Living / Money

How to keep your bills low in winter

It's not uncommon for energy bills to soar during the colder months of the year. As the heating is turned up and more time is spent at home indoors, our electricity use grows. Although we can’t stop the temperature chill that winter provides, there are ways to reduce the power we use, while still keeping toasty and comfortable. Below, we give you our top five frugal tips on keeping your bills low this winter.

 

Avoid the temptation of a long, hot shower

According to the Government, hot water can account for about 25 percent of the average bill, with many opting for a hot shower during the winter months to get warm. Avoid the temptation of standing under the warm water and keep yourself to four minutes – even a few extra minutes will add to your bill and make a huge difference to your savings goals.

 

Dress for the season at home

It seems obvious but layering your clothes even when you’re at home is one way to reduce the heating required indoors. Most people won’t forget their warm coat and scarf as they’re leaving the house, but as soon as they return, they strip off into more comfortable clothes with less coverage, resulting in a need for heating and a spike in the electricity bill. Rug up in your best loungewear, UGG boots and comfy jumpers and rely on those keeping you warm. While you’re at it, shut the doors of the rooms you’re not using to keep the heat in, as well as make sure no windows are gaping open or any curtains are drawn.

 

Shop for a better deal

You may think that being loyal to a provider is to your advantage, however sometimes it’s the polar opposite. The term loyalty tax refers to the higher interest rates paid by existing customers compared to new customers. It’s not literally a ‘tax’ however it’s the difference in the rate paid because companies offer larger discounts to new customers to bring them in. Compare your electricity and gas offers on energymadeeasy.gov.au to check which provider has the most cost-effective rates. You can also contact your current provider, quote the deal new customers receive and ask to provide a better deal to keep you as a customer.

 

Purchase a temperature-controlled heater

Every degree of unnecessary heating during winter adds roughly 10% to the electricity bill. One way to manage this heating cost is via a temperature-controlled heater that reads the room temperature and controls the heater accordingly. It saves you from having to adjust the heater yourself and works to keep the room at a consistent warm temperature. It also helps to evaluate the energy star ratings of different heaters, demonstrating how energy efficient and cost efficient it is. The more stars it features, the more bill savings you’ll achieve.

 

Check your other devices

Due to the fact that we spend more time indoors during the cold season, energy use across a range of devices can increase and impact the electricity bill more so than other times of the year. Using the energy saver mode on most devices and appliances can assist in reducing energy consumption without sacrificing their performance. Energy-saving features like automatic brightness control may be available on your TV and can work to lower consumption levels when enabled.

Staying home and remaining warm indoors may put extra pressure on the electricity bill, however adopting even a few energy saving tactics this season can be the difference of hundreds of dollars.

 

This story was originally published on Tilly Money. Read more from Tilly Money like top micro-investing apps.

 

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Image: Lucian Alexe on Unsplash