Winter energy savings: back to basics

Winter energy savings: back to basics

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Staying warm and dry during winter can send energy bills soaring. Chilly temperatures and more time spent indoors drive up the cost of feeling comfortable. The good news is, you can reduce energy costs during the chilly season without reducing your quality of living.

Why are my winter energy bills so high?

Energy Made Easy has an energy bill benchmark calculator to help give you a sense of the average kilowatt usage based on your postcode. If you live in Victoria the benchmark clearly shows that winter is the peak energy use season.

Heating water, heating homes and using appliances such as clothes dryers are where a lot of kilowatts are used.

Energy costs will vary depending on the age, condition and size of your home, the number of residents, and the age and efficiency of your appliances.

More unused spaces = higher energy costs

If you’re about to retire, or have retired and your children have moved out of the family home, do you really need that extra space? The more unused spaces, the higher the energy costs.

The age of your home will affect how much energy is needed to keep the temperature comfortable. Maintaining an older home can cost you more than 1% of its market value annually. You may be losing a lot of the energy you’re paying for through gaps and cracks that need sealing, and insulation that just isn’t adequate.

Newer home builds have to meet energy efficiency standards to reduce greenhouse emissions, with the added benefit of reducing energy costs.

Residents of Retirement Communities Australia villages benefit from living in well maintained, spacious villas as well as receiving discounted energy costs due to the bulk buying power our villages have. Indoor heated swimming pools at each of our villages are a shared, regularly maintained amenity and a great way to keep healthy all year round. If you are, or have ever been a pool owner, the relentless cleaning, maintenance and cost of running the pool is no longer your problem!

Getting back to basics will save you money

Managing energy costs is about getting right back to basics. Below is a list of common sense tips to reduce your winter energy bills:

1. Let light in during the day, and when the sun goes down close drapes or blinds to trap in warmth.

2. Seal gaps that may be letting warm air escape outside.

3. Invest in window and door seals to keep warm air in.

4. Where possible, turn off heating to the areas of your home not being used.

5. Put just enough water in your kettle

6. Turn on your fully loaded dishwasher or clothes washer in off-peak times

7. Hang wet laundry on a clothes horse at a safe distance from a heat source

8. Turn off switches to lighting or appliances when not in use.

9. Wear some warm slippers and one extra clothing layer, then turn your heating down.

10. Enjoy regular, warm cuddles!

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