03.Saving money and the planet
Save dollars - and the environment too
To many of us, ringing in the New Year can mean an opportunity to get the household budget in order. And one of the biggest issues this year is rising energy bills.
According to the ACCC electricity prices have gone up on average by 70% across states (including inflation) since 2007 so there’s never been a better time to look at simple tactics to keep the bills down as well as being more responsible when it comes to the environment.
Doing so can mean simple changes such as turning off appliances at the plug. Other actions such as choosing a high-efficiency TV, washing machine, dishwasher and fridge could save a household more than $4,000 in energy and water running costs over 10 years compared to low-efficiency choices.
While they seem like small changes these changes also contribute to the greater good, it’s been estimated that if all Australian households cut their energy use by just 10% there would be a saving of almost $2 billion a year - not so small after all.
The CHOICE Shonky Awards
awarded a device on the market that claims that it will save you 10% on power bills with its plug in power saving device.
At $299 the Go4Green EnergySmart claimed you'll save 10% on energy bills and should pay for itself in six months. Sounds good, except that it doesn't work, at all.
Since the Shonkys we’ve been advised of similarly dodgy products being touted by door to door salespeople to households anxious about rising energy costs. Our CHOICE experts’ advice? “None that we’ve seen so far work”.
Steps to save money and energy
- Australian households spend nearly $1 billion a year on standby power. This could be slashed simply by turning many appliances off at the plug.
- Changing the thermostat on your air-conditioning or heater by just one degree can increase heating bills by 10%.
- Failure to replace old incandescent globes with energy savers results in people using 80% more electricity than they need to power a light.
- If you don’t use a water saving showerhead, you could be using up to an extra 48 litres of hot water per shower. That’s up to $100 extra per year.
- Washing clothes in hot water is much more expensive, as a hot water cycle uses up to 90% more energy than a cold water wash.