Save on energy costs this summer

If our national holiday did not encourage you to get outdoors and enjoy the last days of summer, then maybe the upcoming lazy weekend will inspire you to change the way you approach the warmer months.

And if there is one thing that is true about all of Australia, it is that the time between mid November through to late February is typified by long hours wiled away at the beach or munching on sausage sandwiches at a friend's barbecue.

Yet as much as we like to say we get outdoors, it seems that more and more people are turning to electronic appliances to help keep the heat away.

On extremely hot days the number one thing on most people's mind is how they are going to stay cool and along with plans to go to the beach or take a dip in your backyard pool, it is fair to say that a lot of us will simply close the blinds, reach for the remote control and turn on the air-conditioning unit to full blast.

But while this cooling method can be effective - costly and unwitting consumers may be left in a difficult situation when they fail to pay their utility bill on time.

Despite this there are still simple steps individuals can take to keep having fun on sunny days without feeling sticky or uncomfortable.

One top tip is to start cooking outdoors. It may seem obvious but preparing meals inside on warmer than average nights increases the average temperature of your kitchen and home.

Using an oven or microwave to cook, as well as something as simple as baking a pizza can add to your bills by making your air-conditioner work doubly hard to keep air temperatures at a comfortable level.

In order to prevent this form happening using an outdoor barbecue is an effective way of making sure everyone gets to eat a hearty meal without the negative impact of an overheated house.

For those who live in an apartment and may not have access to outdoor cooking facilities then cold meats, sandwiches and salads are smart alternative food options.

Other regular household appliances to avoid at this time of year include clothes dryers and dishwashers - both items can make a room unpleasantly warm and are often expensive to run.

If these ideas still don't curb your utility bill then it may be time to compare electricity suppliers in order to save on basic costs.

Posted by Charlie Moore