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Cut down your hot water use - and your power bills

Showers, washing machines, dishwashers. What do they have in common? Hot water! Cutting down on this precious resource may just help you to save money on your electricity prices.

The average Australian household sees around a quarter of their energy bills go down the drain - literally. Heating water forms a big element of your power bill, according to the Department of Industry, so it might be worth making some changes.

Here are a few great ways to trim down your hot water usage.

Check for leaks

If you are leaving the house, check your water meter and upon your return, look at it again to see if the reading has changed.

If you are still 'using' water while you are absent from the home, it may mean you have a leak. Getting this patched up could save you money.

Even a simple dripping tap can waste 2,000 litres of water over the course of a month, according to New Zealand water supplier Watercare.

If this is a hot tap, you will also be losing out when it comes to your energy bill, so it is worth checking.

See who can have the shortest shower

While it is still important to remain clean and hygienic, consider if you could cut back at all on your shower's length. A minute saved equates to around 2,500 litres of water per year, according to Watercare.

These cost cuts will trickle down into your power bill as you will not be paying to heat the extra water.

If you live in a bigger household, why not have a competition to see who can have the shortest shower. Every minute counts!

Fill it up

When you put in a load of washing, or turn on the dishwasher, make sure you are not running these appliances at less than full capacity, as this wastes power and water.

However, if you absolutely need to do a smaller load, make sure you adjust the water levels to suit the load size.

It is most efficient to do a cold wash, but in order to prolong the lifespan of your machine you may want to think about running a hot cycle every ten washes or so. This will remove any dirt or detergent build-up from the machine.

Check labels

If you need to replace items such as washing machines and dishwashers, try to get the most energy efficient technology. Look for energy labels which indicate they use less power.

Energy Star rated machines can be up to 45 per cent more efficient than their non-qualified partners, according to Energywise.

Posted by Richard West.