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If you’re looking for how to save on your electricity bills, a great value electricity plan can be a big help! However, you can also easily save money if you’re savvy with your day-to-day electricity usage.

Check out our handy tips and tricks that can help you ease the strain on your next bill.

How to save electricity at home

Saving on electricity can be as simple as learning about energy consumption in the home, becoming aware of your usage habits and finding ways to reduce your energy usage. Some of our top tips are to:

1. Avoid wasting money on standby power

Standby power is a reasonably new concept, with newer appliances being the major culprits. Most appliances or technologies we plug into wall sockets use power if the switch is turned on at the wall, sitting ready for action in ‘standby’ mode.

Standby mode may be adding to your electricity costs, but it’s reasonably easy to avoid by switching things off at the wall rather than using the power toggle on the appliance itself.

Some common appliances that consume standby power include:

  • Televisions
  • Computers and other office equipment
  • Gaming consoles
  • Laundry machines
  • Dryers
  • Hairdryers
  • Electric toothbrushes
  • Wireless router
  • Phone chargers

2. Understand your energy plan

Different retailers will have different energy plans and tariffs, so it’s important to compare your options for one that suits your energy needs.

If you have a smart meter that’s configured for a time-of-use tariff, you can potentially benefit from maximising your electricity usage at off-peak or shoulder rates. This type of tariff is ideal for people who work from home or can schedule high-energy appliances to be used throughout the day, rather than during peak times in the evening.

If you use both electricity and gas, you might want to check out our guide on reducing your gas bills.

3. Replace older appliances with energy-efficient appliances

Older appliances are typically less energy-efficient than their modern counterparts. Replacing old household appliances that are frequently used (such as fridges, freezers and washing machines) with more energy-efficient appliances can significantly impact your home energy use.

Similarly, newer large appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers, can be far more energy-efficient than older models, especially where they have eco-functions that can also help reduce water use. When it comes to lighting, LED bulbs have a longer lifespan and are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. However, modern appliances or technologies with large screens or powerful software, like TVs and modern gaming consoles, may use more energy than older models.

Appliances with higher energy star ratings are usually more energy-efficient and may save you money on your electricity bill. Learn more about how energy ratings affect your bill with our guide to technology energy consumption.

4. Install insulation to save electricity

An affordable way to improve your heater or aircon’s efficiency is to install insulation if you don’t already have it. Insulation can regulate your home’s temperature by preventing the indoor and outdoor temperatures from flowing in or out of your home.

According to the Mackay Regional Council, the heat loss and gain in houses with no insulation can be:

  • Up to 20% through the walls
  • Up to 45% through the ceilings and roofs
  • Up to 10% through the floors.1

Smaller homes are usually more energy-efficient because they have less surface area for heat to escape and enter (assuming that your home is fully sealed). Freestanding homes generally use more energy for heating and cooling than those with shared walls or roofs as well.

When trying to heat or cool down areas of your home, close off any unused rooms to use less electricity and improve your energy efficiency.

5. Consider solar power

Solar power can reduce the amount of electricity you need from the grid, lowering your electricity bill.  Using solar power requires a smart meter, meaning you’ll also be able to track your electricity usage.

Knowing what times your home uses the most electricity may help you control your usage and potentially save you money. For example, you could change your electricity habits so your high-usage times are during the middle of the day when you’re using your solar power.

You can also compare retailers for a suitable solar feed-in tariff, so you can be paid for exporting your excess solar power to the grid. With a solar battery to store power from your solar photovoltaic (PV) system, you can also use your stored electricity during the night, which may help you save on energy costs.

6. Don’t use energy needlessly

While long, hot showers, clothes dryers and heat-drying your dishes are convenient to use, they can rack up your electricity bill. Consider your energy habits and how you may be using energy needlessly. Try some of these tips:

  • Turn off lights that you’re not actively using and use natural light when you can
  • Take shorter showers with warm water instead of hot water
  • Wash clothes in cold water
  • Only wash your clothes when you have enough for a full load
  • Hang your washed clothes instead of throwing them in the dryer
  • Airdry your dishes instead of using the heat-dry setting on your dishwasher

family celebrating after saving electricity

What uses the most electricity in the home?

Certain appliances will eat up your electricity more than others, including air conditioners, heaters, fridges and ovens. Think about how you can apply the following tips at home to increase efficiency and save electricity:

1. Air conditioners

Air conditioners are typically the most energy-intensive appliances and may cost from $9 a year for a small house with ducted evaporative cooling, up to $201 for a large house with ducted refrigerative air conditioning.3 The best way to save on air conditioning, in this case, is to keep them off and cool the house in other ways:

  • Shut curtains during the day
  • Keep doors and windows closed as soon as the sun rises and reopen them at night as the temperature cools
  • Seal up any gaps under doors and around windows and pipes
  • Use outdoor awnings and carefully placed shade plants for passive cooling
  • Set thermostats at a warmer, yet comfortable, temperature to reduce energy usage

2.     Heating

Electric heating elements are among the most electricity-hungry devices in the home. Heating an entire house may cost from $451 (for a small house with multi-split reverse-cycle air conditioning) to $3,587 (for a large house with an electric in-slab) per year.4 Like air conditioners, avoid turning them on until absolutely necessary by keeping warm in other ways:

  • Seal up all the gaps
  • Close off unused rooms
  • Put on warmer clothes
  • Open curtains during the day and close them at night
  • Use the lowest heat setting that’s comfortable

3.     Water heating

If you heat your water with electricity (instead of gas), it may cost you as low as $55 (with solar power) up to $795 a year (without solar), depending on the amount of people in your house, what tariff you’re on and the type of water heating you use.5 These tips and tricks could help you reduce your energy bill even further:

  • Have shorter showers and consider using low-flow showerheads. Using less water means minimal reheating in your hot water system
  • Lower the temperature of your hot water system thermostat by a couple of degrees to use less energy
  • Wash your clothes in cold water to conserve energy
  • Insulate hot water pipes that lead into the house
  • In smaller households, move to on-demand hot water systems
  • Consider solar-boosted hot water systems

4. Fridges

Depending on the type of fridge, it may cost you between $59 and $201 a year.6 Old fridges are typically less efficient than more recent models. As such, upgrading will usually save money on electricity. However, it may take a while to see savings on this initial investment. Here are some further tips:

  • Check fridge door seals and replace them if necessary
  • Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the fridge and freezer
  • Adjust the thermostat to the warmest setting that keeps food fresh
  • Position the fridge in a cool spot out of direct sunlight

5.     Cooking

Due to its size, an oven can waste a lot of energy. However, there are ways to reduce that usage:

  • Think about whether the microwave or grill might be a better option
  • Avoid using the oven in summer if it’s competing with the air conditioner
  • As with fridges, you should check oven seals and replace them if necessary.

Woman adjusting the airconditioner to save electricity

Seasonal tips for saving electricity

It can be difficult to save during intense heat or cold, when our energy consumption is usually the highest. We’ve put together a guide to saving energy for your convenience.

Energy-saving tips for summer

In the summer heat, many of us turn to our air conditioning units, which can raise the energy bill. But consider these things too:

  • Don’t go for the biggest and most powerful air conditioning system unless you really need it
  • Shade your unit as full sun will heat your air conditioning unit, making it work harder
  • Turn on your fan before turning on the air conditioner
  • Clean the filters in your unit so it can run efficiently
  • Block the sun from heating up your home through the windows by making use of your curtains and shades
  • Close all the windows and doors and seal any gaps that might let the cool air escape
  • Use cool water in the shower and when rinsing dishes.

Energy-saving tips for winter

Certain parts of Australia can get uncomfortably chilly during winter. If you make a habit of using the heater to stay warm, here are some tips that may help you save energy:

  • Reach for thick jumpers, socks and blankets before raising the temperature of your heater
  • Contain the heat as best as you can by closing doors and windows and sealing any gaps where draughts may enter
  • If you’re heading out, even for a short while, turn the heating right down but not off entirely. You’ll maintain a base temperature without having to start again
  • Consider using an energy-efficient kettle if you have a lot of hot drinks. Electric kettles use large amounts of power (especially when the kettle is full)
  • Humidity can make you feel more comfortable at a lower temperature because moisture conducts heat better than air. Use a humidifier and run your heater two or three degrees below what you’re used to.

Ready to maximise your savings?

Combine your newfound energy-saving tips with a great-value plan to help maximise your savings! Use our free energy comparison service to compare a range of offers from some of our favourite Australians providers.

You can compare each energy plan’s usage rate, discounts and features all in one place. If you do find a competitive offer, rest easy knowing that it will cost you the same as if you went directly to the provider.

So, what are you waiting for? Compare energy plans today!


1 Mackay Regional Council. Insulate, shade and weatherproof your house. Accessed 25 November 2020.

2 Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. Appliances, lighting and equipment. Accessed 29 October 2020.

3 Sustainability Victoria (2020). Cooling running costs. Accessed 25 November 2020.

4 Sustainability Victoria (2020). Calculate heating running costs. Accessed 25 November 2020.

5 Sustainability Victoria (2020). Hot water running costs. Accessed 25 November 2020.

6 Sustainability Victoria (2021). Reduce fridge and freezer costs at home. Accessed 5 May 2021.

7 ACT Government (2018). Energy saving guide. Accessed 25 November 2020.

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