Inflation Tips: How to Save on Your Winter Energy Bills

June 20, 2022

The cold snap and energy crisis have hit Australia hard, but you can brace your energy bills from the impact with a few simple changes. 

The constant mention of rising energy bills and potential blackouts in the media is probably worrying you as much as it has worried me in the last couple of weeks. 

But amid all the doom and gloom that you’re reading about, there are actionable steps you can take to keep your energy bills down, especially in these colder months. 

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Hack your home 

Unfortunately, Aussie homes aren’t the best when it comes to insulation. That’s probably why it sometimes feels like it’s colder in your home than outside. 

Fixing your home’s insulation can cost thousands of dollars. If you don’t want to spend that much upfront, you can start making smaller changes instead. 

  1. Cover tiled areas with floor rugs 
  2. Cover doors and windows with weatherseal tape to keep the cold air out
  3. Use a door snake to protect your home from stray draughts 
  4. Install heat-retaining blinds 

Choose the right kind of heater

Ineffective heating can make up as much as 40% of your energy bill. 

If you have a reverse-cycle air conditioner installed in your home then you’re already gold. It’s one of the most efficient types of heaters around that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. 

If you don’t have one and don’t want to pay a big sum for it upfront, then consider buying a heater with a good energy-efficiency rating instead. 

For example, infrared heaters are a solid option as they heat objects and people directly and not the air, meaning they’re cheaper to run overall. 

Consider buying electric blankets

Electric blankets have a low hourly running cost. Finder research found it could save you $150 compared to other types of electric heaters.

This could be a good option if you’re living with housemates or on your own. 

Only heat the room you’re using 

It’s easy to not close the door fully shut behind you when you enter a room, unless it ends up costing you money. 

When you leave a door ajar, it’s letting the heat out and your heater will need to run longer to continue giving you the warmth you crave. 

Wear extra layers

This is an obvious tip but worth mentioning as wearing the right clothes can help you save on your energy bills in the long run. 

Get comfy thermals that you wouldn’t mind wearing at home and warm loungewear. 

I don’t have a heater in the lounge in my rental and haven’t bought a heater just yet. However, I did invest in an Oodie and warm PJs that are doing me wonders. 

Consider switching energy providers

Energy prices are skyrocketing across Australia and retailers have been hit hard. 

The 1 July electricity price reset is just around the corner where energy providers will begin to start raising costs of their energy plans if they haven’t already done so. 

To keep on top of things, you should consider taking these actions ASAP: 

  1. Call your current energy provider and find out if it will be increasing its rates (some people might have already received emails). See if you can get on a cheaper plan.
  2. The next step is to start comparing energy plans. You can wait until after 1 July when you have a clear idea of updated plans from energy companies. Or, you could quickly  sign up to a fixed-rate plan that will lock in your rates for 12 months. This will mean you can avoid upcoming price hikes for at least a year. These plans are fast disappearing so you’ll have to be quick.

It can be daunting switching energy providers but once you know what to look out for, it takes all of 10 minutes to start and finish the process. Learn more here

Need more budgeting advice? 

Browse our finance category. It’s chock full of hacks and advice from industry professionals. And remember to download the Soho app for quicker browsing and property matching. It’s getting you into your dream home faster!

Mariam Gabaji
Mariam Gabaji is a senior writer for Finder, specialising in energy, mobile and Internet plans. She has over eight years of experience across both print and digital. Mariam's worked as editor of Lifehacker Australia, senior commissioning editor at Culture Trip in London and sports editor at The Express Tribune, a national newspaper in Pakistan. She has a Bachelor Honours degree in Broadcasting & Journalism from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Malaysia.
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