Power bill surge: How to cut spring energy costs

 

Spring brings cheaper power bills for many households as airconditioners get used less and solar panel production picks up, but this year looks different.

COVID-19 lockdowns and millions of people still working from home put an extra energy drain on appliances, so it's smart to consider ways to cut power costs.

Here are five tips from energy and budgeting experts.

Red Energy's general manager customer management, Lucy Aston, suggests extending spring cleaning to your airconditioner's filter.

"A dirty unit can use up to 15 per cent more energy," she says.

"Clean the filter a couple of times each year."

Red Energy's Lucy Aston says clothes dryer use should be reduced to save money.
Red Energy's Lucy Aston says clothes dryer use should be reduced to save money.

More sunshine and warmth should mean less need for a clothes dryer, which Aston says is one of the most expensive appliances to run.

"Improve energy efficiency by emptying the lint filter after each load and, if you can, use sensor technology so the machine stops once the clothes are dry," she says.

As days get warmer, people should cover windows with curtains or blinds to keep unwanted heat out, Aston says.

MyBudget director Tammy Barton has seen higher power bills during the pandemic and winter amid increased TV use, heating and more opening and closing of fridges.

"The one good side is that households are saving money by spending less on transport, entertainment, eating out and holidays, which is helping to make up for the extra power costs," she says.

Barton says money saved by cancelled holidays could be diverted to home improvement projects that save energy.

"New security screens could allow you to sleep with your windows open," she says. "Ceiling fans could reduce your airconditioner use."

Investing in a folding clothesline is another good energy-saving idea, Barton says.

Originally published as Power bill surge: How to cut spring energy costs


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