Over 60s share their smart tips on how you can avoid a power bill blowout

Jan 31, 2023
Avoid a potential bill blow out this summer wit these tips. Source: Getty

It’s the summer dilemma: you’re sweltering while staring longingly at the air-conditioner but the thought of an overpriced electricity bill doesn’t quite let you push the “on” button.

It’s not just you. According to Finder, the stress associated with the cost of energy bills was at its highest in November with 29 per cent of Australians noting that energy bills as their most stressful expense.

But the temptation is still there on super-hot days! Thankfully, old-fashioned skills have enormous potential for saving you money, so with the scorching summer heat settling in here are some energy – and money – saving tips from our Starts at 60 community. 

Source: Getty

Turn off all unused appliances

It sounds obvious, but one of the simplest ways you can reduce your energy bill is to reduce the total amount of energy you are using.

Any electrical appliance left on standby such as a lamp, television, computer or kitchen appliance will consume electricity. It may not seem like much, but if you leave multiple appliances on standby it adds up. Aim to fully switch off any devices or appliances when not in use.

“When you go to bed, or you go out, make sure everything is turned off at the wall. Leave nothing on standby. If air-con is on, close rooms that are not required to be cooled/heated. If just 1 or 2 of you, do a cook-up once a week and freeze in meal sizes to eat during the week. Haven’t had a power bill for the past 6 months, other than what the Govt gives us.”- Val Hedley

“Turn off lights when you leave a room and turn T.V. off if you are not watching it.” – Margaret McDonald

“Don’t turn the heat pump off and on leave it at one temp and leave it going”- Nelly Toia

“Sit outside with the sprinklers on, don’t turn the TV on,” – Cherie Roz

Source: Getty

Swap to renewable energy, go solar

Renewable energy – whether installing it yourself or switching to renewable energy providers – is now not only kinder to the environment but also kinder to the hip pocket. Data from the renewable energy switch company Energy IQ revealed Australians have saved more than $200 on their annual bill when they made the switch to renewable energy.

“Our bill was only 145.00 for 3 months thanks to solar”- Melva White

” I have solar hot water which is a huge saving as well as solar panels and my bill has dropped by well over half just by turning off things I am not using.”- Bob Vial

“We have a solar hot water heater. Our last bill for a month was $80”- Doug Austin

“GET SOLAR PANELS! We ‘bit the bullet’ and did it 3 years ago…our last bill was $21.50 and we have a 3-bedroom home with air conditioning and all modern cons. True. Do it for the planet and do it for yourself !”- Jenny McOnie

“Hot water can be the biggest part of your electricity bill. Solar panels on the roof for electricity during the day time and installing a good quality heat pump. Heat pumps cut your electricity by 75-80%. A bit expensive to buy but well and truly worth it.”- Jules Lawrence
Source: Getty

Consider energy-saving alternatives

While built-in AC is getting cheaper, there are other, less expensive options, such as evaporative coolers (cool the air through the age-old method of evaporating water), ceiling fans and portable air-conditioners.

Then there are the truly low-cost solutions, such as soaking your feet in cold water, placing a bowl of ice cubes in front of a fan as a DIY air-conditioner, hanging a damp sheet in an open window, and turning off all heat-producing appliances such as the dishwasher and clothes dryer.

“Open doors (with the latch on) very early in the morning, and if you have a through breeze to your window or back door keep open till about 8 am then close all!!” -Ingrid Vlietman

“I mostly use a 40cm High-Velocity floor fan in summer. $50 from Woolworths. Cheap to run, instead of A/C. If you absolutely must use A/C run it on ‘Dry’ rather than ‘Cool’. Costs less and just as effective.”- Nola Gibson

“Open all the windows on the afternoon side of the house in the morning, and close them on the morning side, including the blinds. As the day progresses, open windows in shade and close those in sunlight”- Glen Crawford

“I switch on my washing machine about 6 am and benefit from off-peak electricity.” – Jack Newman

“In WA you can ‘bill smooth’ I pay $20 A month and as a pensioner, I get a discount on power but I am actually in credit so the quarterly bill is covered.” –Katherine Ramsay

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial or legal situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product or legal advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial or legal decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services or legal advice.

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