There are few things worse than receiving an energy bill in the mail and noticing an alarming jump in your monthly usage.
Oh, the outrage. How dare they?! How can this be?!
But a quick analysis of your home appliances might shed some light on just where that extra energy is going.
Here are some of the biggest power-hungry culprits when it comes to energy usage in the home.
No big surprise here.
It’s not just the process of heating or cooling air through a heater or air conditioner that makes it a big power drain. It’s the fact that during the hottest part of summer and the depths of winter many people want their living room at a comfortable 20 degrees, 24 hours a day.
Just be prepared to pay for it, and don’t be surprised when your bill for January to March is significantly higher than your bill for April to June.
Depending on the size of the room, an air conditioner or heater can potentially cost upwards of 50c an hour to maintain a perfect temperature inside. Now multiply that by the two or three units that some families have inside their home, and it’s easy to see how quickly you can rack up a jaw-dropping bill.
The old favourite for energy providers.
It’s no secret that the humble refrigerator is usually the biggest energy monster in the home. It is big, it runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it costs you accordingly.
There are, of course, ways to minimise how much electricity your fridge needs.
Old, inefficient fridges are a no-no, as are broken seals (the seals should hold a piece of paper in place when the fridge door is closed).
You should also try to ensure your freezer is free of ice build-up and well stocked – a freezer will stay cooler for longer if there is frozen food in there to help maintain the overall temperature.
Set top box/paid TV
You’d expect that your pay TV box or digital set top box would consume a fair bit of power when you’re using it.
But what might surprise you is how much energy it chews through the rest of the time.
Even in standby mode, there are some models which can sap a huge amount of energy.
Set them to record a few hours of TV while you’re out for dinner and their usage quickly skyrockets.
Computers and notebooks
Another device known as “vampire electronics” due to its ability to constantly suck power even when you’re not using it, your laptop certainly knows how to cost you at billing time.
While computers are far more efficient than they used to be, leaving your machine on is a major power guzzler.
The 30 seconds you save by not having to boot up your computer each morning is likely hitting you squarely in the hip pocket every month.
A silent energy waster, your home’s windows can have a significant impact on the size of your energy bill.
While the windows themselves don’t consume power, there’s no easier way for heat to escape than through glass, meaning the heater you’ve got pumping away every night during winter is having to work much harder than it has to.
While no one’s going to live in a windowless cave, you can choose more efficient glass with low-e coatings, double glazing and energy efficient frames, which will dramatically reduce the amount of heat or cold air that escapes.
Source: Energy Australia, 2016