8 energy saving tips to help lower your bills this winter

With winter fast approaching and the nippiness of the cold taking it's toll in busy households, it's time to think smarter on how to keep the family warm this season. And although ‘tis the season for robes and slippers', it also means that our household energy bills will likely see a spike as we make the switch from air con to heaters.

One way to tackle rising energy bills is by switching to a cheaper energy plan, which Mozo research from December last year has shown can save on average $447 on electricity and $274 on gas annually. But there are other ways to save on your heating bill as the weather cools down.

Before you reach for the heating switch this winter, try these tried and true 8 easy energy saving tips…

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1. Make the sun shine 

Use the sun to your advantage during Autumn by opening the blinds during the day to let the sun naturally warm your home. Once the sun sets, shut them to preserve the heat inside rooms.

Wherever possible use a clothes line or rack to dry clothes in the sun instead of using the electricity guzzling dryer.

2. Trim back trees or shrubs

While your trees served a great purpose by blocking out the sun in summer, it’s time to trim branches or bushes outside your windows to make more room for the sunlight to come through.

3. Use cold water wherever possible 

If you like to indulge in longer showers over the colder months counteract this by being more aware of hot water use in other areas, especially when doing the laundry. According to GE an estimated 75-90 percent of all the energy your washer uses goes towards warming the water so switching to cold water can lower your energy bill. 

4. Plug gaps and leaks 

Air leakage can account for 30% or more of a home's heating or cooling costs, so by plugging any gaps or leaks you could save on your energy bills. For doors with gaps, try a low-cost door snake or replace seals on old windows. 

5. Layer up 

Before you reach for the heater or temperature gauge on the aircon, first try adding an additional layer to your skin to keep you warm. Invest in a good blanket for those nights in front of the TV. 

6. Don't standby 

According to energy.gov.au standby power can account for up to 10% of your power bill. Get in to the habit of switching appliances off at the powerpoint rather than leaving them in standby mode.

7. Warm the soul 

Our hands work to regulate our body temperature keep your hands toasty warm by making a hot chocolate or tea to sip on, you may even find that it helps the rest of your body heat up too!

8. Warm the room not the house

If you can’t stand the cold and switch on your heating at the first shiver, it might be a good idea to consider investing in a portable heater. These allow you to only warm up the areas you want and don’t use as much energy as larger heating systems do. When you are shopping around, be sure to look for one with a high star energy efficiency rating as you want to reduce your energy bill, not increase it.

While it’s great to think outside the box when it comes to saving energy, probably the biggest way you’ll save on your bill is still by switching energy providers - compare offers in your area today. 

Compare energy plans

Find energy plans available in your area.