As we farewell 2018, it’s hard to put the past 12 months into perspective – other than to say that this year wasn’t as tumultuous for the Australian energy market as 2017 was (hard to believe as that may be).
To ring in 2019, let’s look forward with optimism and positivity.
Here are some energy-related New Year’s resolutions to save you money.
1. Thoughtful thermostat theory
Too many people set their thermostats too high in winter and too low in summer. That accounts for loads (a technical term) of energy wastage. Each degree of difference changes your air conditioner’s energy usage by about two
2. Intensive insulation inspection
Insulation makes a massive difference in terms of energy efficiency, not only in winter as your home loses heat through its walls, windows, doors
3. Best bulb buying
Swap all your old-school incandescent light bulbs for LED lighting because:
• A 60-watt incandescent bulb that puts out about 800 lumens will burn up 240 watts in just 4 hours;
• A 13-watt compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) that puts out the same brightness uses just 52 watts over the same time;
• A comparable 8-watt LED bulb will consume just 32 watts.
Not to mention that cheaper CFL bulbs last just a couple of years while LED globes are rated to last more than 50,000 hours.
4. Cheap curtain cull
Sure, those curtains look nice, but are they doing the job? In a typical home, 25 to 35
5. Device drainage disruption
If you leave a game console, battery charger, and anything else that uses an inexpensive AC adapter plugged in, it’s using electricity all the time.
It’s the same for any devices that stay in standby mode for your convenience: TVs, Foxtel boxes, home theatre systems, Blu-ray players, wireless printers and scanners, and so on.
Invest in timers, smart powerboards (that turn off when levels fall to standby levels), or smart outlets you can control with your smartphone and stop those devices draining your power.
6. Helpful household habits
There are plenty of things we do every day that use just that bit more electricity than they really need to, and they all add up over time:
• Fill your kettle with the correct amount of water. It’s one of the biggest household energy users, and it takes a lot more electricity to boil a full kettle for just one cup of tea.
• Make vacuuming more energy-efficient by emptying the dust collector after every use. A full container means the vacuum has to work harder (and use more energy) to do the same job.
• Keep your fridge and freezer three-quarters full, because they become less energy efficient when there’s too much or too little in them. Fill the gaps in your fridge with bottles of water, let hot food cool before you put it in, and cover moist food (so the fridge doesn’t waste energy evaporating the moisture).
• Stop plugging in your phone, tablet, and laptop when their batteries are already fully charged. It also happens to be better for their batteries to run down and be recharged.
As most of us know, there’s no point making a resolution that’s too hard to keep (yes, that gym membership really was worth it), so just take it one step at a time, and do your best to change your energy efficiency over the coming 12 months.
In case you’re wondering, our New Year’s resolution is the same as every other year: to keep working hard to offer the best electricity and gas deals for as many Victorians as possible.
Happy New Year!