June 21, 2019 | 02:28 AM

Savings Tips

06.08.2018How to cut down your electricity bill

Australians can spend an average of at least $1,600 on their electricity bills every single year. Here we explore ways to save.

Australians can spend an average of at least $1,600 on their electricity bills every single year, and just a cursory glance around a home here reveals why this is the case. Appliances left on at the wall are key sources of electricity price hikes, for example, while many homeowners and residents don’t take advantage of the cheaper times and tariffs on offer. As a result, it’s essential to follow tips like the ones shared here to reduce the amount of electricity used – and, consequently, the amount paid to electricity firms.

Get informed

When it comes to being a proactive consumer and maximising your household’s financial position, knowledge really is power. Many electricity companies rely on their customers to simply accept the information they’re given without questioning it, and this can cost homeowners in the long run. For electricity bills, the best place to start is to find out what sort of electricity plan is in place. In order to do this, account holders will need to take a look at their most recent electricity bill and locate the tariff type. This is usually printed prominently at the top, but they may need to dig into the small print to find it.

Those who discover that they’re on a plan that says something like “Standard Tariff” may need to act, as it’s likely that they’re not getting the most bang for their buck. There is normally a discount plan available and this tends to be significantly cheaper. If this isn’t available, it may ultimately be a smart idea to change providers altogether to one which offers a better deal. While finding all of this information may be something of a drag, it’s definitely worth it in the long run. Half an hour of bill reading is worth it for tens of dollars a month in savings!

Consider off-peak savings

Everyone’s heard of the frugal saver who does all of their laundry and vacuuming in the middle of the night to save cash. While this might seem a little over the top for most people, there’s certainly something to be said for making some strategic choices. A washing machine running in the middle of the night might be too noisy, for example, but it may make sense to make sure electrical items – like smartphones or tablets – are only charged during the night in order to save cash.

Cut back

Those who are really struggling to save money may have to consider cutting back on electricity usage altogether. When the above methods fail, this is often the only option. Leaving lights on all the time is often a source of energy overuse, so homeowners should make sure they turn off lamps and other sources of light when not in use. Buying energy-saving bulbs is also wise, and much more sustainable as well.

The kitchen is a common source of energy-sapping appliances. When buying a new fridge/freezer at some stage in the future, opt for a model which has a good energy rating. Not only is this better for the environment, it’s better for household finances too. Finally, people should always remember to turn off the plug sockets of devices which aren’t being used. Plugged-in items such as TVs continue to guzzle electricity even when they’re switched off at the remote, so there’s a golden opportunity to slash bills by doing something as simple as that.

For many Australians, the arrival of the electricity bill is a pretty scary time. It often bears bad news, not just for a family’s budget but for the environment too. Luckily, there’s a way out of this kind of problem. From turning off appliances at the wall to ensuring account holders are armed with the information they need to get themselves on to a better tariff, resolving high bill problems is easily done.

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