This post is a collaboration between Kid Magazine and Electricity Monster

The thrill of checking the mailbox when you are a kid quickly turns to dread when you enter adulthood and start receiving dreaded bills. None so much as your electricity bill.

If you are in a position of being able to go out and buy new energy efficient appliances, wonderful! But likely you are reading this because you want simple and practical tips to work with what you already have to reduce energy and save money on your power bills. And that is exactly what you will find here – 5 ways that you can maximise the efficiency of the appliances you have in your home to save on energy and ultimately save on electricity costs.

Before we get on to the tips, it is always worth shopping around for the best rates. Anyone who has ever tried to compare electricity prices between providers will know that this is no simple task. That’s why I’ve partnered with Electricity Monster to let you know about this free service to help you compare electricity providers and save on your power bills. They do the hard work for you to find you the best rates on offer for your home or business from a range of suppliers.

Get smart with your air conditioner

The thing to remember with an air conditioner is that it can only cool the temperature inside your house down to 11C cooler than it is outside. So on a 40C day, you are still going to have a temp of at least 29C inside your home. If we know that the temperature is forecast to be a scorcher, we turn the air conditioner on in the morning before the heat really kicks in to cool the house down as low as we can. We can then usually switch it off and use fans to keep the air circulating and the temp down rather than trying to crank the air conditioner in the heat of the day and not really getting the same gain.

Other air conditioning efficiency tips:

  • Ensure all doors and windows are closed to keep the cold air from escaping and the hot air from entering
  • When the air conditioner is operating, close all internal doors to keep the area it is working in to a minimum
  • Don’t set the temperature too low in summer or too high in winter – 21C is generally a good level to set your temperature at depending on where in the country you live

Eliminate standby power

All appliances that are not in use should always be turned off at the power point. The most common culprits are the toaster, kettle, computers, coffee machine and the like. We also turn our TV off at the power point each night before we go to bed. Phone chargers, modems, lamps and hair dryers can also be switched off when not in use. Minimising the amount of standby power is one of the easiest ways to save electricity at home.

Keep your fridge full

A full fridge operates more efficiently than an empty one. Science says so. Keep your fridge and freezer full but don’t overfill them. Ensure all food has cooled completely before you place it inside the fridge and avoid keeping the fridge door open for too long (easier said than done with kids, I know!). If you have a second fridge or freezer that doesn’t have much in it, look at consolidating the contents in to your main fridge and switching the second one off.

Take advantage of off-peak rates

Electricity is cheaper during the off-peak time so where possible, take advantage of this. Run the washing machine later in the evening and you can hang the clothes out first thing in the morning to maximise drying time and avoid needing the dryer. If the forecast is good and you are a night owl, perhaps even running a few loads is a good idea. Another smart tip is to turn the dishwasher on as you are heading off to bed. In the morning you can unpack it and everyone can put their dirty dishes in throughout the day (Such a hilarious joke that anyone would know what to do with a dirty dish other than place it on the side of the sink…).

Switch to LED

LED light globes are more energy efficient and last longer than regular incandescent globes, bringing you not only electricity savings but also savings on the cost of the globes over the long term. Where you can’t switch to LEDs, and a good general rule anyway, be sure to switch lights off as you leave a room and use natural light where possible.


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5 ways to save energy and maximise appliance efficiency