4 easy ways to save up to $415 on your energy bill

From our research, the best way to save is by switching your energy provider.

How to save electricity Go to tips
How to switch energy providers Save up to $219

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Savings tips for right now that can save you $100+ annually

From our research, the best way to save on energy is by switching your energy provider. Here are 4 energy-saving ideas you could take, ranked by how much you can save ($415 in total):

        We've categorised the following tips as 1 of 3 things to help you implement the ideas that are right for you:
        lifestyle change icon
        Make a small lifestyle shift
        Requires a change in behaviour or habits
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        Low-cost ideas
        Quick tips that don't take much work, money or time to implement
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        In the long term...
        A medium or large investment of time or money that should pay off in the long term

        7 tips to save around the house

        1

        Add insulation

        Insulation reduces the need for heating in winter and cooling in summer, making it one of the most effective ways to save.
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        Seal doors and window gaps with gap fillers or draught excluders.

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        Seal gaps around skirting boards, ceilings and air vents.

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        Add insulation to walls and your roof.

        2

        Invest in efficient appliances

        Appliances in Australia use the Energy Rating system – more stars mean higher efficiency. A more efficient device usually costs more upfront, but pays off over time. Here are the 5 most expensive appliances in your home that are worth investing in and costs to run per year:

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        Air-conditioner – $110.88 per year

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        Television – $94.64 per year

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        Refrigerator – $92.40 per year

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        Clothes dryer – $87.92 per year

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        Dishwasher – $64.40 per year

        3

        Strategic shading

        Shading is important to manage the sun entering your house.
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        Close the curtains or draw the blinds on hot, sunny days.

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        Install lined curtains to block airflow as well as heat.

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        Install eaves to shade summer sun, while allowing winter sun in.

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        Add vines or another leafy plant to shade the sunniest side.

        4

        Optimise your air-conditioner

        Air-conditioners (AC) are the number 1 energy hog in most households.
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        Close vents and doors to empty rooms when cooling or heating.

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        Pre-cool your house with cool air from outside the night before a hot day.

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        Shut the AC off when leaving the house for more than an hour.

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        Clean your AC's filters every few months for lower energy consumption.

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        Shade your AC's external compressor unit to increase efficiency.

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        Ensure you have the right size AC unit for your house.

        5

        Upgrade your lights

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        Turn off lights when leaving the room.

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        Replace your bulbs. Fluorescent light bulbs are 4 to 6 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs. LED lights use 75% less energy and can last 8 times longer.

        6

        Hot water tuning

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        Switch off your hot water system if leaving the house for more than a week.

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        Set the water heat to between 60 and 65℃.

        7

        General energy use

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        Switch off your hot water system if leaving the house for more than a week.

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        Unplug power-hungry devices when not in use – specifically those that drain tons of power even in sleep mode. This includes game consoles, televisions, set-top entertainment boxes and computers.

        4 tips to save in the kitchen

        4

        Smart appliance use

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        Microwaves can cook food up to 3 times faster than a standard oven, and use 70% less electricity. Consider this if it won't ruin the food.

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        Boil only as much water as you need in the kettle instead of heating up extra you won't use.

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        Pressure cookers use half the energy of a standard oven, and might work for you.

        4

        Clever cooking

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        Thaw food before cooking it to reduce wasted energy.

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        Use a lid when you can if you're cooking food – this raises the internal temperature and cooks food faster.

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        Preheat only when necessary, and keep it as short as possible. Preheating for long periods of time is a total waste of energy.

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        Keep your oven door closed as much as possible. Each time you open it, it drops the temperature by up to 20 degrees.

        4

        Dishwasher tips

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        Don't pre-rinse your dishes – just scrape off any solid food and let the dishwasher handle the rest.

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        Only run your dishwasher with a full load. It uses the same amount of water and power no matter how full it is, so the bigger the load, the better.

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        Skip the drying cycle – this consumes a huge amount of power to dry your dishes. Instead, open the door after washing and let the dishes air dry instead.

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        Use the eco setting (if your dishwasher has one) to save on power.

        4

        Refrigerator tips

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        Make sure your refrigerator is in as cool a place as possible. This makes it easier for it to do its job.

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        Ensure there's good ventilation at the back of the refrigerator. This makes it more efficient.

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        Replace fridge seals if they're losing their grip. A poor seal leaks air and forces the fridge to work much harder.

        2 tips to save in the bathroom

        4

        Water efficiency

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        Showers over baths. A 5-minute shower uses about 45 litres of water, while a bath takes between 50 and 150 litres to fill.

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        Fix dripping taps. A hot water tap dripping at 1 drip per second could waste up to $25 per year.

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        Upgrade your shower head to a AAA-rated water efficient model. This saves on both water and energy bills (from hot water).

        4

        Heating and insulation

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        Insulate exposed copper pipes with rubber tubing (known as lagging) to reduce heat loss from storage water heaters.

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        Install a solar-boosted hot water unit and cut your hot water costs by about 90% on sunny days.

        Washing machine tips to save in the laundry

        4

        Laundry tips

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        Wash your clothes in cold water. Up to 90% of energy used by washing machines goes towards heating water, making cold washes far more economical. They also work just as well unless your clothes are heavily soiled.

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        Front-loader washing machines are mostly superior to top-loaders. They are more gentle on clothes and spin more water out when drying. They use up to 70% less water and energy, too.

        2 tips to save outdoors

        4

        Swimming pool and spa tips

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        Cover your pool or spa when it's not in use. This helps it maintain its temperature and prevents debris falling into the pool.

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        Use a timer to turn your filter pump on and off. This saves you on general maintenance and filter costs.

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        Invest in a solar heater for your pool/spa. These take water from your pool, use the sun to heat it, and circulate it back into the pool. A digital controller helps maintain a consistent temperature.

        4

        Outdoor lighting

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        Install motion sensors on your outdoor lighting and security equipment. This ensures it will only turn on when in use.

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        Replace your bulbs. As with indoor lights, replacing everything with fluorescent or LED bulbs can cut their energy consumption by 75% or more.

        How to switch energy providers

        As long as you don't live in Tasmania, the Northern Territory, Western Australia or outside of south-east Queensland, you will have a choice of energy retailers. Even if you can't pick between providers, you'll have a choice of contracts with different types of rates.

        You can use Finder's online energy comparison tool to help you find the providers and plans best suited for you, wherever you live. Remember to be careful when choosing a contract — if it doesn't match your lifestyle and needs, you could end up paying more than you would otherwise.

        Finally, you can shorten your billing cycle to pay monthly. This won't drive down costs, but it can help you avoid large tri-monthly shock bills and help you budget more effectively.

        solar energy icon

        Rebates and Concessions Australia
        Many households are entitled to reduced energy costs through government rebate and concession programs. See if you are eligible.

        How to work out what's driving up your energy price

        So, how can you save? Here are 3 steps to starting your energy saving journey.

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        Research

        Understand what's driving up the price of electricity, and how your house and lifestyle affect your own bill. This guide can help with your research.

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        Investigate and organise

        Investigate your household's energy use to understand the biggest contributors to your electricity bill. Search around your house to find energy "hotspots" – devices that are consuming large amounts of power.

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        Compare

        Make sure to shop between different electricity and gas providers in your area for the best deal. Sign a contract with a variable rate that suits your lifestyle and power-usage patterns. Consider installing smart meters on some appliances or purchasing more energy-efficient devices than you have now.

        Manage your energy use

        Once you have a basic picture of your energy consumption, including when and how you use the most energy, you can go deeper into managing it:

        • Compare patterns of use. Using your energy bills, figure out how your energy consumption has changed with the seasons and how your energy use this year compares to the last. If you're using more than you used to, or use more in summer or winter, figure out why.
        • Consider time of use. Do you stay at home during the day and go out at night? Are you part of a family that arrives home together and switches everything from the computer to the lights on? Knowing this should help you pick the right type of energy contract. Additionally, switching appliance use to off-peak periods (like running your wash late at night) can help lower costs.
        • Find energy hotspots. Usually, the biggest guzzlers of power in your house will be heating and cooling, followed by standby power, lighting and cooking. Make sure the appliances you use to heat and cool your house are installed correctly and well-maintained, and see if you can get them to run more efficiently with small changes.
        • Use energy-efficient appliances. Appliances make up about 30% of electricity bills. Cheaper appliances may cost you more in the long run with the energy they chew through. Don't buy big appliances with features you won't use, and go for ones with the highest energy star rating. Finally, make sure you install and maintain them properly – don't place your fridge next to a hot oven, for example.
        • Take simple actions. There are many little things you can do to save. If you get cold in winter, you may want to invest in thicker sheets instead of turning on a heater, or buy a more efficient heater if possible. Blocking holes in your house can also save on heating costs.

        Embrace off-peak power

        Power's most expensive when everyone else is using it, usually from 7am-10pm daily. Here are 2 ways to profit off consuming power when no one else is:

        • Off-peak water heater. Since heating water consumes about 25% of a household's electricity, installing a system which only heats water during off-peak periods and then stores it for use can really cut your bills. Check if this is available with your retailer and water heater.
        • Time-of-use plans. This type of energy tariff charges you less for energy during off-peak periods. So long as you have a smart meter involved and your household consumption patterns support it, this might help you save.

        Smarter energy usage during COVID-19

        Aside from making sure you're on a better value plan, there are a few things you can do to ensure you save on energy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

        If you are on a "time of use plan" – as in, your provider charges you more during peak periods and less during off-peak periods – plan your energy use around this.

        For example, do your washing early in the morning or late at night (off-peak) if possible, or at the very least, avoid doing it during the evening.

        As an example, here are the off-peak hours for customers in the Ausgrid region (winter):

        PeriodTime Rates
        Peak period5pm to 9pmMost expensive
        Shoulder period7am to 5pmIn between
        Off-peak period9pm to 7amLeast expensive

        Additional tips

        • Find your energy hotspots. Can you limit your biggest power drainers? Check your heating and cooling appliances, as they usually use the most power.
        • Use energy-efficient appliances. If you can afford the upfront cost, consider installing more energy-efficient appliances so that you save more in the long run.

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