Encourage your kids to switch off

Children these days are spoilt for choice with the amount of toys and entertainment options at their fingertips, many of which are powered by electricity.

You may wonder what effect these items are having on your electricity prices, as they tend to suck up power - even when they are left on standby.

According to the Department of Industry, standby power could make up 10 per cent of your household power bill.

Essentially, any items that have a light on when they are switched off are still drawing power from the grid - and costing you money.

So start encouraging your kids to switch things off at the wall, rather than with the remote. Here are a few tips to help you motivate your children to power off their devices.

Make it easy for them

One way to help them turn things off is to plug everything into a powerboard. This is handy if they are using an entertainment system or a games console, which require multiple devices to work.

This way, they would just need to flick one switch at the wall to power everything down in one fell swoop.

Have a little competition

One idea that will help your children better understand your power bill is to reward them for good behaviour.

Try this trick. Give them an envelope filled with ten $1 coins and every time you catch them leaving something on standby, take a dollar away. At the end of the week, they can keep whatever's left.

You may want to run this competition every month or so, and you will find yourself taking away fewer dollars as time goes by.

Foster their creativity

Kids love getting involved, so why not see if they want to join in and come up with a fun way to encourage themselves?

They could make their own signs reminding them to switch devices off at the wall before they leave a room.

Alternatively, give them some responsibility and tell them it is their job to chase after other family members, reminding them to conserve electricity by switching off appliances after use.

Show them the effects

Talk to your kids about greenhouse gases and explain that switching things off at the wall will help to protect the planet. You may be surprised by how effective this is for making kids turn things off at the wall.

You could also let them give you a hand in trying an electricity comparison. Seeing how much money goes on power bills may encourage them to switch off.

Posted by Richard West.