12 simple ways to save on your energy bill this winter

Keeping warm doesn’t have to break the bank.

With energy prices soaring around the country and temperatures dropping rapidly, you’re likely stressing about staying toasty this winter.

Follow our 12 tips to help you keep your bills down over the next few months.

1. Choose the right kind of heater

We found that the average winter heating cost in Australia is $209 per household. However, not every type of heater is equal in cost. Choosing the right one could save you money.

Our research showed that:

  • Panel heaters are the cheapest type of electric heater to run, costing $165 on average.
  • Convection gas heaters tend to be cheaper than radiant gas heaters, costing $230.40 on average.

2. Wear extra clothes

If you rug up when you’re inside, you’ll have less need to turn the heater on. A trusty pair of thermals under your clothes, as well as footwear, can be quite comfortable to avoid losing heat quickly.

Finder Green editor Amy Bradney-George swears by sustainable brand Boody’s bamboo-blended socks.

Save up to $300 a year by switching to a cheaper energy plan

3. Switch energy providers

Switching energy providers can be daunting, but your few hours of research and effort could save your household anywhere between $180 and $300 over the year.

Compare energy plans

4. Only heat the room you’re using

This one is a common sense tip. If you only heat the living space that you’re using, you can save a fair amount of energy and money.

For maximum effect, shut doors between the rooms you’re not using to keep the heat contained.

 Turn off your appliances at the powerpoint and save up to $100 a year

5. Switch off unused appliances

Appliances on standby power might not be energy guzzlers but you might as well be throwing money down the drain. You could save around 10% off your energy bill just by flicking the switch.

6. Insulate your home however you can

Proper insulation can cost around $1,000 to install but you can make small changes to keep the cold out.

Use thick curtains for windows and close the blinds when you can. Have chilly draughts? Get a door snake, towels or whatever else you may have to block the cold wind from coming in.

 An electric blanket costs $11 on average to run throughout winter

7. Use an electric blanket instead of a heater

This tip follows the same logic as tip number 4. Use energy for heating only where you need it most.

Because of its low hourly running cost, an electric blanket can save you at least $150 compared to other types of electric heaters.

We’d be remiss not to suggest you pull out your heavier blankets in winter too.

See the 10 best electric blankets in Australia

8. Move around

Get up and get moving. This is a great choice for those who are still working from home. Take 5 minutes at the end of every hour to stretch and get warm. If it’s not too cold outside, a 5- to 10-minute brisk walk around the block is a great way to get the blood flowing to your fingers and toes.

Take shorter showers

9. Take shorter showers

Not only is taking a shorter shower good for the environment, but it’s also good for your energy bill.

Many hot water tanks heat the water slowly throughout the day. The less water you use, the less time (and energy) is spent reheating the water.

Take it further: Get a water-saving showerhead to make a further saving on your water bills. There are those with low-flow features and even some with a pause switch.

10. Make the most of off-peak times

Depending on your tariff, you could stand to save money by using power when it costs you less.

During winter, many energy retailers will start charging more to those on time of use tariffs during peak times. This is usually a 4-hour period in the evening.

For example, Ausgrid in NSW breaks its pricing times into the following:

  • Winter peak times: 5pm–9pm on weekdays
  • Winter shoulder: 7am–5pm and 9pm–10pm on weekdays
  • Winter off-peak: 10pm–7pm weekdays and on the weekend

It might seem absurd at first but running your dryer in the evening can work out cheaper than if you ran it during the day.

Lowering the aircon thermostat by 2 degrees can cut 20% off your energy use

11. Adjust the temperature on your air conditioner

If you’re in a position where you have access to an air conditioner, you’re going to be tempted to use it.

However, you can still save by setting a lower temperature. Just a few degrees less can add up at the end of the winter period. Work smarter, not harder.

12. Switch off the lights more

“Switch off the light when you leave the room.” This final piece of wisdom comes from my grandmother. When I lived at home this was her constant mantra. Now that I live alone I appreciate the small (but effective) difference this one energy-saving trick makes. Best of all, it’s useful year-round, not just in winter!

Take it further: Consider switching from fluorescent bulbs to LED as they are more energy-efficient and last longer.

Want to switch to a cheaper provider? Get started by comparing energy plans on Finder.