We’ve all heard the old saying “time is money”, but in today’s society, it’s more than time that sucks the pennies from your pocket. Energy is money… and so is water. We can’t live without them and it’s so easy to use more of them than we should. So, unless you feel like throwing your hard-earned money down the metaphorical (or literal) drain, take note of our tips for smarter energy and water usage.
The power of the wind.
Instead of cranking the air con to full blast as you attempt to cool your house down, let the wind do the work. Perth is famous for its mid-afternoon sea breeze, so open the doors and windows and enjoy its natural cooling powers.
Just what the doctor ordered.
If you decide to turn on the air con, keep your air conditioner setting at 24 degrees – every degree lower you set your air conditioner can significantly affect running costs during the summer.
Light up, energy down.
It’s no secret that energy efficient light globes are the better choice for your house. They might cost a little bit more than ‘regular’ light globes, but they’ll pay themselves off in no time, light up your rooms just as brightly and help out the environment. If you don’t want to redo the entire house in one big hit, focus on the areas of your home that you frequent most, like the kitchen, living or entertainment rooms.
Let the stars decide.
Just like light globes, energy efficient appliances will save you a pretty penny in the long run. When you’re out shopping for your next dishwasher or washing machine, look at the star rating before anything else. These are a guide for their energy efficiency, it pays to take a look!
Think of your electrical bits and pieces around the house like a serious workaholic, they’re always connected and they never really switch off. Even when your gadgets are on standby, or your chargers don’t have anything plugged into them, they’re still taking a piece of the energy pie. It’s easy to forget about everything plugged into the wall, but switching off at the wall you could be paying up to $100 or more per year for unnecessary power and contributing more than 1000kg of greenhouse gases to the environment.
Keep up with the upkeep.
Although maintenance sounds dull, it could save you more than you think. Simple things like checking that your fridge seals are, well, sealing the fridge, will save it from working harder than it should to keep everything cool. You also don’t want to overfill it, that’s the equivalent of a small car filled with the rugby team trying to drive up a hill… it’s a tough job! If you’re not sure about an appliance, call in an expert before it puts your bills (and your family’s safety) at risk.
For more energy saving tips, head to the Western Power website. They have put together guides that focus on the summer months and even give energy saving tips for when you go away on holiday!
Train your grass brain.
When you don't listen to your allocated watering days and drench your lawn more than you should, it gets used to it and expects the same treatment every week costing you more coin to keep it green. To save money and keep a luscious lawn, train your grass to survive without constant waterboarding. Also, keeping a longer leaf after mowing shades the soil surface and reduces evaporation. Think of it as a pool blanket for your grass.
Say no to needy.
You might have a beautiful arrangement of flowers and shrubs in your garden, but some of them drink more water more than a football team at the half time break. The good news is that there are lots of plants out there that are more than just pretty petals, they’re good on water too.
After a big day, there are few things than can beat a long, relaxing shower. The downside of your relaxation however, is the cost. A family of four could easily clock up 8 showers in a single day, and depending on the time each person spends in their majestic waterfall of serenity, you could be looking at a hefty water bill. To combat this, try to get your showers down to four minutes, about the length of your favourite song (a radio or timer helps to keep track). It also pays to fit a water saving shower head. You’ll hardly notice the difference and it’ll save you a lot more than you think.
There’s no point in putting on the dishwasher or washing machine when it’s half full, only to have to do it again when the next half piles into the kitchen or laundry. Only turn on your cleaning appliances when they are full enough for it to be worth it. If you’re doing the dishes in the sink be conscious of how much water you need to fill it. It’s a wash, not a bath.
For more great tips, head to the Water Corporation’s website. They have all sorts of smart tips and programs that are designed to keep their dams, and your bills under control through the summer.
The real key to saving money on your energy and water bills, as well as many of your other bills is simply being aware of how much you’re using. In most cases, it’s all the little things that add up, the obvious things like leaving the lights on when you’re not in the room. So be strict with yourself and with your family. After a while, these tips will turn into habits and paying large bills will be a thing of the past.