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Energy saving tips for your winter break

Taking a break this winter heres how to prepare your home  171 6012908 0 14100424 300

As the weather begins to cool down, your thoughts may being to stray to warmer destinations and tropical locations that are far-removed from the wintry climate at home. If you're somewhat of a winter fanatic, you may be looking to indulge your snow-based interests by making tracks towards Australia's alpine regions. According to the Roy Morgan Research Holiday Tracking Survey, nearly one in five Australian holidaymakers chose to visit a national park or forest on their last trip over the previous 12 months.

Whatever activity you prefer, many people forget to prepare their home effectively for the impending holiday in term of electricity consumption. While you might not be using the appliances in your home on a day-to-day basis while you're away, there are a number of energy traps that you can fall into. Here are some tips to make sure you don't return to a high bill from your electricity supplier

Turn off lights

Instead of leaving lights on inside, try installing an automatic timer. Instead of leaving lights on inside, try installing an automatic timer.

Before heading away on holiday, many households leave a number of lights on in the home to make it look at though people are present, in order to to dissuade thieves and vandals from entering the property. However, this can be a significant waste of electricity. Consider this: A single, old-style incandescent 40 watt lightbulb can cost around $12.30 per year to run, according to the Victorian state government - and this cost could rise substantially if you leave it turned on for an extended length of time. 

Instead, consider installing automatic lights. For peace of mind the next time you go on holiday, all you need to do is programme the timer to switch the lights on and offer in a set period. 

Stop standby

Stand-by power used by appliances accounts for around 3 per cent of a household's average electricity bill every year.

With much being said about increasing electricity prices, the last thing you want to do is waste energy. However, there are appliances scattered throughout your home that continue to use power, even when they are not being operated. For instance, appliances with internal clocks - such as microwaves, ovens and radios - all consume energy when not being used for their primary purpose. In addition, entertainment equipment, as well as washers and driers, continue to draw power from the grid.

All of this builds upon the sums you pay to electricity suppliers. In fact, the South Australian state government finds stand-by power used by appliances accounts for around 3 per cent of a household's average electricity bill every year. Taking the time to switch these products off at the wall before setting off on your winter break can cut down on unnecessary energy use, and help reduce your final bill. 

Heating 

While the idea of returning to a warm house might seem like a nice idea, there is really no reason for the heating and cooling system in your home to be left on when you're on holiday. This also means turning off the timer to ensure that it doesn't waste electricity. In the same vein, you can lower your electricity bill for the month by switching off your hot water heater. This is something that many people forget about, but an electric storage water heater continues to warm your water supply, even when it isn't in use. 

If you're away for more than a couple of days, it could be worth turning the appliance off. You could even think about installing a more efficient hot water system further down the line. A continuous flow system only heats the water required, rather than storing it in a tank. 

Switch electricity suppliers

One thing that no holidaymaker wants to come home to is a large electricity bill. Before you get too carried away in planning and organising your getaway, speak to the team at Make It Cheaper. By conducting an electricity comparison and taking your electricity habits into account, the experts can find out whether you are receiving the best deal from your energy supplier - or whether you need to make a change. 

Posted by Nikki Wilson-Everett

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