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What are some easy changes to reduce my electricity prices?

The cost of electricity is rising, which has led many Australian households and businesses to begin questioning what they can do to reduce their electricity prices.

As well as conducting an electricity comparison to ensure you are getting the best deal possible on your electricity costs, there are a few other measures you can take to lower your bills.

Here are a few suggestions.

How can I use less power in the laundry?

Hot water heating is responsible for around 30 per cent of the average household's power bills.

Switching to cold water washes rather than hot is a great way to knock this amount down.

In fact, it could save you around $124 per year, or around $10.33 per week.

Another big user of power in this area is the clothes dryer. Where possible it is best to air dry your clothes, or only use the dryer to finish them off.

If you use a clothesline in place of an electric dryer once a week, you could see savings of $69 on your annual power bill, according to the Department of Industry's Living Greener Initiative.

However, these savings also depend on how old your appliances are and your electricity prices.

Newer, more energy efficient machines could also help you save money, so make sure you are looking for the energy star rating if you are selecting one of these models.

How can I use my kitchen more efficiently?

If you use a dishwasher in your kitchen, making sure that it is filled up before switching it on is a great way to see savings on your power bill.

These items tend to use more electricity when they are half full. In order to make sure your dishwasher works as well as it can, scrape food off your plates before loading them and if they need a rinse, ensure you only use cold water.

Another step you can take to reduce your energy bills is to select appliances such as fridges and dishwashers with more energy stars, as these are proven to be more efficient, using less power to run.

Another simple change you can make is being careful about your kitchen layout. Placing your fridge next to your oven will mean your fridge needs to work harder in order to keep your food cool.

It is also essential to ensure that you leave your food to cool down before placing it in the fridge and that you regularly check to make sure that the seals are tight so that cool air does not leak out.

It may also be a great time to consider if you really need those additional fridges and freezers. If you do decide you want to keep them make sure they are turned off when not in use.

One more way to save power in the kitchen is to be mindful of your cooking practices. This means using lids on pots and only filling up the kettle and pots with as much water as you need. Any extra will mean an unnecessary use of power.

These may seem like small changes to make, but remember they all add up.

How can I save on electricity costs in my living areas?

Many households spend significant amounts of time in the living room and luckily there are a few easy changes you can make here to see reductions in your power bill.

One of the biggest causes of rises in your electricity bills comes from your appliances. Use them wisely to see some positive changes to your bill.

This means switching off TVs, stereos and gaming consoles when they are not in use, as these suck up extra power from the grid.

In fact, appliances on standby power can account for more than 10 per cent of your household electricity use, according to Living Greener.

This also includes mobile phone and computer chargers, even when your phone is not connected to the charger. If the light is on, it means the item is drawing power from the grid.

You could also consider smart power boards, as these allow you to switch off multiple items at once.

How can I lower my heating costs?

Controlling the temperature in your home, whether that means keeping it cool in the summer or warming it up in winter, uses electricity.

One of the simplest ways you can reduce this cost is by changing your thermostat by a few degrees.

In winter, it is best to set it between 18-20 degrees Celsius. You will still be nice and toasty! Open the curtains during the day to let the sun in but close them before it gets dark. This will keep the heat in.

During the warmer summer months, it can be set between 25-27 degrees, according to Living Greener. If you close your curtains during the hottest part of the day, you will keep that chilled air in. At night you can open the windows and curtains to let a cool breeze in.

Posted by Liam Tunney.