If you’re worried about the rising cost of energy, you’re not alone. Throughout South Australia, thousands of households are battling against their energy bills. As commodities that usually become more expensive over time rather than getting cheaper, gas and electricity can take a significant chunk out of your household budget. At Precise Plumbing & Electrical, we’re here to explain why energy is so expensive. And, we’ll help you find ways to lower your costs.
Why energy costs are rising
According to the Parliament of Australia, energy prices are expected to remain moderate over the next few years. However, this follows a period when energy prices rose significantly. It’s also worth bearing in mind there may come a time when energy prices will rise significantly again. As the Australian government has very little influence over the cost of energy, rising prices are difficult to prevent.
Energy costs are influenced by several factors. They include:
- The wholesale costs associated with electricity and gas being extracted.
- The network charges that accompany delivering electricity and gas to your property.
- The retail margins that come with paying for metre reading and similar services.
Of course, energy companies work towards making a profit too. Although they try to stay competitive, profits help them to innovate.
What to do about rising energy bills
Although there’s very little that you can do about the cost of energy, you can change how much you use. Taking control of your energy usage can feel quite liberating. And there are several tactics you can use to make lower bills happen.
Shop around for different providers
Although different providers can’t control the wholesale cost of energy, they can reduce your charges in other ways. Once a year, take some time to review the energy providers who serve South Australia. Using a price comparison website, you may find a better deal than the one you’re currently using.
Switch to more efficient appliances
Certain appliances in your home will deplete your energy faster than others. Key culprits include your washing machine, kettle, clothes dryer, and dishwasher. Most manufacturers will now add an energy rating to the products they’re selling. By looking for products with the highest energy rating, you can lower the cost of your bills.
Use your appliances wisely
In addition to purchasing products with an excellent energy rating, you need to use them wisely. For example, running your dishwasher with half a load and not adjusting the settings accordingly is a waste of energy. Although taking a more conscious approach to your appliance usage will only result in small savings at first, everything adds up over time.
Get rid of pointless appliances
If you have a second fridge in your household, you need to question whether it’s necessary. Second fridges can cost $172 a year. If there’s a chance you can fit your food into one fridge, do so.
Adjust the settings of existing appliances
If you use air conditioning, check to make sure you’re not running it too cold. Similarly, make sure you don’t place your heating too high. It’s also worth checking the temperature of your fridge. Although you may only save a small amount for each appliance you adjust, each saving soon adds up to a larger value.
Ditch incandescent bulbs
How energy-efficient is your lighting? Incandescent bulbs need to be replaced faster than LED. Additionally, they use more energy during the course of their lifetime. By switching from incandescent to LED, you’ll reduce the amount of energy you use for each light bulb, and you won’t need to replace them as fast.
Spend less time in the shower
If you’re not already using showers instead of baths, now’s the time to change. Showers use far less water than baths, which means you’re not spending as much money on heating them. If you’re already a shower user, try taking one minute off your shower time each day. Encourage everyone else in your household to do the same. With your efforts, you’ll see a big reduction in your energy bills.
Try using cold washes
Using hot water to wash your clothes isn’t always advantageous. It can make dyes fade, plus it’s not good for removing certain stains. In contrast, cold water is just as effective at washing, if not more so. Depending on the type of load you’re washing, try to stick to 30 degrees Celsius and below. Your energy bills should plummet as a result.
Turn off your idle appliances
You may be surprised at how many appliances are plugged in at home without you using them. From phones that you leave charging overnight through to televisions that you never use, they all count towards your energy bills. Try auditing what you’re using every so often. Take a quick note of what is plugged in unnecessarily and unplug it.
Insulate your rooms
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to go to extreme lengths to insulate your rooms against energy loss. Of course, professional insulation is more effective. However, closing curtains, blinds, and doors can have a big effect too. When you close your curtains, you prevent the sun from increasing the temperature in your home. At the same time, it can stop heat from escaping when it’s cold outside.
If you can afford professional insulation, you’ll find it’s a worthy investment. It’s sometimes possible to save as much as 45% on your energy bills when you insulate your home. Although the upfront cost may feel significant now, you can see a lot of long-term benefits.
For the sake of convenience, it’s sometimes tempting to allow certain appliances to run all day. Your air conditioning and water tank heaters are classic examples. As an alternative, add timers to your devices and set them to run at times where you’re likely to use them.
Saving energy and lowering the cost of your bills requires a series of small changes. Over time, those changes can result in big savings. At Precise Electrical, we install appliances that can help our customers save money. To learn more about what we do, contact us.