Wednesday 22 November 2017

5 unexpected ways to reduce electricity usage

This is a sponsored post from Alinta Energy

“Has the electricity bill arrived yet?” he asks for about the eleventy third time this week.

“not yet, but I’ll let you know when it does”

“Has the electricity bill arrived yet?” he asks

My stomach sinks.

Because it hit my inbox yesterday

And while we know that we consume lots of electricity, and don’t mind paying the bill, to be confronted by the actual consumption is staggering some quarters.

2 fish tanks, 3 TVs, 2 fridges, 2 freezers, numerous plugs that sit waiting for items to be plugged in, all these things that we take for granted in our lives, and often need to stay turned on (well, the charging plugs don’t, but #lazy), electricity consumption is at an all-time high in our modern lives, with the cost of electricity (and petrol) sky rocketing in Queensland over the last ten years.

But with a few simple and unexpected ideas, it is possible to keep electricity costs lower.

1 – purchase the right size air conditioner for your space. 

It’s a fact of life that for a comfortable lifestyle in Queensland, air conditioning is a must. But it was only a year ago that we were able to afford an air conditioning unit that could cope with our east/west facing, stupid-hot house.

And while Steve might like to run it flat out at 18°C all the time, it isn’t essential for a cool house. Energex recommend that you stick to 24°C, every 1 degree cooler in summer may increase your energy consumption by 5-10%. This one simple change has had the biggest impact on our bills.

2 – reduce your lighting. 

Since Steve has been away for longer periods of time over the last few months, I’ve realised that our lighting usage is appalling. Leaving overhead lights switched on while watching TV and the fish tank light is on is such a waste!

The kids now have fairy lights in their bedrooms, which provide a surprising amount of light for them (and bonus, they’re battery operated), and the kitchen and fish tank lights provide enough light for me to watch TV or read a book in the evenings.

3 – shop around for cheaper electricity.

With the deregulation of electricity, prices have increased, but the number of options available to you have increased as well. Some companies even offer 25% off usage charges when you pay your bill on time.

4 – don’t overfill your clothes dryer. 

It’s no secret I love my clothes dryer. In fact, we’ve had 3 in the last 11 years, and replaced bearings numerous times, because we use it that much.

It wasn’t until we got our current machine that we truly understood how much what you put in it affects the performance of the machine. Where a load of towels once took 3 hours to dry, it now takes 2, because we split it into two loads and the machine can dry more efficiently, because there’s less in it. This has worked with clothes and sheets, too.

5 – defrost your freezer regularly. 

The experts say you should keep your freezer full, so you’re not keeping lots of air cold, but you should also defrost it regularly so that you’re using all the space efficiently, and not keeping ice frozen.

Aim for six monthly defrostings, which is also a great opportunity to see what food you’ve got buried, and use it up. I’m doing mine next week.

Bonus tip – audit your plugs. 

We use lots of power boards in our house, because there’s only one single outlet in each room. It’s easy to unplug gadgets and leave the plugs in place. (I just found two leads plugged into my desk power board that I know I haven’t used this month)

Take some time this weekend to do a quick whiz around the house and see what doesn’t need to be plugged in at the moment, and unplug the unnecessary.

Is your electricity bill stupid-high?
How do you keep costs down?

Alinta Energy is an established national energy company, with a proud history dating back to 1941. They have 800,000 customers and over 400 employees across Australia. They both generate and retail electricity in Australia, which means they are able to offer extremely competitive pricing.
They retail energy in Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and have recently launched in Queensland.


  1. Using a drier in QLD?? Why oh why? Is it the humidity or copious rain events? I rarely use ours here because it makes our power bill go through the roof...great tips btw. I am trying so hard to leave light switches off when we aren’t in rooms. Our bill was over 700$ and I felt sick in the guts!!

    1. I LOVE my clothes dryer! Makes it ok for the kids to only have 2 school uniforms, and still wear clean uniforms every day (except Natalie, who never remebers to put them in the wash)

  2. We don't have a dryer but we do have air con. Air con KILLS us with electricity bills. I just looked down at my plug board... TWO things that don't need to be plugged in are plugged in

    1. yeah, it was Steve working nights and needing it on during the day that sent our bill so high all those years ago

  3. Our pool is so expensive to run and you think that solar is going to fix all your problems but it doesn't. Solar is no match for Queensland air-conditioning and pool. It really pays to shop around for providers though, I am not even going to scare you with what I was paying with the 'default" mob. Seriously, we've been down every path trying to cut this bill.

    1. we changed to solar hot water many years ago, thinking the constantly empty and reheating water tank was part of the problem, but it's just crept higher every year

  4. Urggghhhh defrosting the freezer.

  5. This just made me realise I've never defrosted our freezer, but I checked it's because it's a no frost freezer {clearly I pay attention}. When we had a deep freeze though omg I had to defrost it all the time.

    1. ours are old, and need all the help they can get! (although it's probably time to work on updating them, too!)


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