Reduce Bill Shock This Winter: 9 Simple Tips

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High electricity bills pack a real punch into budgets each winter, leaving many Australian households facing bill shock. It’s little wonder when you consider that Australian households are paying the highest electricity prices in the world. While we can’t do much about energy prices, we can make better choices when it comes to our energy consumption. As the mercury plunges, here are 9 energy-efficient tips to cut costs on your electricity bill and reduce bill shock this winter.

1. Avoid portable heaters

The difference between portable heaters and reverse cycle air conditioning when it comes to the cost of your electricity bill can be quite dramatic. The use of reverse cycle air conditioning can add on average $230 to your electricity bill per year, while portable plug in heaters can add on average $825 to your electricity bill per year.

2. Rug up

Winter is a great excuse to layer up and use your body heat to stay warm. Instead of turning on home heating, reach for socks and a jumper; use a thicker blanket or quilt on your bed; and keep a throw or blanket handy for nights curled up on the lounge.

3. Close off rooms not in use

Heat escaping to parts of the home that aren’t in use is wasted money. Keep the heat in the parts of the house where the most activity takes place by closing off other rooms.

4. Close the curtains

More than one-third of winter heat can escape from windows. Simply closing the curtains or blinds is an easy way to stop heat escaping.

5. Be draft proof

One of the most economical ways to reduce energy bills is to eliminate any gaps where warm air can escape and cool air can get in. Using a door snake to stop heat escaping through the gap between the door and floor is a way to reduce bill shock over winter and save you money.

6. Avoid using the clothes dryer

Instead of powering up the clothes dryer, hang clothes on a clothes horse in a warm room overnight instead. Your electricity bill will thank you and so will the environment.

7. Undertake some maintenance

Remember to check the filters in your heating system and make sure they’re clean and clear. Dirty filters are inefficient and lead to higher heating costs.

8. Pull appliances out at the plug when not in use

Even though you’re not using them, appliances in standby mode are still drawing energy, costing you money. A major culprit is multi-function printers, which even on standby mode can add an additional $118 per year to your energy bill. While you’re unplugging the appliances in your home, consider also turning off the second drinks fridge in the garage.

9. Swap to energy efficient lighting

Want to see some significant reduction in your energy consumption? Switching to LED light bulbs uses 75% less energy than halogen lights. If you can dim your lights, even better. You’ll be able to create the right mood for nights in front of the tv, and can bump up the brightness when needed.

Are you struggling to pay your electricity bill?

If you’re finding it difficult to keep on top of all your bills, it’s always best to seek financial advice as quickly as possible to avoid the risk of disconnection or debt recovery action. Speaking with a Vision Property & Finance financial planner can help you come up with a plan to sort out your money problems and get your bills under control.