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 has to be done.
And we’re sure there’s a whole cohort of online influencers who are telling us, that with ‘all the time’ we spend at home, we really should be on top of it - especially when it comes to tracking our energy usage (or wastage).
We asked some experts for their thoughts on what they think are the three most common ways we can more easily save energy and save money.
1) Don't be too ‘switched on’ while working
If you've been working from home, you've probably been enjoying the extra little sleep in, dressing more casually, or not having to commute to the office. And while you may be enjoying less work-day stress at home, you probably don't enjoy the increased energy usage.
To help you minimise your power bills, here are a few work-from-home habits that you can easily implement.
- Each night, turn off your laptop and monitors at the power point, or if you’re a bit more on the forgetful side, get yourself a 'smart power board' that can do it for you.
- Only use your laptop power cable for when you're actually charging your laptop. Leaving the power cable in all the time will degrade the laptop battery and chew up energy.
- Consider whether you need to have all the lights on in the room you are working from, or whether you can open some curtains to allow some natural light in instead. Also, you may want to check around the house to see if any other lights may have accidentally been left on too.
Beyond saving money on your power bills, look into what tax deductions you can get on your increased working from home expenses and you may be able to save even more come tax time.
2) Don't stay put
Being loyal to your power company doesn’t always mean that you're getting the best deal. Staying with your current provider, and not regularly checking your bills, could mean that you end up spending more than you need to.
- Look at your bill. If you aren’t sure how to compare the energy you've used, the time you used it, or your rates - it may be time to speak to someone who can explain it for you. Try asking your current energy 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 power providers can be a great way to save. So why not see how Nectr could help you to save even more. Nectr offers electricity plans for residential customers in NSW, QLD, and SA and it’s easy to sign up - just complete the fast and simple, online application.
3) Try something new
Unsurprisingly, energy-efficient appliances and smart appliances are constantly increasing in popularity. But if you're still hanging onto your older appliances, there's a strong likelihood that they're running hotter and using way too much energy.
- Invest in newer things. Energy efficiency should be the first thing you consider when buying new appliances. Quite often, it doesn’t mean you’ll end up paying more. According to choice.com, the running cost of a 1-star rated fridge over 10 years is $1,596, while running fridge with a 4-star rating will only cost you $886*. That’s a saving of $710, which can be spent on a better appliance.
- Add-ons that add up to savings. 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. Finally, make the switch and get those energy efficient lightbulbs you’ve been putting off buying. We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again, because they really will save you money on your energy bills.
*Based on unit rate being 23 cents per kWh, meaning the cost is $57.5 cents a cycle.