35 ways to save money by saving energy

Information verified correct on October 26th, 2016

If you’re looking to save money on your energy bills then there are lots of ways you can go about it. Here are some tips to get your started.

When it comes to saving money there is always more that you could do, and one of the biggest areas you’ll find is by saving energy. Click on any of the ideas for more information or for guides on where to buy what you need.

Around the home

  1. Monitor your energy use around the house - Make sure your home is working with you and not against you when it comes to saving energy and money. Even though a lot of things seem like small changes, they can add up over time.
  2. Buy energy efficient appliances -  Devices and appliances take up a lot of juice, especially in family homes, make sure that all of yours are as efficient as can be.
  3. Get energy efficient light bulbs - Make sure your home's lighting is easy on your bill. This can be done through buying efficient bulbs and making sure lights are turned off when not in use.
  4. Paint rooms bright colours - Bright colours reflect light and reduce the need for excess lighting. They will also give your home a bright, cheery feel.
  5. Unplug chargers when not in use - Even when there is nothing plugged into them, chargers continue to use power. Switch off or unplug when not in use.
  6. Turn off computer - Computers drain energy, and leaving them on sleep or standby overnight is the definition of waste. If you have a laptop try not to charge you computer overnight, as once it is finished charging it will continue to use energy until unplugged.
  7. Switch your electricity supplier - Is your energy or gas supply the cheapest available? If you’re not sure, then find out. We’ve reviewed lots of energy providers from around Australia, so why not check out our guides and find a company in your area.
  8. Switch your gas provider - Always shopping for cheaper rates will lead you to great savings on your gas and electricity. Again, we’ve made it easy for you, buying compiling and previewing gas providers by state.
  9. Get a bundle - See if you can bundle electricity and gas supply together and save money on both. This will also mean one less bill coming in at the end of the month, and who wouldn’t love that?
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  1. Turn off outside lights when not in use - Make sure you’re not paying to light spaces that don’t need lighting. If you’re concerned about security or like having a light on when you enter the drive, why not look into whether a motion sensors can help you get light when you need it and not when you don't.
  2. Use manual tools instead of power - Okay. So this is a little old school, but using hand tools will save on electricity and you will get a little workout in the process. You might even be able to cancel your gym membership.
  3. Grow your own - Growing your own food is a rewarding and easy way of getting the good stuff on your plate. It’s also a lot easier than you might think, especially in parts of Australia where sunshine is abundant.
  4. Rake the leaves - This is another great way to get a little exercise. It will also save energy and money over buying and using an expensive, gas guzzling leaf blower.
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  1. Go solar - We’re blessed with sunshine in Australia, why not turn that into free electricity? We’ve written up tons of information to make your journey to solar as simple as can be, from how it works, to companies that can help you install it to rebates and energy certificates.
  2. Go solar thermal- Did you know that heating up water can take up as much as 25% of the average homes energy usage? With solar thermal you can use the power of the sun to heat up your water and save money on your bills.
  3. Get solar feed-in - Aside from saving you money, you could actually make money on your usage with a solar feed-in tariff. This tariff lets you sell any extra energy your panels generate back to the energy grid.
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Air conditioning

  1. Instead of air con, open the windows - It’s tempting to whack on the air con in warm weather, but don’t jump the gun. Try opening the windows first and see if that will do the trick.
  2. Get the air conditioner serviced once a year - Air conditioners are expensive to run, make sure yours is running peak performance by getting it serviced once a year. This will also make your AC unit last longer and prevent unnecessary repairs.
  3. Buy an energy efficient air conditioner - And if you’ve had your unit a long time, it might be worth considering an upgrade. There are plenty of modern, energy efficient air conditioners available. Why not look at getting one of those?
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Home heating

  1. Use a thermostat - Control your temperature and remember to switch your heating off when you’re out of the house. You could even look into getting a smart thermostat that will allow you to control your home heating wherever you are on your smart phone.
  2. Open shades during the day and close them at night - Natural shading can save on heating and cooling, so make sure you’re making the most of it. Especially in winter when you will want to let the heat in during the day and keep it out during the night.
  3. Insulate - You’re going to spend a lot of money heating your home and your water, so make sure you’re losing as little of that heat as possible.
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  1. Wash clothes on lower temperatures - Unless they’re caked in mud, clothes will usually end up just as clean on a cold water wash as they do on a warm, plus you save energy.
  2. Only wash clothes when it’s a full load - The washer will use the same amount of energy whether it is completely full, or whether there is one sock in there. So make sure it’s full to prevent unnecessary wastage.
  3. Use a laundry line, not a dryer - Dryers are expensive to buy and expensive to run. Why not hang your clothes up and let nature do the work? The sun and the breeze will heave them dry in no time and you will notice the difference on your energy bill.
  4. Clean dryer filters often - If you do use a dryer, it’s no worries. Just make sure it is cleaned regularly and is working efficiently. It takes a few minutes to clean out a dryer filter, but the efficiency that it can result in is worth so much more.
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In the kitchen

  1. Get a gas stove - Gas heats quicker than electricity, so if you’re replacing your stove, try your best to go gas.
  2. Cook more efficiently - There are so many ways to save energy cooking that we gave it its own page. Click the link for more info.
  3. Keep the fridge closed - Keep the cool in, keep the fridge closed as much as you can. Fridges regulate a set temperature, and each time you open the door that temperature is lost, the fridge then has to work harder to get the temperature back to its setting. So keep it closed as much as you can.
  4. Turn the freezer down - Food doesn’t need to be stored at Antarctic temperatures. Once it’s frozen, it’s frozen. So don’t worry about having the dial on the highest setting.
  5. Don’t preheat the oven - Try not to have the oven heated unless there is something in it. Stick your food in straight away and let it heat up as the over does.
  6. Get an electric kettle - If you’re still heating water on the stove, consider an electric kettle, it's considerably faster and cheaper.
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  1. Only run the dishwasher when it’s full - Your dishwasher will use the same juice no matter how full it is, so be sure you only turn it on when it’s packed. This will also save on those costly dishwasher tablets.
  2. Hand wash the dishes - Even if you’ve got a dishwasher, consider hand washing once in while. It might seem a tad old fashioned but it’s good for your energy usage and you get a little time to think. Better yet, it makes an ideal punishment for misbehaving children.
  3. Don’t let the dishwasher dry your dishes - When your dishes are washed, turn the dishwasher off and open the door. This will prevent the dishwasher from going into heated dry mode, which is an energy expensive phase.

So there are a few to get your started, but the list doesn’t end here. It is always a good idea to keep your eyes peeled around your home and look for ways that you can trim your energy usage. Even though some of the changes may feel small, when added up over time they can lead to smaller bills and more money in your pocket.

Shirley Liu

Shirley is's publisher for banking and investments. She is currently studying a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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