These suggestions are general and may not apply to your specific household or power usage habits. For more information about saving electricity, head over to our dedicated guide.
Saving Electricity does require a conscious effort, but really most of the behaviours that make a dent in the monthly bill are really easy to put into place. In fact every tip in this article will take you less than 5 minutes to put into place.
Do a sweep of the house power outlets
Until you walk through your home or workplace consciously looking for all the power outlets, it’s easy to forget just how many electronics are being powered at one given time. Now while many modern appliances are energy-efficient compared with older counterparts, anything plugged in and switched on will drain some power. If you combine the power draw of 20 odd appliances at once, there will be a noticeable daily impact on usage when these are switched off when not in use. Look for phone chargers, laptop chargers, towel racks, lamps, fans -anything that simply sits on that doesn’t need to be.
Check for appliances that are switched ON but not in operation - some of these may still be drawing a low level of standby power, so it’s sometimes a good idea to flick the switch off until the next time they need to be used. Obviously use your judgement here on what’s practical - any appliance that is frequently used over the day or week should probably be left on.
Some appliances might be plugged into a surge protector multi board, in which case it’s typically ok to simply switch this unit off vs. at the wall.
Switch off all lights in empty rooms
Lights running continuously all day can hit you in the pocket.
Leaving lights on is one of themost common power wasting habits, particularly in houses with a big family. Encourage each of your family members to switch lights off as they leave the room. While one light might not be big money, the combined draw of your lighting reducing significantly will help reduce your power bill. Also get creative with your lighting solutions and find opportunities to play with ambient lighting. Perhaps most common is the lounge when watching tv - some ambient, indirect lighting coming from the other end of the room rather than overhead can actually make for a more comfortable viewing experience.
Switching lights off after use is probably the fastest way to save on power there is - forget 5 minutes, it’s just a second of yourtime! They’re also a great way to introduce kids to theconcept of power usage andsaving electricity. Some parents even incentivise this process - we’ll leave that to you!
Learn more about lights in our dedicated guide How To Manage Lights
Prepare a no-cook meal tonight
Preparing dinner can often demand the oven stove top, microwave, air fryer, toaster… it’s simply a huge workout for your power. If households can opt for a few nights where meals are simply prepped from ingredients that don’t need cooking - such as salads or cold ingredients, there’s a good chance of savings in your electricity bill. The best part about no-cook meals is the meal can often be assembled in, you guessed it, 5 minutes.
Common favourites include salads, wraps, sandwiches (including those with cold deli meats). Otherwise, opt for a meal that’s using minimal power, such as avocado on toast - quick, easy, delicious!
Ovens are one of the biggest drains of power in a home, especially when you factor in the preheat time and meals requiring long operation time such as a roast. It’s not a matter of removing these meals entirely - simply reducing them by one a week is enough to make a difference in your pocket.
Turn The Heaters Off For A While
Heaters don’t need to be on all the time to keep a room warm, unless you’re in a home with a very bad draft problem or some windows wide open somewhere. A modern standalone heater like the column electric variants will emit heat into a medium or small room effectively. Lots of these models can be controlled with a thermostat or timer to ensure the heater switches off for a period while the room is still warm. This is highly recommended for those wanting to reduce the power consumption during winter.
If your house has a heat pump unit installed, these too don’t need to be running continuously. Simply set a timer using the heat pump's remote to have stretches where the unit is off. While this might take a few nights to get the timing down, once you know what it takes to effectively heat your room, you’ll enjoy some savings.
For extra power consumption savings, set your heat pump to a comfortable temperature of around 18 degrees - warm, comfortable home environment that doesn’t demand as much electricity than say 22 degrees, which is beyond what most people need.
Run Dehumidifier Or Ventilation System
Running something that uses electricity to save electricity? Huh? It does sound strange but it’s well established that moist, humid air can be harder to heat, as well as provide for dust and allergens to float around in. By removing excess moisture from a room, it’s much faster and cheaper to heat.
If you have a dehumidifier, consider running this first on a reasonably heavy setting to really bring the room’s moisture down. After emptying a few full tanks and being shocked at what’s in your air, you should be able to scale back the setting and maintain this on/off throughout colder, wetter weather.
Even just dehumidifying a room can make it feel warmer as the environment’s dry. Combined with some modest heating, you’re all set.
If you need to reduce the moisture and control the air on a house-wide basis, a ventilation system ducted throughout will be a good option. Here, air is pushed out and replaced with cleaner, filtered, drier air. This prevents the same level of moisture held by old air which creates a better environment for heating. It’ll also reduce the likelihood of condensation building up on your windows. A ventilation system is typically quite power efficient, especially when factoring in the reduction in heating requirements.
That next load of washing? Goes out on the line.
The dryer is a demanding appliance given its job - pulling moisture out of clothing and expelling lint and hot air in the process. Used every day, a power bill will show a noticeable bump at the time of use. Instead of a dryer, simply spend a bit of time hanging the same washing load outside - weather permitting. On a clear day, drying outside isn’t just cheaper on power, it’s an excellent way to keep clothes fresh and bacteria free (sunlight is highly effective at killing certain bacteria on clothes).
If it’s raining, you may be able to still hang clothes on a clothes rack and place this in an area covered but outside or well ventilated - a porch with a veranda is a good example of this.
TVs and Computers are now off!
The TV and computer aren’t your most power hungry appliances, but continued use every day will make a difference, especially for large desktop PCs or big TVs. Save power in the next 5 minutes by powering down any TV or computer that’s not in use nor will be for a while. Getting into the practice of switching these off can help towards reducing your typical daily spend on electricity.
Check the temperature control on your hot water cylinder
Sometimes the hot water cylinder’s maximum heat setting is far higher than it needs to be for any application you require. This not only can hit your power bill, but pose a potential risk to children or others in the house taking a bath or shower - the hot water should not be scalding at its peak setting. Get help from a professional such as a plumber or hot water cylinder service provider to manage the thermostat so it tops out at an appropriate temperature.
The 5 Minute Shower
Speaking of hot showers, the other quick power fix in the bathroom is simply reducing the average time of a shower to 5 minutes. If you’ve kids in the house who aren’t yet trained into a short shower, put on a timer. This might feel like a big adjustment at first, but over time 5 minutes can actually be a reasonably good period of time for a standard shower. Of course there’ll be times where a longer one is needed, but a 5 minute standard rule in place will have your power bill down in no time.
Do A Savings Estimate
Part of saving power is being fully educated on your options for provider and plan. As a starting point, you can get a savings estimate to have your usage and address reviewed against possible plans to generate $ savings you’d potentially get from a switch. Don’t do all the work yourself - your short listed retailer can help!
Study up on some more power savings habits
Power saving is a pretty broad topic, with countless ways to reduce your bill and demand for electricity. Head over to our Saving Electricity section for more information.