As winter settles in, it becomes more difficult to keep your energy bill down as hot water and energy usage increases. However, there are a number of simple things you can do to cut down on your costs and still be comfortable this winter.
We’ve picked some of the best tips on reducing your energy bills during the colder months.
7 Tips for Saving on Winter Power Bills
Here are 7 top tips for reducing your electricity bills this winter:
1. Save money on hot water
A major part of your winter power bill goes on hot water (who doesn’t love a hot shower on a cold morning?) and there are many ways you can cut down on your power bill with a few small changes.
Consider installing a water-efficient showerhead as regular showerheads can often use as much as 25 litres per shower and the change can cut your water usage by more than half, reducing your water and energy bills at the same time.
If you like taking a long shower, resist the temptation. The average length for a shower is approximately 8 minutes – consider cutting that in half and reap the benefits.
2. Remember the off switch
An exorbitant amount of power is wasted because people forget to turn off their appliances. Don’t make that mistake this winter and carefully check everything, particularly the heating, before you leave the house or go to bed for the night.
Also try to avoid leaving things on for longer than necessary even while you’re at home. For example, rather than blasting the heating all day – wait until the room temperature is comfortable, then shut off the heater and insulate the room instead leaving it at more acceptable temperature for longer.
3. Use alternative heat sources
Consider investing in a solar-powered water heater or utilising an underground heat source. Not only will this benefit the environment by reducing coal usage but this can also save you hundreds off your energy bill every month.
A solar powered water heater will also encourage you to use less water, especially during showers and thus can also save you some money on the water bill.
4. Insulate your house
Warm air rises so during winter it’s very important to effectively insulate your ceiling to prevent hot air from escaping. Pair this with simple ground insulation such as carpets, double-glazing and thermal curtains and you will be rewarded with a comfortable home and a smaller energy bill.
When insulating your house, also remember to use sealant and block any draughty areas. This accounts for a significant heat loss throughout the house and dealing with these quickly and efficiently should allow you to save power on heating. Typical areas include chimneys and the gaps in doors, floors and windows.
A well sealed and insulated house is also cooler in summer - saving on any air conditioning bills too.
5. Utilise natural light
Even though it’s winter, the sun is still capable of warming up your house – without extra expense on your part. If you have objects on your windowsill, it might be better to move them elsewhere to allow the maximum amount of sunshine into the room.
Rather than spending time in a room that doesn’t receive any sunlight during the day and compensating with an artificial heater, use the sun’s natural energy to warm up without the extra cost to your power bill.
6. Compare energy plans
Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best plan rate. Compare energy companies to see which one is the best fit for your location and energy usage needs.
Some may be better than others regarding different factors so it pays to examine what’s out there and find a plan that suits your house and your lifestyle. Simple research like this can save you money in the long run if you manage to find an energy plan that benefits your usage patterns.
7. Cut unnecessary usage
There are a number of little things you can do around the house to identify potential energy wasters and eliminate them to conserve energy and reduce your power bill. Hang your laundry outside on good weather days rather than using the dryer. Purchase energy-efficient light bulbs which deliver the same amount of light for half the power.
Turn the lights off when you leave a room or when you watch television (which should also enhance your viewer experience while you’re at it).
Switch off power points when nothing is plugged in. All these little things will add up and your previous unnecessary energy use will appear as a nice reduction on the next energy bill.
You don’t need to let the coming winter put a dent in your savings account. By utilising these small changes, you will see a great difference in your energy bills and use the money saved for the things you really enjoy.
A useful tool for comparing your electricity usage are the graphs on the quarterly bill - one will show your usage in comparison to the previous quarter and the same time last year while there's another to show you how your useage is comparing to similar size house holds. This is particularly interesting and lets you test out the results of power saving habits to see how they rank against other households.