Once you’ve shopped around for the best deal – and ended up with us here at GloBird Energy – there are still some other things you can do to keep your power bills down.
We’ve written about some of the common-sense changes you can make around the house previously in posts like 13 super simple energy saving tips for winter and also offered a list of 8 energy-monitoring apps.
Some of the ideas we suggested earlier this year in the post Winter is coming: 7 things to do now to reduce your winter energy bills – like sealing air leaks and getting double glazing – asked for a bit more effort and expense.
While we’ll continue to happily advocate energy-efficient appliances, low-energy light bulbs, programmable thermostats and the like, this time we’re going to get a bit more creative. Maybe you’ve got some similar smart ideas you’d like to share?
1. Musical showers
Get a waterproof Bluetooth speaker. Pick a different song from your playlist each morning (or play one at random). Start your shower when the song starts and finish it when it finishes (and don’t cheat by going for the 8-minute-42-second version of Purple Rain!).
2. Gamify saving
If you’ve got kids, turn saving energy into a weekly or monthly competition, with prizes for whoever saves the most (or something smaller each time they do something that saves energy). Or you could use a penalty system to award ‘bad’ points for wastage with the winner being whoever has the fewest points at the end of the week or month.
3. Beat the budget
Check out your previous year’s energy consumption ahead of the next billing period then set out to beat it (meaning use less, not more). Maybe put your target in dollar terms and put the difference – the amount you come in under budget – toward something you want.
4. Detox night
As a variation on ‘date night’, pick one night a week to use next to no electricity (no cooking, no TV, no devices, and no more than one light on at a time). Get fish and chips and make your own entertainment, from board games to reading to a family art project.
5. Power by numbers
Not counting the fridge, which has to be on all the time, count how many other appliances and devices you have that could be plugged in at any one time – the absolute maximum. Now pick a practical but challenging number (maybe four or five?) and work hard not to exceed that by turning one off before turning a different one on.
6. Form an appliance alliance
Find a few like-minded friends and neighbours and take turns having a night at each other’s places. You’ll use a little bit more energy on the night it’s your turn to host but save considerably by not being home on the other three or four nights each month.
7. Meal sharing
A bit of a variation on the previous idea. Cook enough food for several meals in one big cook up and share it with two neighbouring couples or families – having arranged for them to return the favour, of course. Two or three meals for the energy cost of one, plus the extra variety of meals you might not cook for yourself (plus a couple of nights off from cooking).
8. Pedal power
Save money and get fit at the same time by turning your old-school stationary exercise bike into a generator. Here Popular Mechanics explains how to do it yourself, or you could invest in something like the Pedal-A-Watt generator stand (a standard bike just slots in to it), or the Upcycle EcoCharger. As the Green Microgym website explains: “the 50-150 watts you create can power a phone, tablet, laptop, and even a TV with no more effort than a regular workout”.
There are our eight creative energy saving ideas. Now let’s hear yours. Post your creative way to save energy (and cut your power bills) on the GloBird Energy Facebook page.
Meanwhile, thanks to all those who’ve shared their thoughts on how we can keep improving GloBird Energy. We’ll name our winners in the next blog post in a couple of weeks, so please keep those comments coming.