Better energy

Save money on your energy bills this Christmas


Whether you’re trying to tick off the kids’ long letter to Santa or you want to treat your partner to something extra special this Christmas, chances are your bank balance is already feeling the pinch. However, by reducing your energy use this festive season, you could have a little more money for gifts and less on bills. Here’s how:

1. Put up energy-efficient decorations 

You know that it’s important to turn off lights when you are not using them, but what about Christmas decorations? Don’t be a Scrooge. It’s still possible to have twinkling fairy lights without sending your electricity bill skyrocketing; simply chose an energy-efficient option that features LED globes or fibre optics and remember to turn them off during the day.

While you are at it, carrying out a home energy audit can help identify other areas where you could save by switching to energy-saving light globes . Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use 80 per cent less energy than traditional pear-shaped incandescent globes and can pay for themselves in less than a year, while light-emitting diode (LED) globes use about 90 per cent less energy and can pay for themselves in two to three years.

2. Be wise when it comes to gift giving

You might check the energy efficiency rating of large white goods, but what about an appliance that you are giving as a present? Use the Energy Rating Label to compare and choose energy-efficient appliances  such as televisions, kettles and microwaves. The more stars, the more efficient the product. Each additional star can represent a reduction in energy use of 10 to 30 per cent depending on the type of appliance. The Energy Rating Label also provides the estimated annual energy consumption of the appliance, usually in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. For the greatest savings, choose a model with low annual energy consumption. And you might not be the only one to receive a gift – some Australian states and territories offer incentives for purchasing energy-efficient products. Check the Your Energy Savings website for details.

3. Find creative ways to keep your cool 

Running air conditioning to cool your home uses a lot of electricity and quickly increases your energy bills. However, by using your air conditioning more efficiently  – and switching it off and using fans to cool specific areas of your home whenever possible – you can significantly reduce cooling costs. And when you do have to reach for the air-conditioning remote, avoid setting the temperature too low. The setting should be between 24° and 27°C, and increasing the temperature by just 1° can cut your cooling costs by 10 per cent. It might be worth installing a programmable thermostat for added convenience.

If you are in charge of cooking Christmas dinner, it’s a good idea to cook several items at once so as to save energy or do away with the oven altogether and serve salads, cold meats and fresh seafood. And remember, if you have a pool, taking a dip is an easy way to cool down post-kitchen duties.

Save more money in order to buy more presents this Christmas with the right energy plan. Try EnergyAustralia’s online energy calculator to find the right plan for you.