Energy costs

OurHood is a private online platform which brings residents together with the purpose of building stronger, safer and more inclusive communities. We aim to provide neighbours with an easy way to share information, including crime and safety, recommendations and tradesmen referrals, lost pets, local services and general news. This week, it is our turn to share what we believe is some very useful information with you: how to reduce your electricity bills.

With the recent electricity price increase, and further price increases to come again at the start of next year, we’ve compiled a list of some simple and effective ways to reduce your energy use and, ultimately, save you money. What’s more, consuming less power will help conserve natural resources, reduce air pollution and contribute to a healthier environment.

LightswitchSwitch it off: Whilst it may seem simple, we often forget that if a device or appliance is plugged in, it uses electricity, even if it’s not in use or in stand-by mode. Whether it’s your phone charger, your TV or your geyser, make sure to switch them off at the wall socket when you are not using them and save electricity.

Low-energy lighting: LED and compact fluorescent light bulbs use considerably less power than other light bulbs. Although incandescent and halogen bulbs may be slightly cheaper, LED and compact fluorescent bulbs last much longer, making them the cheaper option in the long run.

Insulation: Insulation has many benefits, but primarily, it helps to maintain your indoor temperature by keeping your house cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. Ceiling insulation is an obvious example, but curtains too are an effective, often forgotten, energy-saving asset. Make sure to leave them wide open on sunny days, then close them once the sun has set to trap heat inside. Insulation is also a good way to reduce noise travelling through the walls.

Check doors and windows for leaks: This simple trick will stop you from spending unnecessary money on bills. Check for leaks, openings and broken seals on your doors and windows and reduce heat waste during the cooler months.

Washing machineWash clothes in cold water: Washing clothes in warm water uses a considerable amount of electricity. Cools settings are just as effective at cleaning clothes and will reduce your electricity bill significantly.

Check or upgrade appliances: Appliances that don’t work properly will drain electricity. Make sure to clean your appliances regularly and repair them when necessary. Sometimes, and if you are able to, it may be advisable to upgrade your big appliances. Even if they are still bumbling along, outdated appliances are generally very energy-inefficient and use up a large amount of electricity. Consider buying a new appliance, and, if you do, make sure to look out for the most energy-efficient options. A short-term investment may just save you money in the long run.

Be strategic: It is not just about which appliance you use, but how you use it too. Using your appliances strategically can help us to be more efficient with our energy use. For example, always fully load the machine when doing the dishes. Or dry your laundry consecutively rather than waiting between loads. As the dryer is already warm, it will not have to heat up again, thereby reducing your energy consumption.

The OurHood Team 🙂

Connecting Neighbours, Strengthening Communities