Keeping costs down when you're at home

Keeping costs down as we prepare to self-isolate.

We understand that a lot of our customers will either be working from home or quarantining over the next few weeks in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. This ultimately means Territorians will be using more power. It’s important to know how this will impact your power bills and what steps you can take to reduce your usage whenever possible. By making small changes around the house, as well as being aware of the impact some of your appliances might have on your consumption, you can reduce the amount of electricity you use and pay for.

Cooling

Cooling your home accounts for an average 40% of your overall energy use. When the outside temperature increases, it can reach almost 50%. This means limiting the use of aircons and using best practices at home is essential to keeping your costs down.

Changes you can make today:

  • Set the thermostat between 24 ̊C to 27 ̊C and use your ceiling fans at the same time to circulate the air evenly and take the edge off the humidity.
  • Keep your filters clean so your aircon works efficiently.
  • Look out for any leaks in the exhaust pipe (they can be caused by blockages or over-use) and service them regularly.
  • Run your aircon on a timer to reduce how often they are used.
  • Only cool the rooms you are using and shut the doors of unused rooms
  • Keep the shutters down and curtains drawn to effectively keep the heat out.

Fridges and Freezers

Over this time, our fridges and freezers should be looking pretty full. This is excellent news for reducing energy usage. Whenever you open your fridge door, warm air rushes into the free space, resulting in more power being needed to keep your groceries cool (to combat the warm air). If your fridge is looking emptier over time, try filling it with water bottles to limit that empty space.

Here are some more smart ways to reduce power:

  • Switch off your second rarely used fridge. Many Territorians keep these outside in the heat, which means they need to use even more power to stay cool. If you can, switch off and save.
  • Make sure your fridge and freezer door seals are in good condition. You can check this by placing a piece of paper between the fridge and the fridge door. If the seals don't hold the paper in place when the fridge door is shut, then consider replacing them.
  • Leave some space around the back of your fridge or freezer for air to circulate around the motor.
  • Keep the condenser clean to help the air flow.
  • Set your fridge between 3°C to 5°C
  • Set your freezer to -15°C to -18°C.

Dryer

The dryer is one of the most energy hungry appliances in your home. Now that you’ll have more time at home, try hanging your clothes on the washing line or on a frame under a ceiling fan to save you lots on your electricity bill. If this isn’t practical while you are home, try implementing the following.

When using a dryer:

  • Don’t overload your dryer as it will need more energy to dry your clothes.
  • Clean the dryer lint filter after every use.
  • Set your dryer to ‘warm’ rather than ‘hot’. Clothes may take longer to dry, but you’ll use less energy overall.

Washing machines

Staying indoors gives us a good chance to catch up on all that washing! This does, however, increase the amount of energy we use daily.

To limit this:

  • Wash your clothes on cold.
  • Use an economical or shorter cycle.
  • Always wash a full load.

Lighting

It can be easy to leave a light on here and there as we move around the home. To reduce power, it’s important to stay mindful that unnecessary lighting can use unnecessary power. When possible, use natural light and always remember to switch off when leaving a room.

In preparation for extended periods at home:

  • Replace high bay or fluorescent lights with LEDs.
  • Remove unnecessary light fittings.
  • If you can, use sensors and timers, especially for your outdoor lights.

Dishwashing

A dishwasher is fantastic for convenience but it is also an additional drain on your power. If you have a bit more time to wash the dishes in the sink and let them air dry, then this is your best alternative (just be mindful that handwashing may use more water than a dishwasher). If you are a fan of the convenience, limit its impact on your bill:

  • Use a cold connection.
  • Let the dishes air dry instead.
  • Use the economy cycle.
  • Make sure it’s full before it runs.

Standby

The TV and video game consoles will inevitably be more in-use as we are limited by social-distancing restrictions. Don’t let them cost you more money by leaving them in standby all night. Appliances left in standby are silent energy sponges and it makes a difference to switch them off at the wall. When you turn in for the night, do a simple check of all your plugs and switches. If something doesn’t need to be in standby power, switch it off.

These are just examples of a few small actions you can take while at home over the next few weeks, for more visit here

Our promise

These are times in which we all need to rally together. Jacana Energy are here for Territorians and understand these uncertain times may cause a lot of stress, especially around finances. To help our community we have reviewed our policies around debt and hardship to ensure we keep the power on in your home.

You can find all our COVID-19 updates here.