Clever ways to reduce your power bill 💡⚡
Reducing your power bill involves making conscious choices and adopting energy-efficient practices. Implementing these strategies not only helps you save on your power bill but also contributes to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Here are some clever ways to cut down on your power expenses:
1. Unplug “Energy Vampires”
Many electronic devices continue to draw power even when turned off. Unplug chargers, appliances, and electronics when not in use or use smart power strips to cut off power to multiple devices at once.
2. Switch to LED Bulbs
LED bulbs are more energy-efficient and have a longer lifespan compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. Although the initial cost may be higher, the energy savings over time make them a cost-effective choice.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to set specific temperatures for different times of the day, optimizing energy use. Lowering the thermostat in winter and raising it in summer when you’re away or sleeping can lead to significant savings.
4. Optimize Appliance Use
Use energy-efficient appliances and set them to eco-friendly modes if available. Consider air-drying clothes instead of using a dryer, washing clothes in cold water, and using a dishwasher only when it’s fully loaded.
5. Seal Leaks and Insulate
Proper insulation and sealing gaps around doors and windows prevent heat or cool air from escaping, reducing the need for your HVAC system to work harder. This can lead to substantial energy savings over time.
6. Utilize Natural Light
Take advantage of natural light during the day by opening curtains and blinds. This minimizes the need for artificial lighting and reduces electricity consumption.
7. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances
When it’s time to replace old appliances, choose energy-efficient models with high Energy Star ratings. These appliances often use less energy and water, resulting in long-term cost savings.
8. Practice Water Conservation
Heating water consumes a significant amount of energy. Set your water heater to a lower temperature, fix any leaks promptly, and consider installing low-flow fixtures to reduce water consumption and heating costs.
9. Cook Efficiently
Use energy-efficient cooking methods, such as microwaving or using a slow cooker, which consumes less energy than a conventional oven. Match pot sizes to burner sizes to maximize efficiency.
10. Strategically Plant Trees and Shrubs
Planting trees or shrubs strategically around your home can provide shade in the summer, reducing the need for air conditioning. In winter, after leaves fall, the sun can naturally warm your home.
11. Opt for Smart Home Technology
Invest in smart home devices, such as smart thermostats and smart plugs. These devices allow you to control and monitor energy usage remotely, making it easier to identify and address inefficiencies.
12. Negotiate Utility Rates
Check with your utility provider to see if there are any discounts, loyalty programs, or off-peak rates available. Sometimes, negotiating your utility rates can result in cost savings. For helpful insights on ways to negotiate on your utility bill or contract read out article
13. Seniors rebate across States (in Australia)
Saving the best for last, lucky number thirteen. Every state in Australia offers some sort of energy rebate to seniors and pensioners with valid senior health cards or pensioner concession cards. While the details and eligibility of the pensioners and seniors energy rebate vary, if you hold a concession card (below), you’re probably eligible for some help on your energy bills.
- Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card
- National Seniors Card
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card
The exact details of the energy rebates depend on the individual state. Some energy rebates for seniors cover gas and electricity while others only cover one.
NSW – Seniors energy rebate
There are many energy rebates in NSW, but the pensioners rebate is one of the most famous. The Seniors Energy Rebate in NSW is available to self-funded retirees with a primary residence in New South Wales and offers up to $200 per household per year to put toward you electricity bills. To qualify you must have a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card issued by Services Australia or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
To be eligible for the Senior Energy Rebate in New South Wales, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a resident of New South Wales
- Hold a valid Commonwealth Seniors Health Card from Centrelink or the DVA
- Be registered as the primary account holder on your electricity bill
- Be applying for your primary residence in New South Wales only
To check your eligibility and find out how to apply for the Seniors Electricity Rebate in NSW click here.
QLD – Seniors energy rebate
There are 2 different seniors discounts in QLD if you hold a Pensioner Concession Card, Senior Health card, or DVA card:
- The Electricity Rebate offers $340.85 per year
- The Reticulated Natural Gas Rebate offers $76.19 per year
If you qualify for both energy rebates you can receive a total of $415.77 including GST.
To be eligible for the Senior Energy Rebate in Queensland, you must meet the following criteria:
- Pensioner Concession Card
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card
- Queensland Seniors Card
- Commonwealth Senior Health Care Card (Electricity Rebate only)
- Asylum seeker status—residents will need to provide their ImmiCard details (Electricity Rebate only)
In addition, you must be:
- A resident of Queensland
- The primary account holder
- Live alone or share your place of residence with a spouse, dependant, other Pensioner Concession Card, other Queensland Senior Card holders, care and assistance providers who do not pay rent, or others who receive income support payment who do not pay rent
To check your eligibility and find out how to apply for the Seniors Electricity Rebate in QLD click here.
VIC – Seniors energy rebate
If you have a seniors card in Victoria, you can apply for 2 different energy rebates for seniors:
- The Electricity Concession covers 17.5% of your electricity usage & service charges
- The Winter Gas Rebate covers 17.5% of your gas usage & service charges
You can apply for these energy rebates if you are a resident of Victoria and have a Pensioner Concession Card, Health Care Card, or Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card.
To check your eligibility and find out how to apply for the Seniors Electricity Rebate in VIC click here.
SA – Seniors energy rebate
Pensioners and seniors with eligible cards in South Australia have two available energy rebates:
- The Energy Bills Concession offers up to $231.41 / year to help cover the cost of energy bills (including petrol and LPG bottled gas)
- The Cost of Living Concession offers up to $107.60 / year for self-funded retirees on fixed incomes to help with electricity, gas, water, medical bills, and council rates.
To apply for these energy rebates you must live at the property you are applying for and have one of the following cards:
- Pensioner Concession Card
- DVA Gold Card
- Low Income Health Care Card
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
If you are applying for the Energy Bill Concession, nobody in your household can have an income of more than $3,000 per year unless they are a spouse, domestic partner, or dependent, or get an allowance through Centrelink or DVA.
To check your eligibility and find out how to apply for the Seniors Electricity Rebate in SA click here.
WA – Seniors energy rebate
The name of the pensioners’ energy rebate in Western Australia is called The WA Government Energy Assistance Payment. The Energy Assistance Payment offers up to $305.25 annually for help with your energy bills in Western Australia. The Energy Assistance Program now replaces the Cost of Living Allowance in Western Australia.
You can apply for these energy rebates if you are a resident of Western Australia and have one of the following cards:.
- Centrelink Health Care Card
- Centrelink Pensioner Concessions Card
- Veteran Affairs Gold Card
- Centrelink Commonwealth Seniors card
- Veteran Affairs Commonwealth Seniors Card
- Veteran Affairs Pensioner Concession Card
To check your eligibility and find out how to apply for the Seniors Electricity Rebate in WA click here.
TAS – Seniors energy rebate
Pensioners and seniors with eligible cards in Tasmania have two available energy rebates:
- The Annual electricity concession offers a daily energy discount of 140.70c / day to help pay for the cost of your electricity.
- The heating allowance for pensioners offers two payments of $28 in May and September to help pay for the cost of your heating.
To apply for these energy rebates you must live in Tasmania and have one of the following:
- DHS or DVA Pensioner Concession Card
- DHA Health Care Card, or an ImmiCard
To check your eligibility and find out how to apply for the Seniors Electricity Rebate in Tasmania click here.
ACT – Seniors energy rebate
There is a seniors energy rebate in ACT known as The Utilities Concession, which helps to cover all utility bills for senior and pensioner residents in ACT with eligible concession or health care cards.
If you have a Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card (PCC), Centrelink Low Income Health Care Card (HCC), Veteran’s Affairs Pensioner Concession Card or Gold Card, you can get an energy rebate worth up to $700 to assist with utility bills through this pensioners discount.
The Commonwealth Senior Health Care Card is not eligible for this concession.
To apply for these energy rebates you must be applying for your primary place of residence and be the main cardholder of one of the following:
- Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card (PCC)
- Centrelink Low Income Health Care Card (HCC)
- Veteran’s Affairs Pensioner Concession Card (only POW, TPI & War Widows)
- Gold Card Holdersd
To check your eligibility and find out how to apply for the Seniors Electricity Rebate in ACT click here.
NT – Seniors energy rebate
The name of the energy rebate for seniors over the age of 65 and residing in the Northern Territory is the NT Seniors Recognition Scheme. The NT Seniors Recognition Scheme offers up to $500 / year to help with electricity, gas, phone and internet bills, as well as fuel, travel, and accommodation expenses.
To receive a rebate NT Seniors Recognition Scheme, you will need to prove your identity and residency with some supporting documents.
This includes proof of Australian citizenship or permanent residency with a supporting document which can include:
- A birth certificate
- An Australian passport
- A citizenship certificate
- Some types of Aboriginal identification
- An immigration card
- Other Australian government documents
You will also need to prove you are a current NT resident or live in the NT for 183 days out of the year, with proof of your current home address.
If you don’t have proof of a fixed home address, you can prove residency with a letter from a medical professional, police officer, or NT Government or Australian Government employee.
Note: All concession schemes are subject to state government approval and are subject to change. Always make sure to do your research, and find the latest information available on your state governments energy concession.
And remember, although you qualify for senior rebates, you may still be eligible for other rebates that aren’t specifically tailored to seniors such as a solar rebate.