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Lights off, cash on: Sustainability tips that help you save

Published 12 October 2020

A lot of money can go out the window when you’re not using your energy wisely.

We have all been spending many more hours at home, so you may have been in for a surprise when receiving a larger than expected electricity bill. By making some small changes to how you use energy in your own home, you can save money and help the environment.

Starting with your home, here are four ways to get a little greener with your cash from within your own four walls:

1. Check your heating and cooling temperatures:  

Reducing your energy use may seem like an outdated tip, but the truth is - it works. Things as simple adjusting your heating and cooling settings by a few degrees, have all been proven to reduce your power bill.

Tips:

  • Heating: In Australia’s cooler climates, heating is responsible for almost half of a households’ energy bill.  Warm up without your heater when possible with comfy layers, beanies and blankets.  If you need to use your heater consider dropping your temperate setting by a degree or two.
  • Cooling: Similarly, Australians living in warmer climates can use around a third of their energy to cool the home.  Consider increasing your temperature setting up by a degree or two.  Ceiling fans are cheaper to run and provide a greater energy savings alternative.
  • Insulating: Draughty homes can affect your health and wellbeing as well as drive up energy bills. There are plenty of affordable DIY actions you can take like using door snakes to fill in gaps under doors, using appropriate sealants to fill in gaps in obsolete wall vents or between older floor boards, and window coverings to prevent warm air entering or leaving a home.

2. Switch off and up your efficiency

If you don’t pay attention to the energy use of new household appliances, you could end up paying more in the long run due to high running costs. And while standby mode on those appliances is convenient, again it could drive up costs.

Tips: 

  • Unplug your electrical devices entirely. Appliances on standby can use up to 4% of your household energy, so take that little red light as a reminder to flick off the switch at the wall.
  • Lighting can use 1-2% of your total energy.  Replace your household lights with energy-efficient LED bulbs.
  • When buying new household appliances, including heater and cooling equipment, remember to look for appliances that have a higher energy star rating. More stars equals less energy and lower power bills, but balance this with the cost of the appliance. 

3. Get the best deal  

A simple way to save on energy bills may be to switch provider.  You can utilize government energy compare websites for this purpose to make sure you are getting an affordable and sustainable deal.  Here are the websites across Australia that can help you to compare providers in your state:

4. Get in on government tools and support

Most Australian States provide incentives for households and businesses to increase their sustainability. For example, eligible Victorians can access rebates to install rooftop solar or energy saving lighting technologies.

Refer to your State and Local Government websites to see what kind of support is available to you. 

What a year. Need to check-in on your finances?

Ready for more savings tips? Head over to our 4-step ANZ Financial Wellbeing Check-In for some quick ways to boost your budget.

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The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations.  You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.