How to Save Money on Your Energy Bills This Christmas

The Christmas season is a time of celebration enhanced by decorations, family gatherings, parties and other festive events. As you celebrate, there are ways to reduce your energy usage while staying comfortable and having fun. Here are a few tips to help you save energy as you enjoy the holidays.

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Heating and cooling account for almost half of the energy used in a typical Australian household. During summer, energy demands go up to keep homes cool. There are ways to lower bills during the hottest months on the Gold Coast without sacrificing comfort.

If mornings and evenings are cool, open windows. Use window fans to pull in cool air and increase ventilation.

Keep the air conditioner thermostat set between 24 and 27 degrees. Increasing the temperature by 1 degree over an 8 hour period can save as much as 10% on cooling costs.

During hotter times of day and night, use ceiling fans. Fans don’t actually cool a room. Instead, they circulate air, creating a breeze that makes people feel cool. When using fans, the temperature of an air conditioner can be increased approximately 3 degrees for the same degree of comfort. When you leave a room, turn the fans off for even more savings.

One of the best ways to use less energy is to keep your air conditioner in good operating condition. Cleaning air filters regularly can reduce energy usage by up to 15%.

Get a tune-up on your AC before the first use in summer. Keeping the system well-maintained reduces energy usage even more. Your system runs efficiently, keeping your indoor environment comfortable.

Keep lights on timers. Timers are a fantastic way to automate your lights, save money and conserve energy. Whilst leaving your lights on unnecessarily for a few hours may only cost you a few cents, doing this over a long period of time and for multiple lights adds up to a substantial cost.

Not only are timers great for the environment, they’re a great investment. The timers will pay for themselves over a period of use.

Timers combined with energy efficient lighting are a great way to save on your electricity costs. Timers not only work on lights but on most household electrical appliances like a pool pump. Contact us to what timers are right for your home.

If you are preparing a Christmas dinner, consider serving a summer menu. Many people opt for cold meats, salads and fresh seafood.

Better yet, cook outdoors. The barbie is a wonderful way to prepare a feast for any special day. If you decide on a traditional meal of roasted meats and baked goods, do your baking during cooler times of day. Bake several items at a time to reduce the duration of oven use.

Lights and Decorations

Lights and decorations add to the charm of the Christmas season. Low-energy lights such as LEDs use approximately 90% less energy than traditional incandescent lights. Compact fluorescent bulbs use approximately 80% less energy. Although LEDs and CFLs cost more, they last far longer than traditional bulbs. In addition, by using less energy, you save money on electricity bills.

Another bonus of LEDs is that they don’t generate as much heat as traditional bulbs, reducing fire hazards. You can decorate with joy, knowing that there are many options available for Christmas light decorations using LEDs, including tree lights, door lights, laser lights, curtain lights and fairy lights.

You can create a fairy-like effect in a room by using mirrors to reflect the lights you put up. Mirrors will give the impression of double the lights without using more energy.

Keep up good energy saving habits throughout the year. Turn lights off when you leave a room. During sunny daylight hours, you may not need lights at all.

Review Your Energy Plan

If you haven’t looked at your electricity bill lately, it is probably time to review it. Peak electrical usage occurs during weekdays and evenings between approximately 4 and 8 p.m. Peak usage costs more. Off-peak tariffs let consumers benefit from lower rates when there is less demand on the grid. Off-peak times, usually at night between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. offer rates that may be as much as half of peak rates. Shoulder rates apply to in-between times. Shoulder rates are higher than off-peak rates but less expensive than peak rates. To sign up for off-peak tariffs, you must have a compatible meter.

Ask your electricity company about changing to an off-peak tariff scheme. Both supply charges, which are fixed daily rates that keep you connected to the grid, and usage charges that reflect what you actually use can be much lower.

For more information about saving energy, off-peak tariffs, solar energy and upgrading electrical equipment, call AMP’D Electrical and Solar on (07) 5522 5222. We work with both residential and commercial customers on the Gold Coast.