Whether it’s keeping busy by baking up a storm or binge watching a new Netflix series each week, every household is handling self-isolation in their own way. But while it might be fun to revisit old hobbies or learn something new, there is one downside to spending more time at home – a higher energy bill!
If your home has become busier than ever in the last few months, here are four easy tricks to keep your energy bill low and savings high …
Take the heat out of your laundry
Nothing beats a steamy, hot shower at the end of the day, but that doesn’t mean your laundry needs the same treatment. Most of the energy required to do the washing comes from having to heat up the water, not cleaning your clothes.
Aside from slashing your energy bill, using cold water can also prevent your clothes from shrinking and fading, plus it removes certain stains from clothes just as well as warm water. Take things one step further by hanging your clothes out to dry, instead of throwing them into the dryer.
Put an end to silly habits
From biting your nails to being late, we all have bad habits we’re not proud of. But while one habit means missing out on a great manicure, others can take a toll on your wallet. Things like forgetting to switch lights off during the day, taking long showers and not unplugging appliances at the wall can leave a serious dent in your energy bill.
If this sounds like you, set reminders on your phone or leave post-it notes around the house to keep you from forgetting. And if it’s your children who are struggling to part ways with their old habits, make things fun by turning it into a game. This could be a tally of who switches off and unplugs appliances the most, or a competition to see who can take the quickest shower.
Get specific with your temperature
As we spend more time indoors, our thermostats get a serious workout. But did you know that you could save as much as 10% on your heating or cooling, by dialing your thermostat back 7°-10°F from it’s normal setting for eight hours a day?
In fact, there’s even the perfect setting to guarantee energy efficiency and comfort.
If it’s starting to heat up where you live, set your thermostat to 78°F during the day. Not only will this bring your energy costs down, but you’ll still be able stay cool and keep humidity to a minimum. Or if you’re still sporting your sweatpants and hoodie, keep your thermostat at 68°F, while lowering it before you head off to bed.
Switch to a better deal
One easy way to make a big difference to your energy bill is to switch to a more competitive offer. If you live in a state with a deregulated market, like Ohio or New Jersey, you should be able to choose your electricity provider. Aside from a lower power bill, switching also gives you the chance to reduce your carbon footprint by opting for a green energy plan.
When you start comparing energy plans, consider factors such as the amount charged per kilowatt hour (kWh) and whether there are any connection, early termination or late payment fees. And if sustainability is an important factor for you, keep an eye out for the amount of renewable energy a supplier sources.
About the author: Ceyda Erem is the lead energy writer at financial comparison website mozo.com.au. She is passionate about helping people slash the cost of their power and other household bills so that they have more money to go towards the fun things in life. When she’s not writing about the latest energy trends and money-saving hacks, you’ll find her catching up on true crime podcasts.