Electrician shares secrets for saving on power bills

BRIGHT IDEAS: Electrical contractor Matt Kummerow says people should use energy-saving LED lights instead of standard fluorescent bulbs.
BRIGHT IDEAS: Electrical contractor Matt Kummerow says people should use energy-saving LED lights instead of standard fluorescent bulbs. Mike Knott BUNENERGY

SAVING money is always on the minds of consumers so we asked readers to tell us their best tips to help keep the pennies in their pockets.

NewsMail Facebook friends Pat Lowe and Zoe Murch said to help them save money, along with energy, they turned off the power at the wall.

Matthew Simmons said people should replace all fluorescent light bulbs with lower wattage LEDs.

"Over years I've dropped from 60W incandescent to 15W fluorescents to 5W LEDs," Mr Simmons said.

Bundaberg Laser Electrical owner Matt Kummerow said there were options to help save power and money.

"There are simple things like changing tariffs to right through to behavioural and technology changes which will all help save money," Mr Kummerow said.

"You can change to LED where you will see a good return on your investment. These were once quite expensive (but) they are now more commercial and readily available.

"LED use one-third of the power of a traditional light energy consumption."

Mr Kummerow said switching tariffs to off peaks could save money when using items such as pool filters and air-conditioners.

"The off-peak tariff will give a cheaper rate per kilowatt (kW)," he said.

"There are new tariffs, one being time of use. This goes along with the peak rate, intermediate and off-peak rate tariffs."

He said another option to help save money was to look at star ratings when buying new appliances.

"When you purchase new appliances check the star ratings - the more stars the better," Mr Kummerow said.

Behavioural change includes things like changing tariffs and using sensor lights and timers.

"There are hidden costs in having items run on stand-by power," Mr Kummerow said.

"By turning the TV off with the remote it is still using power and this is one of the biggest hidden costs."

He advised choosing appliances which used 80 watts or fewer in stand-by power.

"People can actively change the way they save power by installing wireless systems which send out messages to turn off the appliance."

He said anything with an LCD screen which was left on would be using stand-by power and costing money over time.

"Every household is different and I would be taking an educated guess to say people could save at least 5-10% by reducing the stand-by power."

NewsMail Facebook friend Candice Bernard said she was able to save power by doing small things such as running her dishwasher only when it was full and washing in cold water.

"I wash in cold water and the only exception is work clothes get washed in warm, we have energy-efficient light bulbs (and) turn off the lights and spare appliances when we've finished using them," Ms Bernard said.

"Only use the air-con when it's totally necessary. We have saved $240 on our electricity bill from the last one."

Topics:  budgeting costbusters electricity money power

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