1. Use a timer
A top tip you may not be aware of, is to use timers on energy-hungry appliances, such as the washing machine and dishwasher, so that they only operate during daylight hours.
2. Get your fridge temperature right
The colder your fridge temperature setting the more energy it will use. Rather than have the fridge set to an icy 2°C, keep it at a slightly higher temperature of 4°C. Every degree helps when saving energy.
3. Recharge during the day
It takes a bit of planning, but if you have solar panels, then recharging mobile devices, laptops and other electronic gadgets during the day (when there is sunlight) rather than at night, will help to make the most of solar energy.
4. Don’t use everything at once
A good way to ensure you are using less electricity is to not use everything at once. For example, only have a shower once the dishwasher has finished its cycle, rather than at the same time.
5. Use it or switch it off
Believe it or not, even if you’re not using an appliance, it can still consume energy if left plugged in on ‘standby’ mode. Switch off appliances at the wall socket as soon as they aren’t in use.
6. Check your tariffs
According to Canstar Blue’s energy editor, Jared Mullane, you should be checking what electricity tariff you’re on. There are no peak or off-peak periods if you’re on a single rate tariff plan. But a time-of-use tariff means the price of power changes throughout the day, depending on whether it’s at a peak demand period or not. You can check which tariff you are on by simply looking at your bill.
7. Insulate your home
Insulating your home properly is the way to go, but if it's out of budget, you can try a few of our inexpensive hacks. Throw rugs over tiled areas, use heavy curtains and door snakes, lastly, seal any draughts with proper draught tape to help keep your home toast and warm.
8. Only use heaters when necessary
If you are feeling the cold, put the heater on. But make sure it's not running on full blast when you're not in the room or overnight if you don't need it. Even if it's a small one, they do consume a significant amount of energy, so keep that in mind before constantly switching it on.
9. Don’t pay the default price
The default offer or the reference price is the maximum amount an energy company can charge customers and is set by the Australian government.
As a rule of thumb, if you haven't changed [power companies] in a few years, you often get shifted into default power plans, and you end up paying the maximum a retailer can charge you, which adds up.
10. Help is available
If you're struggling to pay your bills, you're not alone. Call your energy company for help and a payment plan. Don't leave it to the last minute and pay late fees, are at risk of disconnection or rationing your energy and impacting your health. By law, they must offer you a plan to pay off your bills in a way you can afford.
Concerned with the payment plan your retailer has offered you? Go back and ask them to change it and then go on their hardship program which provides a much greater level of support.
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