Around one-in-three Australians are working from home, meaning households across the country have seen their energy bills increase.
In fact, according to Energy Consumers Australia, 73 per cent of Australians list their electricity bills among their top concerns, while half fear they won’t be able to cover their household bills at all.
And as we enter summer, and the season of air conditioning, it’s worth considering ways to save critical dollars.
But there’s one cheap purchase that could quickly reduce your bills, Compare the Market household savings expert Abigail Koch said.
“[Indoor sensor] nightlights automatically turn on at dusk, enabling parents to get up at night to tend to a baby, go to the bathroom or get a glass of water without having to switch on lights,” Koch said.
“From as little as $6 per light, these automatic nightlights plug into a power point and provide lighting for up to 100,000 hours.”
Koch said that the automatic nightlights cost 5 cents a month to power. That’s compared to LED lights, which cost 5 cents an hour to run in the average home.
What else can I use to cut my energy bills?
Koch gave four other suggestions:
Smart power boards and plugs
These boards look like regular boards and plugs, but also connect to your wifi. That means you can control connected appliances from an app.
“For example, the Kogan Smart Power Board (around $50) lets you control individual sockets and set up schedules and timers,” Koch said.
“Smart power boards and plugs allow you to monitor how much electricity a device is consuming, even on standby, helping you make changes to reduce your bill. By turning off devices such as TVs and game consoles, you could save more than $200 per year.”
“These devices connect to your heating and cooling systems, enabling you to adjust the temperature from a smartphone app. One example is the Nest Thermostat E, which automatically adjusts the temperature of your home based on your preferences,” Koch said.
Aussies can save around 12 per cent on average on their electricity bills by using one of these devices, she added.
The days for solar-powered energy are well and truly here and you can even use the sun now to charge your phone, Koch said.
Solar-powered chargers can charge devices like security cameras, GPS devices and phones.
And as they require no electricity, they can save up to $25 a year if used to charge iPads, laptops and phones.
While smart glass is expensive - around $185 per metre, it can also deliver long-term savings. Smart glass, or low-e glass, controls the amount of sunlight entering a home and can be modified with a switch to let more or less in. The glass helps cool a home in summer and hold heat in winter without needing to turn on a heater or air conditioner.
As around 40 per cent of household energy use comes from those appliances, installing low-e glass in a large home of 240 square metres will save around $75 on an annual energy bill, Koch said.
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