I usually don't look forward to the electricity bill arriving, especially since the prices have gone up so much and look like increasing even more. However, I wanted to see what my bill was because over the past months I made a few choices to lower it. I knew it would be lower and I wanted to see how much I'd saved.
You'll notice on my bill there are a couple of government rebates. One is the $175 cost of living rebate that most of us got and the other is the pensioner discount. But I'm looking at the electricity usage rather than the dollar cost here. I'm celebrating decreasing my usage from 300 kWh to 5 kWh.
I knew, on average, air conditioning/heating and cooling consumed about 40 percent of each electricity bill, so when I was here alone over winter, I chose to not use the air conditioning. I made myself comfortable with an extra layer of clothes, an over the knees electric blanket and an electric blanket on my bed. But it's not always the appliances you have in your home, it's how you use them that makes the difference. All the little things like turning off lights when not in use, washing up by hand when there are only a few dishes, not having appliances on standby, always washing a full load in the dishwasher and washing machine - all this became part of my normal housework. One other change was I went from using our appliances at night on the old solar system because our feed-in tariff was 44 cents and it was cheaper for us to sell to the grid during the day. Now I use our appliances as soon as the sun hits the roof and I'm using solar energy generated here instead of energy from the grid. When the sun goes down all my cooking, sewing and cleaning have been done and I might just have a solo light or the radio on. My choices have made an impact on what I pay for electricity and saved a lot of carbon emissions.
I hope you to see that there are things you can do to decrease costs at home and all it takes is for you to make your particular choice and stick to it. I know many of you won't be able to do it even if you want to because you have family members who come home late and need to eat dinner, children who have to do homework and those who relax in front of the TV for entertainment. But if you can't do it now, you can do it when your family grows older and you're in a new season of life.
For every thing there is a season.
There are probably a few things I've forgotten to write about here but one thing I want to add is to wash all your clothes in cold water. If you have greasy work clothes or badly stained items, wash in cold water, don't overload the machine and add a scoop of oxybleach to the wash. (I think the Vanish Oxy Advance brand is the best for this). I always keep an eye open for their half price specials at Woolworths and only buy it then.