Our house is full.
All our rooms are occupied and my arms are stretched to their limits. What’s also stretched is my electricity usage. Having welcomed our fourth bundle at the start of winter we definitely felt the pinch in our electricity and gas bill. I was so scared he’d get sick in winter I overused the air conditioner and gas heater. Don’t even get me started on the washer and dryer use.
Our bill comes in monthly and well to say the least it was another mortgage repayment. I had to change things up and help bring the costs down.
I was using the air conditioner all night in our room. I had it set on 23 degrees from 730 pm until 7 am. So worried that our newborn would get sick. We had a gas heater out in the main living area that would be one from morning until sometimes lunch time.
Having four children means a lot of washing! Someone’s always made a mess and someone’s always trying to help clean it up by getting another new towel before I could yell “STOP” and if I had a dollar for every time I’ve said to everyone “you can use the same towel for a few days guys!” I wouldn’t be worried about my bills.
The reality is that just like you we have to work for our money and we also need electricity.
Here are some tips I’ve now used to keep my bill down.
- I started putting another layer on all the children at night. This way they wouldn’t wake up cold.
- I also started shutting all the blinds and windows by 4pm so the cool air didn’t come inside.
- Every four days they get a new towel. Seriously towels in my house are like a money muncher! They take forever to dry and everyone uses them daily.
- I showered the kids early afternoon when it wasn’t too cold.
- I put the air conditioner on in our room just to take away the first bit of coldness and then set a timer so it will go on for an hour at 2am – 3am.
- I set a timer for the gas heater to start at 630 am until 830 am. Any time after that is another layer of clothing if needed. I found I didn’t really even need the heater it was just because I was used to it.
- I’d wash and dry during off peak times.
Another way to keep your costs down is shop around. I was oblivious to the fact that I could get a discount for my energy and gas. Origin did the comparisons for me so I didn’t have to chase people up which saved my time. And gave me a better deal. You might surprise yourself with the discounts offered.
Origin also has a snazzy new feature on their website where you can upload your bill and find out within seconds if you can save on your energy bill or not. Give it a go:
Below are other added tips to help you save energy from the professional!
Tips for new parents / getting the baby’s room temperature right
1. Seal the doors and windows
Well-sealed doors and windows will ensure that draughts are kept at bay and that hot and cold air is kept in the room where you want it. This is a great example of how a simple check could help maximise your heating and cooling efficiency.
2. Consider your curtains and blinds
The right curtains and blinds can help keep the heat in during winter, and out during summer. If you can keep out the summer sun and keep your heat in the room in winter, you’re already off to an efficient start. Consider hanging curtains with pelmets, or blinds that can be drawn to keep out the winter cold and hot summer heat and remember to ensure any cords are out of reach of babies and small children at all times.
3. Correctly position your bassinet
Try to position the cot or bassinet away from windows, heaters, lamps, wall decorations and always well away from any cords. If the bassinet was directly under or above a vent, your baby would be very close to the heating/cooling source. A more comfortable option would be away from the vent.
4. Maintaining the optimum temperature
Remember to maintain temperatures around 20˚C in winter and 24˚C in summer and remember every degree higher you set your thermostat in winter (lower in summer) will increase your energy consumption and unit running cost by approximately 10%
Practical steps towards every day energy savings
With the amount of sunshine we get in this country we should all be trying to use the clothes line for drying rather than the dryer. An added benefit is the sunshine will help get stains out of those white baby onesies!
Use lamps instead of overhead halogen lighting, and make sure you’re using energy efficient globes.
Turn off small kitchen appliances that aren’t being used at the powerpoint – though small they can all add up to 5% of your energy bill. And when you make a cup of tea, don’t fill the kettle up all the way – only boil as much water as you need each time.
When cooking or re-heating home cooked meals, use fan forced oven setting as it will cook quicker and more evenly.
Post sponsored by Origin Energy.