This Australia Day long weekend, like most Australians, you’ll probably be getting ready to have a few friends and family over for a barbecue, play some backyard cricket, float in the pool and finish the day with a pavlova to commemorate the celebrations.
If entertaining all your guests means you start seeing dollar signs because your worrying about how much your celebrations will increase your electricity bill - don’t worry, we have you covered.
Follow our four simple tips to save energy and money so you can enjoy your cricket and pav, without dreading your upcoming electricity bill.
1. Turn off your appliances when you're outside using the barbecue
When we receive a hefty energy bill, our minds automatically skip to the known power-hungry appliances such as air conditioners. But did you know that roughly 10 per cent of your electricity bill is caused by standby power?
That’s right. You could be saving up to 10 per cent on your power bills each quarter simply by being more aware of the standby mode on your household’s appliances! Standby power is the mode on your appliances that kicks in when you’re not actively using them.
So when you’re outside firing up the barbeque make sure you switch your appliances off at the wall.
2. Playing cricket outside? Close windows and blinds to keep your cool air inside
Whether you’re playing or watching cricket, keep the blinds or curtains and windows closed throughout the day.
Heavy curtains and blackout blinds are a great and cheap way to stop the heat from the summer sun getting in. Window coverings like heavy curtains, pelmets, blinds, external awnings or shutters, will both block the outside temperature and stop your house from losing its cool inside temperature.
You might want to also check those windows - did you know that 10 to 25 per cent of your heating and cooling costs might be flying right out your windows? Windows can let in or leak away up to 40 per cent of your home heating or cooling energy. You can reduce this loss by up to 80 per cent by choosing energy-efficient windows such as double glazed or window films.
Don’t forget to draught-proof your house – leaks can affect your heating and cooling. Sealing cracks and gaps to prevent hot or cold air from coming in or out, is a cheap way to save energy. It could be simple things like buying a couple of draught stoppers, which are about $10-20 each.
3. Cook your Pav during the day to take advantage of solar panels
Making a pavlova? Use your power hungry appliances, like your oven, when your producing excess solar.
If you are one of the more than 1.64 million Australian households with solar panels on your roof, you can reduce how much energy you use and as a result your electricity bills by using your most energy draining appliances such as the oven or washing machine when your panels are producing more energy than your household is consuming.
How do you know when to use your appliances? Use a smart home energy management system like Reposit First.
Home energy management systems track and record when your household uses electricity.
With smart energy management systems, you can monitor your household's energy usage in real-time, and even get predictions for your household energy usage. Letting you plan the best times to use energy and still reduce your electricity bills. Needless to say, the less electricity your household consumes, the less your electricity bill will be.
You can monitor your electricity consumption and reduce your electricity bill by using your energy draining appliances at times when electricity prices are lowest. Some electricity plans charge different prices at different times throughout the day for using energy. By timing your appliances to come on when energy is cheapest you can save big on your electricity bill.
So you know the perfect time to put the pavlova in the oven to save you money.
4. Is your pool ready for the celebrations? Prepare the pool
Pool owners would agree that there’s a lot to love about owning a pool, however maintaining it can unfortunately burn a hole in your wallet when that bill arrives after a few hot months.
Make timers your friend
We know electricity is cheaper at night time, so use timers to run your pool pump and filter through the night rather than at peak times during the day. Timers are also a great option to control pool lights and thermostats. Set them to turn off at a certain time, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to switch them off.
Lead the way with energy-friendly lighting
With a few small changes around your pool area, you’ll be saving money in no time! Making the switch to LED for your underwater pool lighting not only saves you up to 80% on running costs, but it can enhance the ambience of your pool area with dimmable lighting options and a variety of colours available. Additionally, turn to solar for pathway lights and surrounding gardens – they’ll absorb plenty of light during the day and cost nothing to run at night.
Heat your pool only when needed
How much do you swim in the pool during the warmer months? Is it every day or perhaps just on weekends? Heating your pool all summer long can be costly, so opting to only heat when you’re most likely to use your pool will enable you to reduce your pool running costs.
Monitor your energy usage
Utilising a system like Reposit’s is another big step towards reducing pool running costs. With the ability to track your energy usage and identify the best times to use stored solar power, you can have all your pool maintenance running off free, or very cheap, power you’ve stored in your battery.