There’s one thing everyone can agree on when living in a share house: energy bills are a buzzkill – especially if you’re broke.
Below are some simple ways to lower your household energy usage, helping save both money and the planet in the process:
Use energy-efficient appliances
That second-hand fridge might seem like a bargain, but take a look at the energy rating before lugging it home. There’s no point buying a cheap appliance if it’s only going to burn through electricity. Look for appliances with an energy star rating of three or more.
Cook meals together
Try and cook dinner with your housemates once or twice per week. You’ll only need to use the oven or gas stove for one meal rather than several, and you’ll save on groceries too! This is a cost-effective way to save on energy while sharpening your cooking skills.
Use the dishwasher
Using the dishwasher consumes less water and energy than hand-washing your dishes, especially if you’re all cooking separately. Stack your dishes over the course of the night then run a full load once everyone is finished. The higher the energy star rating of your unit, the more you could save.
Be smart about how you keep cool
If your house has an air conditioning unit, it can be tempting to blast it as the days start heating up. But this can blow up your energy bill at the end of the quarter. Aussies spend roughly $4.6 billion on air conditioning each year; money that could be going elsewhere!
Instead of the air con, use fans where possible, keep blinds drawn during the day to keep the heat out and take a cold shower to cool down. If you do choose to use the aircon, keep it at an economical temperature (25 degrees is recommended).
Hang your clothes
You might turn to the dryer late at night or when you’re running late for work, but this consumes a lot of power, especially if your housemates are doing the same thing. Instead, hang your clothes up on the line or purchase a clothes horse.
It’s a good idea to hang your washing at the start of the day when there’s still plenty of time for it to dry. There’s rarely a good excuse to use the dryer over summer, especially down under!
Cutting down your energy usage is much easier than you think. A few simple tweaks to the way you manage your cooking, cleaning and washing can make a big difference to your next energy bill. The trick is for everyone to pitch in and work together.
This article was written by Graham Cooke, an energy expert at Finder