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How to cut down on your household energy bill this winter

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By Bessie Hassan

Winter is definitely here, and along with the chilly winds and ice-cold mornings come higher energy bills. Winter is notorious for over-usage of the heater, longer and hotter showers, and the constant need for a cup of tea. But these are potentially costly habits, and just because we’re in need of a little extra warmth doesn’t mean our hip pocket has to suffer. Instead, try these top tips for staying warm this winter without blowing out your household budget.

 

Use natural resources

The most energy-efficient way to heat your house is just outside your window: the sun, which is basking down all its glorious warm ultraviolet rays ready to fill your house and heat you up. If you open your blinds during the day you’ll let in all the natural warmth. At night single-glazed windows can get extremely frosty and cold, so close them once the sun starts to set to help you keep that heat in and the cooler night air out.

 

The electric blanket is your best friend

finder.com.au analysis recently found that the best (and cheapest) way to stay warm this winter is by jumping into bed and switching on your electric blanket. While it may be perceived to be expensive, an electric blanket can be a cost-effective option to stay warm during the cooler months. And at 4 cents per hour (on average), how can you say no to staying in bed all day?

 

Shop around for cheaper rates and look out for bundles

There’s no harm in shopping around for a better gas or electricity deal. So many of us fall victim to the ‘lazy tax’, simply because we don’t compare our options and make the switch to a cheaper retailer. While you’re at it, see if you can get a bundle of your electricity and gas together. Usually bundles end up cheaper, and that approach also means you’ll have one less bill coming in at the end of the month!

 

Layer up

This might seem obvious, and I don’t blame you for wanting to turn up that heater and strip down to summer wear (who doesn’t like walking around the house in a baggy t-shirt?). But you will save money by layering up and only turning to the heater when it’s absolutely necessary. Pop on another jumper, your comfy slippers and favourite trackies and you’ll be warm in no time.

 

Heat the room you’re in

There’s no point heating the whole house if you and your family are only using one room. Closing the doors to unoccupied rooms will keep the heat isolated to the area you’re in. The smaller the space, the less energy required to heat it. Even if you have central heating throughout your whole house, you can switch off the rooms you don’t need to use. Also, don’t forget to position your heater away from windows, where the heat can be easily dispersed.

 

Pop the oven open

Winter is the perfect time to make hearty roasts and home-cooked stews. If you’re up for a day of cooking not only will you end up with a delicious meal but a warm house too. If you open the oven once you’re finished you’ll allow the hot air to waft through your home, along with the tantalising smell of whatever tasty feast you were making. It might be a good idea to keep kids clear though!

 

Switch off what’s not in use

The energy-hungry appliances that you probably don’t know about are items with a standby mode function. These include gaming consoles, subscription TV boxes, TVs themselves and even microwaves. Make sure you turn off everything at the powerpoint if it’s not in use to cut down on unnecessary energy usage. But don’t go overboard – your iQ can’t record shows if it doesn’t have power.

One of the biggest areas you’ll save money on is your energy usage. No one should have to go cold, but with the price of energy only set to get higher, it’s important to think of how you can cut down if you want to reduce your energy bill this winter.

Bessie Hassan is Money Expert at Australia’s most visited comparison site, finder.com.au.

 

1 Comment

  1. Sigrun Mielke

    July 20, 2017 at 9:18 am

    lots of info….already stressing me out reading all of that, sorry.

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