Top 5 Tips To Save Money While Working From Home

 

As we head into lock down for the second time in Australia, it is hard not to feel the financial pinch. If you are working from home, here are Solar Market’s top tips to save money while working from home.

Tip 1: Reduce Kettle Use

With boredom setting in we have all found ourselves boiling the kettle more frequently than before, but how much are these extra boils really costing you? The table below reflects Canstar Blue’s estimate on costs per kettle boil (obviously variances are dependent on your electricity prices and wattage of your kettle).

Size of Kettle

1.5L

1.6L

1.7L

1.8L

Cost Estimate

4.02c

4.28c

4.55c

4.82c

Although these numbers may look low now, remember that the kettle can be boiled multiple times a day from various household members. When we add up these costs per year, they climb higher than you might think. In the table below, the annual cost of a kettle boil is averaged on 5 kettle boils a day for 365 days.

Size of Kettle

1.5L

1.6L

1.7L

1.8L

Cost Estimate Per Annum

$73.35

$78.10

$83.05

$87.95

One way is to boil a full kettle and use a teapot or thermos to keep your hot water hot. Multiple cups of tea or coffee can be created but only one kettle boil needs to be done. Handy right?

Solar System Rebates in Australia

 

Another way to save is by looking towards innovative kettle designs. Kmart’s Instant Hot Water Dispenser has turned up the heat recently on the Iso-Internet, receiving raving reviews for its instant boil technology.  By boiling in the faction of a time a normal kettle would, the Instant Hot Water Dispenser reduces the amount of boiling time and, therefore, the amount of energy it uses.

Tip 2: Switching Appliances off at the Wall

Appliances that are permanently plugged in at the wall could be costing you hundreds of dollars a year in unnecessary power consumption.

When items such as tv’s, computers, microwaves and washing machines are switched off, but not unplugged, they are technically on stand-by mode and could be costing you up to 3 percent of your energy bill. With more and more appliances being introduced to the home, Choice has announced that standby energy, collectively used across Australia, has amounted to tonnes of extra greenhouse gases being released into the Earth’s atmosphere.

So to save yourself some coinage and help the environment, switch off your appliances at the wall when they are not in use.

Tip 3: Ditch the Dryer

Clothing dryers are one of the most notorious energy consuming appliances in a house. With the average drier using 3.3 kilowatt-hours of energy, it is estimated that a single 45-minute run can cost up to $0.36 a load. Annually this costs households up to $131.40 for a load a day. So, what can be done to save on these costs?

Highest Energy Consuming Appliances

 

As explained by Canstar Blue, energy bills can be reduced by using your dryer during  ‘off-peak’ or ‘shoulder’ periods if you are part of a tariff plan. Off-peak times are generally from 10 pm-7 am and shoulder periods are usually 7 am- 4 pm and 8 pm- 10 pm. Although this is inconvenient, the off-peak rates are almost half the rate of peak rates.

Our top tip to save money while working from home is to switch from the dryer to the old fashion hills hoist.  If you have space, drying your clothes on a line costs you absolutely nothing. If you live in an apartment block and find space an issue, indoor clothes-lines are convenient and can easily be folded away after.

Tip 4: Switch to LED Light

Explored in our recent blog, The Solar Habits to help you save’ now is the time to look at all those jobs you have been putting off over the years. With no commute, no traffic and no school drops, time is finally on our side- and what better way to use it than by looking at how you can improve your home energy use. Incandescent and halogen light bulbs are hideously power hungry. Switch to LED lights as they are energy efficient, long-lasting and do not contain any harmful gasses, toxins, or mercury.

  • $4- It costs $4 dollars a year to run a quality LED light.
  • 5- you will replace 5 halogen and incandescent light bulbs through-out a LED’s single lifespan.
  • $253- It will cost $253 a year for the running and replacement of a house full of halogen and incandescent bulbs.

Tip 5: Invest In Solar Energy

Although solar is undoubtedly an investment, the savings generated through the installation of a solar system can monumentally save you money on your energy bills.

Tips To Save Money While Working From Home

 

The above energy and money saving could be covered with the installation of solar panels.

By installing just a 3 kw solar system you are estimated to save between 51%- 92% on your energy bills. Money wise, that’s a $300 quarterly power bill, turned into a quarter bill between $24- $147. With a 3 kw system the return on investment time is only 2.8 years and with a multitude of solar government grants to choose from that number can be significantly reduced.

If you’re ready to take reducing your power bills seriously, get 3 free solar quotes now and invest in your future.

 

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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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