With increased cost of living and the colder weather setting in, many of us are looking for ways to save money this winter. But how can you save money on energy, and stay comfortable? We thought it was time to revisit a few simple tactics that sound straightforward but can have measurable positive results.
Get warm, old school
When was the last time you thought twice about turning on the heater, and instead reached for an extra pair of socks or another layer of clothing? Cosy-up your bedroom and lounge with extra blankets and cushions, and snuggle down instead of turning up the heat.
Hot water bottles are another tried and true method of warming up your space without the need to consume energy. Pre-warm your bed for that extra level of luxury when you climb between the sheets.
Clothes dryers can be a big energy consumer, so plan ahead and do your washing in the morning to take advantage of those beautiful Aussie sun rays to dry your clothes and bedding. If you have solar, you can strategically use your dryer when the sun shining – but remember that line drying is always the best option.
Keep the warm air - block the cold!
One of the most basic ways to ensure you’re maximising your indoor comfort is to insulate your home. The best solution is to properly insulate your home, but this can be costly, so if you don't have the budget for it, there are alternatives. For example, thermal lining can be added to internal window coverings, which retain winter heat and block summer heat. Both iron-on and thermal curtains are an option.
You might also look to seal gaps in window trims, and place door snakes under doorways to prevent drafts.
Electrify everything - and go solar
Gas heaters, stovetops and water heaters can multiply utility bills (and carbon emissions), so it stands to reason that gas bills often increase in winter. Going solar is one of the most impactful ways to reduce your household’s carbon footprint, but it also empowers you to take control of your energy (and its costs) by slowly converting your gas appliances to electric.
When you go solar with Plico, not only will you then be powering your home from the sun during the day, but your battery storage means you’ll also reap the rewards at night and in the evening when many of these appliances are used most.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel that not only contributes to climate change, but its use in homes has also been linked to health issues. The most ‘natural’ source of energy you can choose for your home is solar.
Extra ideas to save in winter
Having a pool or spa can noticeably add to your energy bill, so one option is to investigate energy bill savings by “winterising” your pool. You can reduce filtration and chlorination over the winter months, but make sure you have proper maintenance measures in place.
Did you know standby power could be taking up to 10% of your energy usage?
Simply turning off appliances at the wall can be another effective energy saver. Turn off TVs, microwaves, stereos, computers and any other appliance at the wall when they are not needed.
If you have a second fridge for those summer beverages, consider turning this off completely if not needed in the winter months. Fridges account for around 13% of your home’s energy use, and if your second fridge is an older model it could be costing you even more.
Many of us use heaters during winter, but do you know your heater’s star rating or whether it’s energy efficient? Next time you need to replace your heater (or indeed any appliance) make sure to choose the highest energy efficiency you can afford. While it may cost more initially, you’ll save more in the long run. And when using a heater, close doors to other areas of the house so you don’t unnecessarily lose heat.
As we discussed in this article, going solar can really save you in the winter months. Plico’s unique offering includes solar + battery, 10 years of servicing and maintenance and no big upfront cost - all from just one low weekly fee. You can even retrofit your existing solar with a Plico battery to save more on your energy bills. If you’d like to learn more about finding the system that is right for you, contact our switched-on team by calling 1300 175 426.