saving money

1) Being too ‘switched on’

Working from home means your nice standing desk and the big monitor your company provided may not be available, but you can make do with what you have as long as you set it up ergonomically.

How? Here’s a quick test. Sit back and close your eyes, then open them quickly. Your eyes should land on the URL bar of your browser. If not, make sure your laptop is sitting at a good height by using some books to prop it up.

It’s also important to have the right chair, or at least set yourself up properly to avoid back or wrist pain. Here’s how to do a quick check on your chair, desk and mouse positioning. Sit away from the desk on the chair as though you’re in a car. Pull up the chair to the desk and assemble your keyboard and mouse. The keyboard should be about 5cm above your thigh, tilted away from you.

One more thing you can add is a good house plant. They brighten up a space and purify the air. Put the finishing touches in your office with Spider Plants, Aloe Vera or Devil’s Ivy.

Check what tax deductions you can get on your increased working from home expenses.

girl reading in winter

2) Staying put

Loyalty doesn’t always mean that you are getting the best deal. Staying with your current provider, and not regularly checking your bills could mean you end up spending more than you need to.

  • Look at your bill. If you aren’t sure how to compare the energy you used, the time you used it or your rates, it might be time to speak to someone you can explain it for you. Try asking your current retailer How to find the best energy deal or compare your deal.
  • Check your contract. Do you get reduced tariffs for using energy in off-peak times? If that’s the case, use your dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer overnight if you can.
  • Switch providers. Switching is a great way to save so why don’t you see how Nectr can help. Nectr offers electricity plans for residential customers in NSW, QLD and SA and it’s easy to sign up – just complete their easy and fast online application.
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3) Not trying something new

Not surprisingly, energy efficient appliances and smart appliances are increasing in popularity. But we’re all still hanging onto old appliances that are running hot and using too much energy.

Invest in new things. Energy efficiency should be the first thing you consider when buying new appliances. And quite often, it doesn’t mean you’ll be paying more. According to choice.com the running cost of a 1 star rated fridge over 10 years is $1596, whilst a 4 star rating will cost you $886. That’s a saving of $710, which can be spent on a better appliance.

And, for those that are homeowners, also consider your window glazing and solar panels. It’s been widely reported that potential buyers are willing to spend more on a home that has considered a more eco or energy efficient home.

Other bright ideas. Get those energy efficient lightbulbs you’ve been putting off buying. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again, they really will save you money on your upcoming energy bill.

Although at the moment it seems like it will never end, eventually we’ll miss having this extra time at home, so take charge and tick some life admin off your list.

* Based on unit rate being 23 cents per kWh, meaning the cost is $57.5 cents a cycle.

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