Tips To Avoid High Energy Usage Over School Holidays


If your children are on school holidays and you’ve been monitoring your energy usage, chances are you’ve seen quite a spike and are dreading your next electricity bill.

During the school holidays, it’s common to see a rise in energy usage within a household as people are at home more frequently. Whether it be that they are cranking the air conditioner, playing video games or just watching the tv and leaving the lights on, it all adds up!

So, what’s the best way to tackle this high energy usage before it gets out of hand?

electricity usage kids

Get The Kids Outside

An obvious one, but nevertheless worth being said that getting the kids outside is going to cut down their energy usage considerably. Sending the kids out in the garden, taking them to the park or getting them in the pool, is going to not only prevent the television being left on all day but also the lights and the air-conditioner. Not to mention getting some fresh air is a bonus.

Get The House Cool Without Cranking The Air Conditioner

Air conditioning is one of the highest energy-consuming appliances, especially when used carelessly so reducing the need of it will make quite an impact on your electricity bill.

While there is no doubt in Australia an air-conditioner is practically a necessity with our 35+ degree days, it’s not the only way to keep ourselves and houses cool.

So how do you stay cool without running the air-conditioning non-stop?

  • Close your curtains during the day to keep rooms cool
  • Wear breathable clothing
  • Make sure your windows and doors are sealed (so the cold air from your air-conditioning doesn’t escape)
  • Use a fan when possible
  • Have a BBQ outside to avoid heating up the house with your oven or stove
  • Keep sipping refreshing cold beverages to keep your body temperature down
bbq outside

Alternative Cooking Options

The stove and oven are both extremely high energy-consuming ways of cooking and the school holidays can sometimes mean entertaining and cooking for visitors. But have you considered a BBQ or a slow cooker as a cooking alternative?

While both will be better at minimising your electricity usage, they’ll also prevent heating up the house on an already hot day!

Invest In A Solar PV System

If you’re looking for a more effective and permanent way of reducing your electricity bills, then investing in a solar power system may be the solution.

If you know a little about residential solar power systems, then you would have heard that they will reduce your electricity bills from generating free solar energy for you to use within your household. What you might not know is that households, where people are at home during the day, benefit the most from having solar power systems. This is due to solar power systems generating energy during daylight hours, meaning they can directly cover the energy usage of a household during the day, instead of you paying for energy from the electricity grid.

solar panel on roof

Not only will this greatly help you during the school holidays, but you’ll also continue to benefit once everyone’s back to school or work. Continuous running appliances like the refrigerator and appliances with timers such as your washing machine and dishwasher can run during the day, making the most of your free energy. You can also maximise on your daytime usage by charging items like your vacuum and laptop during the day or even investing in a slow cooker to avoid using your stove and oven at night.

Any excess energy can be stored in battery storage which is an optional component to a solar power system, or if you don’t have battery storage you will be reimbursed for your excess energy in the form of a feed-in tariff.

By using free energy generated from a solar power system a household can reduce bills by up to 80% and save thousands per year!

Ready to combat those rising electricity bills with solar power?
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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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