Thrifty Tip #11: Reduce Energy Consumption

According to a recent article titled Power Bill Hikes as Winter Bites, "NSW electricity prices are set to rise an average of 16 per cent from July 1, adding $300 onto the annual average electricity bill':
Energy comparison website Make it Cheaper says hikes coming in from July 1 to cover carbon pricing will mean an extra 400,000 Australians will be spending more than 10 per cent of their disposable income on power.

The site found 1.7 million households were already spending more than a tenth of their budget on power bills and estimated this would rise to 2.1 million.
Here in South Australia the news is no better, "A comparison of electricity company tariffs showed Adelaide customers paid the highest price (in Australia)... At 24.95c/kWh, Adelaide's price was considerably more expensive than the cheapest charged in Perth, at 21.87c/kWh." (The Advertiser, 19 May 2012)

Given the high and increasing cost of electricity in Australia, it pays to think of ways to reduce energy consumption, especially as we enter winter with its expensive heating bills.  Some actions worth considering include:
  • turn down your heater's thermostat and dress warmly
  • multi-task your oven: don't heat the oven just for one thing, instead, have a weekly baking session or cook two night's meals at once
  • turn of the lights when no one is in the room
  • avoid leaving appliances, televisions, phone chargers etc on standby when they are not in use: turn them off at the wall
  • use the dishwasher and washing machine at night to take advantage of off peak power
  • line dry your washing, or in bad weather, use a clothes horse indoors or under shelter
  • consider solar power: the cost of solar panels has dropped dramatically in recent years
  • reduce the area to be heated: install long curtains, seal gaps around doors and seal unused chimneys.  Also, close doors to rooms not in use. 
  • Unplug your second fridge, especially if it only holds a few cans of beer or if it's in an unventilated room such as a garage
How are you coping with rising electricity prices?  Do you have any further ideas on how to reduce consumption?

This post is part of my series, Thirty Days of Thrifty Tips.

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