18 Easy Tricks to Slash Your Energy Bills and Save You a Packet This Winter

I don’t know about you, but each time the meter reader comes or the energy bill arrives, I prepare myself for the worst, don’t you? How much are you going to be forking out this quarter? $500? $800? $1200? EEK!

South Australians are likely spending anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 a year on electricity alone. The good news is that there are a few super simple ways to get those numbers WAY down and slash your energy bills.

A breakdown of your energy costs

How much you are spending per month on your energy costs will depend on a few factors – the number of people in your home, how you use your appliances, whether your home uses electricity, gas (or both), and the energy efficiency of your appliances.

According to SA.gov.au, most households are spending their money on energy bills via:

  • 40% – Heating and cooling
  • 23% – Water heating
  • 14% – Other appliances, such as laundry appliances or entertainment appliances
  • 8% – Fridges and freezers
  • 7% – Lighting
  • 5% – Cooking
  • 3 % – Standby power

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18 ways to be more energy-efficient

Okay, so now that you know where the money is going every month, let’s look at some ways to reduce those bills and bring it DOWN! You may be surprised how much you can save just by incorporating these easy to replicate steps into your regular routine.

Is it worth it? Heck yes! We’re talking savings of hundreds of dollars a year … every little bit helps! 

1. Wash your clothes with cold water

Turn your washing machine dial to COLD.  So simple and it will make a huge difference to your hot water costs. 

2. Avoid the dryer

It’s SO easy to flick wet clothes from the washer into the dryer. But, sadly, it’s also a big energy consumer. Yes, it takes more time and effort to actually put on pants, go outside and hang the clothes, but YOU CAN DO IT. And your power bill (and clothes) will be so much happier for it!

tumble dryer, laundry hacks
Cleaning out your lint filter can have a huge impact on energy costs. Source: Bigstock

3. Clean the lint filter

Make it a habit of cleaning the lint filter every time you use the dryer to keep it running efficiently.  Failure to do so can also result in a fire hazard so it’s an extra important step.

mum centralTIP: To save more on energy, throw a dry hand towel in with the wet clothes. It’ll absorb some of the moisture and cut down on drying time.

4. Get a shower timer

Showers … they’re another big hot water user! Some people are naturally quick to showers, others would stand in there for hours on end if they could.  Set up a shower timer so those that like to linger know it’s time to get out, NOW!

5. Replace your shower fittings

If your showerhead is a water guzzler and inefficient, you can upgrade it! If you’re in Adelaide, it’s actually a free service (depending on your financial situation) otherwise a complete home energy review will cost you $33 through Trades Services SA.  Either way – it’s a great way to curb water and energy use!

Simply installing a water-efficient showerhead can save up to 10 litres of water per minute and significantly lower energy costs.

mum centralTIP: Find out how you can replace your fittings for free at the bottom of this post through Trade Services SA. They offer incentives for eligible South Australian households and businesses to upgrade their old appliances and install new energy-efficient appliances at a fraction of the price they would otherwise.  Definitely worth looking into! 

6. Swap to solar hot water

During winter, more hot water systems breakdown than at any other time. This has to do with the constant expanding and contracting of the metal tanks with the cold weather. If your hot water system does break, take it as an opportunity to make the switch to a more energy-efficient one like a Solar hot water unit to save money and energy.

In an average family home, a house can save more than $1000 per year in running costs if they upgrade from an electric storage tank to a solar electric boosted system.

With the current offers running through Trades Services SA, an average family home that switches from electric to a new electric boosted solar hot water system could have that system pay for itself through the energy savings in only 2.5 years, as well as the environmental benefits of switching to solar. You can view the terms and conditions to see if you’re eligible at Trades Services. 

Calculate how much you can save here.

7. Adjust by 1° on your air con

You’ll be blown away by how much 1° can make to both your heating and cooling costs. Stick to between 18°C to 19°C for comfortable heating, and between 24oC to 27oC for comfortable cooling.

Even 1°C difference can add up to 10% to the running cost of the appliance. 

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8. Upgrade your heating/cooling system

Most air conditioner units come with a three-star energy efficiency rating. That means you may be spending more than you think every time you turn it on.

You may be surprised at how much you can save by investing in an energy-efficient air conditioner.

And we happen to have just the one. It’s the ActronAir Serene 2 series. It’s a 7-star energy-efficient air conditioner that both heats and cools and is the most energy-efficient air conditioner on the Australian market.

And, for a limited time, it’s just $499 supplied and installed. 

The 2.6kW system is quiet, suitable for bedrooms and small offices, and heats and cools your home so you can throw out those cheap electric portable heaters that drive up your bills in winter. Plus, you can get as many air conditioning units as you like at the $499 price, but they will need to be installed on the first visit.

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Call Trades Services SA today to see if you are eligible or book through their website through the link below.

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Customers can use the comparison and cost calculator at Energy Rating to work out their cost savings of upgrading. Calculate NOW! 

9. Close the curtains

Air conditioners aside, you can also reduce your energy bills by keeping your curtains closed. About 40% of your home’s heat can escape through your windows, however curtains and blinds create a layer of insulation that keeps the heat inside in winter, and outside in summer.

10. Turn things off

Make it a habit – turn things off when you leave the room. TVs, computers, lights, radios … it all adds up!

11. Get a standby controller 

These nifty devices automatically turn off appliances when they are not in use. Considering the average standby power use is 81.8 watts per hour, this can add up to more than $250 per year! You could receive one with your energy efficiency house audit through Trade Services SA – keep on scrolling below to apply.

12. Light bulb checks

Replace inefficient light globes with energy-efficient ones. Again, if you’re in South Australia, you can get this done for free or for $33 through Trades Services SA.

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13. Sensor or Solar Outdoor Lighting 

Installing sensor outdoor lighting will ensure they only switch on with movement and turn off after a short period. Alternatively, look into solar lights for your outdoor areas – they are much more energy-efficient and look funky too! There’s some really gorgeous solar panel festoon lights and fairy lights for extra atmosphere.

energy saving tips, fridge door open

14. Be fridge and freezer smart

Heading to the kitchen, let’s start with what is probably one of the biggest energy users. It likely sees your kids about 8 gazillion times a day on their quest for snacks. Set the fridge temperature between 3°C and 5°C and the freezer temperature between -15°C and -18°C to ensure they’re both running most efficiently.

mum centralTIP: Replace any door seals that aren’t in good condition and choose a fridge location that’s away from the direct sunlight.

15. Dine by candlelight 

This is a fun family idea! Turn the lights (and everything else off) and enjoy a candlelit dinner with no distractions. It’s a fun way to teach kids about the importance of being energy efficient too!

16. Defrost food the natural way

If you can, plan ahead and pull your meat out in the morning so it can defrost naturally, without the need for additional appliances like your microwave.

17. Cook all the things, all at once

Bulk cooking isn’t just a good idea for time-poor parents, but also for your energy bills! If you’ve got the oven and stove on for one meal, you might as well cook a few meals, right?

18. And, finally, switch off for an hour a week 

No phones, no TVs, no nothing. Read to the kids by torch, set up candles, and bring out the board games.

Heck, it may be so dark you won’t even see your kids rolling their eyes in disgust.

How much do you really stand to save?

If you take into account ALL18 tips? You could be looking at hundreds of dollars per year. 

Trades Services SA is the largest and oldest energy efficiency service provider in South Australia and is available to help all South Australians looking to cut down energy costs. They operate under the SA Government Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme (REPS) – an incentive for South Australian households and businesses to upgrade their inefficient appliances with new energy-efficient ones. This will ensure we all use less energy (and therefore have less reliance on fossil fuels).

In addition to a $499 energy-efficient air conditioner (normally $1600) AND half-price solar hot water systems, South Australians can receive up to $300 worth of energy-savings products for their home for $33, or free in some instances. You may be eligible for:

  • 40 x LED light bulb replacements
  • 3 x Water-saving showerheads
  • 3 x Standby Power Controllers

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Air conditioner installations in Adelaide – Call Trades Services SA today

Take advantage and get your home up to scratch before winter. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did! Trades Services SA also has AfterPay or Finance options available for purchases over $2,000.

It takes one minute to fill out the form and see what energy-efficient products, discounts, and rebates you may be eligible for. Better still, give them a call on 1300 430 917.

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This is a sponsored post for Trade Services SA

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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