Most of us can attest to the fact that our electricity bills have climbed substantially over the past few years. For Victorians, this is even more noticeable with many of us working from home for a large part of the year due to the pandemic and using more energy than normal. With no signs of electricity price increases slowing down in the near future, it is worth looking at ways you can limit your usage and save money by being more efficient.

Cutting down your electricity usage at home

If you want to reduce your power usage, then you need to know exactly how much electricity you use and where it’s spent in your home. For example, if you know that a certain appliance eats into your power usage, then you can reduce its usage or upgrade to a more efficient appliance. It’s also a good idea to compare your electricity usage to similar households in your area, as this will give you a quick check on how much wiggle room you have to reduce your overall usage.

To give you an idea of how quickly your bills can rise due to normal everyday activities, here’s a few facts to consider:

• If it takes 3 hours to cook a casserole in an electric oven that uses 2kWh per hour at 0.30 cents per hour and you do this twice a week – your twice weekly casserole will cost you $187.20 a year.

• On the other hand, if you change to a slow cooker that uses 0.70kWh and leave it on for 7 hours, the total cost for your casserole is $152.88, a saving of $34.32 a year. This might not sound like much but the more efficient your appliances and the smarter your usage, the more money you can save on your electricity bills.

• A microwave uses even less power (0.36kWh), so you would save even more money if you changed your cooking method yet again.

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• Fridges are another heavy user of electricity, particularly if they are old. For example, a fridge manufactured in the early 70s might use 2200kWh compared to 90s model that may use 1100kWh, whilst one of the more modern energy efficient fridges only uses around 425kWh. So upgrading your fridge will save you a significant amount of electricity usage over a year.

• Another way to save money is to switch from a hot wash to a cold wash as this saves 4.2kWh for every load (hot washes on average use 4.5kWh per load whilst cold washes use 0.3kWh).

• Switching your computer to sleep mode when it’s not in use is another strategy, although it doesn’t save a lot, every little helps. For example, a desktop PC uses up to 45 watts per hour, reducing to 6 watts or less when in sleep mode.

Other ways to reduce your electricity usage include installing high efficiency insulation in your roof, switching off all appliances at the wall when not in use, changing to compact led bulbs, and drying your clothes on a line rather than a tumble dryer.

As power costs continue to rise, whatever you can do to reduce your usage will help you to save money. For a more in-depth analysis of your home’s power usage, call MBE Electrical Services on 1300 862 796 for a home energy efficiency audit.