Bright Ideas to Reduce your Power Bills

electrical rating.pngTips to cut the cost of electricity

  • Turn off appliances when they are not in use e.g. television, DVD player, kettle, iron, computer.
  • Use energy star ratings to help choose efficient electrical appliances -1 star indicates less efficiency and 6 stars indicate the most efficiency.
  • Remember that any appliance that is not in good condition will cost more to run.
  • Check energy bills for errors. Contact AGL or your energy supplier if you think that there has been a mistake. If you do not know how to read your own electricity meter, call AGL on 13 1245 for a pamphlet.


The following list is an estimate of the cost of leaving electrical appliances on stand-by over a 1 year period:

  • Answering machine $6
  • Computer Modem $7
  • Inkjet Printer $14
  • Electronic Door Bell $6
  • Cordless Phone $6
  • Small CD or Cassette Player $6
  • Stereo System $14
  • TV $9
  • Microwave/Oven
  • Clock Display $6
  • Fax $24
  • Gas Pilot Light $60


  • Microwaves use less power than conventional ovens and cook faster.
  • Make sure food is thawed before cooking as this will save cooking time and energy.

Refrigerators and Freezers

  • Don't leave the refrigerator door open longer than necessary.
  • Set the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer to the lowest recommended temperature. Around 4C is fine, but anything lower will waste power.
  • Keep your refrigerator away from your stove/oven and out of direct sunlight if possible.
  • Make sure your refrigerator seals are clean and in good condition.
  • Keep the coils clean on the back of the refrigerator and 10cm away from the wall. This allows air to circulate around them and aid the cooling process.
  • Defrost your refrigerator and freezer regularly. Ice build up makes the refrigerator/freezer work harder to keep items at the appropriate temperature.
  • A full freezer uses less energy so keep ice cubes in the freezer to fill it.

Air Conditioning/Heating

  • Leave the heater off and put on another layer of clothes,heaters and air-conditioners usually use more electricity than other appliances.
  • Increase temperatures on reverse cycle air-conditioners during summer and decrease during winter, as every degree lower or higher than the thermostat needs to be, increases heating/cooling costs by 10%. For summer set the temperature at around 25C and in winter around 20C.
  • Turn off your air conditioner when you are not at home and for a few minutes every hour.
  • Keep the living room closed off from unheated/cooled rooms.
  • If curtains are kept closed during the day it will reduce the heat conducted through the windows by half. If your curtains are not made of thick materials, try attaching an old sheet to the curtains to add extra block-out from the sun during summer.
  • Seal gaps around doors and windows. A cheap option is to put a draft stopper or door snake at the bottom of doors.
  • Ceiling fans are cheap to install (in comparison to air-conditioners) and have lower running costs. Portable fans are also effective and there is no installation cost.
  • Regularly clean the filter on the air-conditioner.

Water Heating

  • Only do the washing when you have a full load.
  • Use cold water instead of warm water to wash your clothes as you don't have to use gas/electricity to heat the water.
  • Front loading washing machines are usually more energy efficient than top loading machines. (Check their energy star rating to make sure).
  • Lower the water temperature on your hot water heater to around 60C.
  • Have shorter showers instead of baths. This should reduce your gas or electricity bill and your water bill as well.
  • Install a AAA water saver shower rose (this could reduce both your water and energy bill).
  • Fixing leaking hot water taps saves around $16 per quarter.
  • If you must use a clothes dryer, clean the lint filter in clothes dryers prior to each use as it will make the dryer work more efficiently and therefore reduce drying time. Electric clothes dryers cost on average $30 per quarter to run, so hang the clothes outside whenever possible.
  • Buy clothing that requires little or no ironing.


  • Turn lights off in rooms that are not being used.
  • Fluorescent tubes may be slightly more expensive to purchase, but are a lot cheaper to run.
  • Clean windows regularly to maintain natural light, reducing the money spent on lighting.