3 steps to controlling your power bill

As winter grasps hold of Australia, power consumption is set to swell accordingly.

This is all despite high electricity costs. The Productivity Commission found that  between June 2007 and December 2012, prices from electricity suppliers have surged upwards by up to 70 per cent on average. Many people shrug it off as a necessary evil, but there are simple things you can do to reduce your electricity consumption and consequently your power bill.

Here are a few cheap and easy ways to gain better control over your energy usage.

When it comes down to it, cutting power costs is quite simple.When it comes down to it, cutting power costs is quite simple.

Seal your home

No, this doesn't mean spending thousands of dollars and investing in insulation (although that is a good idea). The Department of Industry and Science (DIS) found that heating and cooling is the largest energy user in the average Australian home, with a 40 per cent share of the power bill. Furthermore, up to 25 per cent of heat loss in winter is attributed to air leakage. This all makes for a good reason to be careful with how you use your energy. Close your windows and curtains as night falls and shut off the living area to reduce the area you're warming. Draughts can come from anywhere; from unsealed doors and windows to cat flaps, they should all be covered up.

Turn off your appliances

Standby power is the energy used by an appliance when it isn't performing its main function. This could be a television that has been switched off by remote, a microwave displaying the time or a plugged-in phone charger, for example. A survey from Energy Efficient Strategies found that standby power makes up more than 10 per cent of Australia's residential electricity usage, which means the estimated cost is approximately $950 million. The solution to this waste of power is simple: turn off your appliances at the wall.

Change your light bulbs

According to the DIS, lighting accounts for 8 - 15 per cent of an average household power bill. This makes it a good idea to consider energy efficient light bulbs as they offer significant savings on electricity usage. The SA government found that the new energy efficient lights are not only up to five times more efficient than the classic power-hungry incandescent bulbs, but they also last longer.

If you would like even more savings, talk to the team at Make It Cheaper. They will set you up with the best rates available by comparing electricity prices from their quality panel of energy suppliers.