Top tips on trim­ming your win­ter elec­tric­ity bill

Central and North Burnett Times - - DOMAIN -

WITH tem­per­a­tures go­ing down and elec­tric­ity prices go­ing up it’s time to get se­ri­ous about slim­ming down those ex­pand­ing power bills.

Elec­tric­ity is a mod­ern con­ve­nience we love to hate.

Hot show­ers, home heat­ing, clothes dry­ers and ovens on com­fort cook­ing over­load are must-haves for many on damp and chilly days.

We don’t feel so warm and fuzzy when we open up the let­ter box and see the fa­mil­iar bill win­dows star­ing back at us.

There are heaps of sim­ple ways to com­pen­sate for the ex­tra power used up by heat­ing, hot wa­ter sys­tems and other ap­pli­ances that tend to get an ex­tended work out dur­ing the cooler months.

With a bit of dili­gence you can keep warm this win­ter with­out hav­ing to worry about throw­ing holy wa­ter on your power bill when it turns up in three months time.

Er­gon En­ergy has some ad­vice on keep­ing our power bills un­der con­trol.

Heat­ing:

In win­ter, set re­verse cy­cle air con­di­tion­ers or heaters to an en­ergy ef­fi­cient and com­fort­able 18 de­grees cel­cius.

Fo­cus heat­ing in com­monly used rooms and trap in warm air by clos­ing win­dows and doors.

Be­fore turn­ing the heater on, close the cur­tains, check for drafts and dress ap­pro­pri­ately for win­ter.

When pur­chas­ing a heater, choose the most en­ergy ef­fi­cient and the one that’s the right size for your room/home.

Hot­Wa­ter:

In­stall a low flow show­er­head or a flow con­trol valve to re­duce the amount of hot wa­ter used with­out re­duc­ing pres­sure. An in­ef­fi­cient show­er­head can use more than 20 litres ev­ery minute com­pared to a triple A rated show­er­head.

Take shorter show­ers. Tough rule to fol­low on those cold morn­ings – but be strong, you’ll reap the re­wards in a cou­ple of months time.

Fix leak­ing hot wa­ter taps as soon as pos­si­ble. Sixty drops a minute is equal to 9000 litres of wa­ter in a year.

Laun­dry:

Hang your clothes on the line out­side on dry days. Re­serve the use of the dryer only for wet days or spe­cial “I need it dry NOW” emer­gen­cies.

Clean the fil­ter in your dryer be­fore each load. If it’s blocked the ma­chine will use more elec­tric­ity and take longer. Clogged fil­ters are also a known cause of house fires.

Use cold wa­ter for wash­ing rather than hot or warm.

Ad­just the wa­ter level to eco­nom­i­cally wash a par­tial load. Make sure you check man­u­fac­turer rec­om­men­da­tions for your ma­chine’s ca­pac­ity.

Dry­ing clothes on hang­ers or fold­ing items as soon as your take them off the line min­imises the need for iron­ing.

Kitchen:

Fan forced ovens re­duce cook­ing time and en­ergy use.

Use pots and pans with snug fit­ting lids and flat bases that stay in con­tact with the hot­plate.

The base of the pot should be the same size as the hot­plate.

Clean oven door seals reg­u­larly and check for signs of wear or dam­age.

Flat or split door seals should be re­placed.

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