Energy saving tips for how to avoid bill shock this winter – ABC News

Energy saving tips for how to avoid bill shock this winter – ABC News

Energy prices are going up following the energy industry watchdog increasing the benchmark power price. 

It could add an extra $250 to your household bill.

With living costs and interest rates rising, no-one wants bill shock at the end of winter.

So here are five top tips for saving money on your energy bill.

1. Switch to a better deal

The fastest way to potentially save hundreds of dollars is to switch plans, taking the deal that is the best for your circumstances.

Frankly, it can be very confusing to try to compare power company deals on your own.

Fortunately, most Australians can access a free federal government website that will compare plans, conditions and prices for you.

If you live in New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia or Tasmania, you will just need a recent bill to plug in your numbers.

If you live in Victoria, you can compare plans here.

The Australian Energy Regulator says switching plans can save customers more than $400 a year.

Unfortunately, if you live in Western Australia or the Northern Territory there is no comparison site and there may be fewer options for providers.

2. Make use of off-peak times

Man loading a washing machine.
Modern washing machines have a timer, allowing you to set them to run when rates are cheaper.(ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)

If you’re on a flexible-pricing plan (where you pay different rates for different times of the day), use appliances in off-peak times when rates are lower.

This could save you up to $100 a year, according to the Victorian Energy Saver website.

That usually means running the washing machine or dishwasher overnight or on the weekend.

If you have a smart meter, there are apps you can download to monitor your usage in real time.

If you have solar panels on your roof, then it is usually most cost-effective to run appliances when you have peak power production. There are apps you can use to monitor this.

3. Block draughts in your home

Stop paying to heat or cool the street!

Look around your place and seal up any gaps, draughty doors or floors where air is escaping.

Stick-on foam door seals cost a few dollars at a hardware store and take minutes to install.

Even simple things like door snakes can help.

If you own your home, you could even consider putting insulation in your roof to keep things toasty inside.

4. Adjust your thermostat

As tempting as it might be to blast the heater at 25C, your wallet won’t be thanking you come bill time.(Flickr: Corgi Home Plan)

It is time to put a jumper on and turn your heater down.

According to the Victorian Energy Saver website, every degree above 20 degrees Celsius can add 10 per cent to your heating bill.

It suggests setting your thermostat at between 18C and 20C in winter. In summer, try to keep your thermostat above 23C.

5. Switch off at the power point

A power point with contact openings arranged in the shape of dollar signs.
Appliances that have stand-by modes can use quite a bit of electricity unless you turn them off at the power point.(ABC News)

Finally, it may be worth switching off some of your appliances at the power point when they’re not in use.

Many appliances, like computers, gaming consoles, washing machines and wireless modems, use stand-by electricity even when they are switched off (you can usually tell if it has a touch-on button, remote control, LED light or the like).

Each item may only use a tiny bit of electricity, but together they may account for up to 10 per cent of your electricity bill. 

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