Another 7 Tips to Reduce Your Power Bills in Winter

 

Even though we published 5 tips to reduce your power bills recently we did some research and came up with a few more ways you can reduce your power bills in winter!

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1. Look After Your Heaters

Have a look at your heater, is it dusty? Taking the time to wipe your heater down (gently) and cleaning the dust away can help it run more efficiently. Also consider getting your heater serviced. Think of a heater like a car, if you don’t service it often it might be running with a fault, and unnecessarily working harder then it needs to. By getting your heater serviced you ensure you aren’t using up more power then necessary.

2. Rethink Your Lighting

Sometimes you don’t need to light every room fully, consider using a lamp instead. They use up less power and you can keep the light concentrated on you. Also check your light globes, make sure they are all energy efficient, otherwise they could be sucking up more power than required.

3. Seal it Up

This is a boring tip that your parents probably taught you, but it does work, seal up your house. Invest in some draught proof seals or door snakes to keep the warmth in the right areas. Close the doors to rooms not in use. Invest in curtains that help insulate your home and stop the warmth escaping.

4. Replace Your Showerhead

We get it, parting with your non-efficient showerhead is hard. But we promise you can get efficient ones that have the same pressure and feel like they distribute the same amount of water. Having a showerhead that saves water is a smart investment, you save on your water bill (by using less water) and on your power bill (as your not heating as much water to shower in). It’s a win-win all round!

5. Dress Properly For the Weather

Another boring yet practical tip to reduce your power bills in Winter, make sure you’re adequately dressed for Winter. If you’re standing in your home and are cold, make sure you’re wearing warm clothes and something on your feet before you turn the heater on. Same goes if you are cold in bed, try adding a blanket first instead of heating the room. It’s also more efficient to use an electric blanket to warm up your bed for an hour then to heat your bedroom all night.

6. Find the Best Energy Deal

Maybe you’re implementing all the energy saving tips listed from our articles, and still feel like you’re paying too much. Shop around for the best energy deal. Use our energy comparison calculator to compare energy companies and see how much you could save.

7. Install Solar Power

It’s worth installing solar, even in Winter. Australia is still very sunny in Winter, even if you only had 3 sunshine hours per day, that’s still enough to take the edge off your power bill. Solar Installers also run better deals in Winter, so it’s worth comparing quotes to see how much you could save by installing now.

 

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.
 

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