With the kids home from school for an extended period, it’s normal that your energy usage will increase, right?
Not necessarily. In fact, why not treat the holidays as the perfect time to encourage your kids to turn off the computer and learn about easy ways to reduce the family’s electricity bills.
Explore the great outdoors
It sounds like a cliché, but school holidays should be all about long, sunny days spent outside. Swimming at the beach, playing sport, going on a family bike ride – not only will outdoor activities keep your children healthy and happy, they don’t require any electricity. It’s time to encourage your kids to take a break from their computer and video games and embrace the great outdoors.
Educate your kids about energy efficiency
Children are never too young to start learning about how they can contribute to an energy efficient household. Just think about it; how many times do you or a member of your family turn the TV to standby mode and leave the room? Leaving electrical devices in standby mode means they continue to draw power even when they’re not in use and this can add up to 10 per cent to your electricity bill . Teach your kids about the difference between standby and switched off. You could introduce small rewards to encourage your kids to look out for red standby lights around the house.
Keep control of energy use
While the rest of the family catch on to the importance of turning off, there are also devices that can help you stop racking up high energy bills. These include power points and power boards that plug into your mains power point and can be turned on and off remotely. There are also master power boards that can sense when devices are off or on standby, then automatically switch off all connected devices (such as speakers and web cameras), while ‘intelligent’ standby power controllers sense when your devices are in standby mode and automatically cut their power.
Turn off lights that aren’t needed
With more people at home at any one time it can be difficult to keep track of who is where, but unless you are all occupying a separate room you don’t need to switch on every light in the house. Turning off lights when you’re not in the room can reduce electricity costs , so get into the practice of turning off the lights every time you leave a room. You can help everyone else remember by leaving eye-catching reminders next to your switches and doorways.
Having your kids at home for the holidays could change your household’s energy use, so it might be worth checking EnergyAustralia’s online energy calculator to see whether you’re on the right plan.