Saturday, 5 April 2014

A-Z Simple Living: E = Energy Efficiency

Saving energy saves money, which is important to me as it means that I am one step closer to attaining my goal of self-sufficiency, albeit a very tiny baby step. Saving energy also saves the environment, by reducing the level of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. The greenhouse gases trap heat from the sun inside the earth's atmosphere and the increasing levels of greenhouse gases erodes the ozone layer which consequently results in global warming and climatic change, with detrimental effects to mankind. So, there is my science lesson for the day...and two very good reasons to save energy.

So, what are the best ways of going about doing this? Here are a few of my tips, that have worked well for us:

1. Examine Your Bill
Before getting our solar panels, I saved $100/quarter of our electricity bill by taking one easy step....I had a good look at my bill and what I was being charged for. Like so many people I know, we just paid our bills without realising exactly what they were made up of...and were amazed to find that we had been charged an incorrect business tariff (on our residential property) for as long as we had owned it. This amounted to a whopping $300/year and was a huge battle to rectify, but we got there in the end.

2. Talk to your Electrician
When reconnecting our power after a flood, our electrician advised us that our hot water was not on a separate economy tariff, meaning we were paying full rates, even when it was heating overnight...which is usually charged at a lower tariff. So, we rectified that one immediately, and saved another $400/year.

3. Shop Around
In my post B = Budget, I shared the story of our change to Click Energy and the savings we made. Weigh up all of the competition in terms of tariff (regulated here in Qld) and service charges. Then talk to your existing retailer who may match a competitors offer, or offer more incentive to stay with them.

4. Consider going solar if you can
This is seriously worth weighing up if you own your own home, and your electricity service provider can advise you of the savings to be made. There are also online calculators available.

5. Improve your Efficiency
Look at what appliances you have and when you use them. For example, with solar power we now wash our clothes in the evening to maximise the kilowatts going back to the grid. I also replaced my kids 'box' televisions with led versions, which use a lot less power. If you don't have solar, there are heaps of ways you can save energy just by using the appliances you have differently. 


The following links have some great ideas and suggestions:

Where does my electricity bill go?

Electricity Savings Action Plan

Save Money and Electricity

Use Appliances Effectively

So, what are your best tips for saving electricity?

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