Lee Constable

Tips from the experts on how to cut your power bill

SWITCHING off in the kitchen and laundry will switch on some serious household savings.

Today is Cut Your Energy Costs Day.

One of the country's leading household finance experts said cutting power costs need not be a strain.

Miles Larbey, the senior executive leader of the federal Government's MoneySmart website gave a range of tips for the region's householders to save on their energy bills.

"Switch off your heater, air conditioner and lights in rooms you're not using," Mr Larbey said.

Simple tips included turning off appliances at the power point and using the washing machine and dishwasher only when they were full.

Ergon Energy spokesperson Mark Timmerman said clean air conditioners made a huge difference to power bills.

A medium-sized unit (around 6kW) running for eight hours a day at a setting of 25 degrees could cost about $230 per quarter.

This same unit running inefficiently with dirty filters at an 18-degree setting for the same number for hours could cost twice as much to run or more, Mr Timmerman said.

"Keeping filters clean will mean the machine does not have to work as hard and will also save you money on running costs."

Sarah Cannata, from energy comparison service HelpMeChoose.com.au, said the national Cut Your Energy Costs Day helped to remind householders how to save big bucks on their power bills.

"There are a number of simple changes Australians can make that could see their utility bills reduced, potentially saving them money," Ms Cannata said. "Cut Your Energy Costs Day promotes the use of less electricity."

She said using energy efficient appliances, swapping air conditioners for fans and forsaking the oven for less energy intensive appliances such as fry pans would make a big difference. 


WARNING: Check your air-conditioners

DIRTY air-conditioners can kill.

That's the warning from one of the nation's leading power brokers as the region enters the second month of summer.

Ergon Energy said dirty air-conditioning filters and components could cost someone their life.

The reminder follows a fire in the Gladstone region on January 3 and one on the Gold Coast on January 2, which were both related to air conditioners.

"Recent hot and humid conditions across much of the state have seen many people turning to these appliances for relief," Ergon Energy spokesperson Mark Timmerman said.

"Like any electrical appliance, maintenance is important to run air conditioners safely and efficiently.

"Most air conditioners have dust filters that can be easily removed and cleaned.


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