The biggest energy gobblers in your home — and how to control them

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Figuring out the electricity bill is a tough job for anyone. Sometimes, it goes higher due to the higher use of certain appliances, especially temperature regulating ones. From keeping the aircon on all day to blasting the heater at night, or simply inefficient use of your appliances.

For example, your mum wasn’t kidding around telling you to switch off the lights when you leave the room; that racks up your bill by quite a bit. Let’s talk about some of the biggest energy gobblers in the home!

Hot water

Whether for showers or washing clothes, hot water heaters can really add to your electricity bill. While it’s a great idea to limit the time of your showers and use a cold cycle when washing clothes, there are more significant changes you can make around the home that will have a bigger impact on your energy usage. Switching to a hot water heat pump system will save between 74-78% less energy than used by traditional hot water systems, making this change one of the most effective ways to reduce power usage around the home.

Heating and cooling

Perhaps the biggest culprit when it comes to power usage in the home is heating and cooling. You can minimise the impact of air conditioners and heaters by using them for a limited amount of time and ensuring all doors and windows are closed to prevent the loss of air. When setting the temperature, it’s a good idea to keep the temperature between 20-24 degrees. Each degree above or below this is going to really add to your power bill.

Tip: To get through a cold or hot night, switch on your desired appliance for an hour while keeping the door shut. After the room is at your desired temperature, turn it off.

Your fridge

Turns out, the humble refrigerator is one of the biggest energy guzzlers in the home. If you want to use it efficiently and keep your food and drinks chilled, there are a few simple things you can do. First, set the temperature in your fridge between 3-5 degrees and the freezer to -18 degrees. Anything lower than this and you are using excess power. If you are really trying to cut down, strategies like minimising the times you open the door can also have an impact on power usage.

TVs and computers

A common misconception is that when an appliance is in standby mode, it’s not using any electricity. If you can see a light on your appliance, it’s using power. The longer you keep your appliances on standby, the more money they will cost you. The solution? Make sure your TV and computers are switched off at the wall when not in use.

Want to save even more energy? Track your usage.

If you want to cut down on energy consumption around your home, the best place to start is by tracking your usage. Tools like the emerald Electricity Advisor and the FREE emerald EMS app are designed to help you track electricity usage, tariff times and electricity costs. By using the EMS app, you can get up-to-date information on real-time power usage delivered right to your smartphone. You can set a budget goal to regulate usage, receive weekly reports, and instant high-usage alerts. If your home has a smart meter, you can easily set up the Electricity Advisor yourself without the need for an electrician


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