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How to keep your power bills low this Christmas

Turn lights off at night to save on your electricity prices  16000646 800521692 0 0 14095589 300

The Yuletide period can be a drain on your finances, with all the gifts and food to pay for, as well as decorations.

Here are a few tips to save money on your electricity prices- every little bit helps!

Cooling

With extra bodies in the house, things may warm up a little faster than normal, not to mention the extra heat generated when you cook the Christmas dinner.

You may want to pop the air conditioner on to cool the house down. If you do this, make sure you close the doors to the room you want cooled.

For example, when it comes time to enjoy that delicious meal you've slaved over, make sure you only turn the air con on in the dining room. There's no need to cool down the entire house when you've all congregated in one area.

If you can avoid using the air conditioning, try a fan to control heat levels. It works by circulating air flow, creating a wind chill effect. This is a much more cost effective solution.

Once the air has been cooled by the air conditioning unit, you could always use the fan to circulate the chilled air around the room.

Cooking

Christmas is often associated with a large meal, complete with many festive trimmings.

You can use a lot of power when you cook this delicious feast, but there are a few ways to cut back on your usage.

Making use of the Aussie weather, you could forgo the traditional Christmas roast and instead host a summer barbecue. This might help reduce your power bills as you would only need to cut vegetables, make a salad and marinade meat in the kitchen, rather than using every element on your stove for an elaborate meal.

If you use a second fridge to accommodate the needs of all your guests, consider if you really need it.

Having a second fridge can cost you around $155 a year on your bills, according to the Department of Industry.

So make sure you are only purchasing the amount of food you really need to entertain guests and limit what you need to store outside of the main fridge.

Cleaning

The extra influx of guests might create additional dishes and washing, but don't be tempted to throw only a few towels in the washing machine or run the dishwasher half full.

These appliances run more efficiently when they are full, so see if you can find other things to add to make it worthwhile.

Try to avoid using the dryer as this machine uses a lot of electricity. Instead, hang out washing to dry. It won't take long in the summer heat!

Decorations

While it might entail bigger start up costs, it is more cost effective over the long haul to purchase led energy saving lights.

These strands look wonderful outside, or inside, your property and will last for years to come. Led bulbs use around 70 per cent less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs, which can cause your power bills to increase during the festive months.

If are decking the halls with some lights, make sure you switch them off at night to save power. Plus, this means you limit the risk of accidentally leaving them turned on all day too. Consider switching them off before you go to bed.

A great alternative could be to think about solar lighting. This generates power solely from the sun, so there is no need to worry about the effect on your electricity prices.

These lights still look great and with plenty of sun shining in Australia, you're in the perfect spot to take advantage of the rays to decorate your property.

To get the most out of these lights, you may want to have them facing north if you can, to get the most sun possible.

Plus, there is no risk if you forget to turn them off. If you do an electricity comparison with the previous month's bill you won't notice a difference.

Christmas movies

If you want to create a festive ambiance with the family favourite Christmas film, make sure you use your DVD player.

Playing movies on your games console uses at least three times the power of a stand-alone blu-ray player, which in turn uses considerably more power than a DVD player, according to the Department of Energy.

Appliances

It should be habit to make sure all your appliances are switched off at the wall when you're not using them.

During Christmastime you may find yourselves busier and stressed, but it is still just as important to ensure you do not leave anything on standby as this can suck up precious power.

Gift buying

If you are shopping for gifts, consider buying items that do not rely on electricity. While your child might want the latest video game console, there may be other gifts you could get instead. You could try to find gifts that will encourage your children to head into the great outdoors this summer.

Posted by Liam Tunney.