Easy ways to reduce power use amid skyrocketing electricity prices

With the recent power-out scares and the potential for more episodes of power shortages in Queensland and New South Wales, authorities are urging residents to conserve electricity during peak periods for the foreseeable future. If that’s not enough to motivate your household to cut back on power use, the steady climb in electricity prices could be the final push you need. Now is the perfect time to take a closer look at where you use power in your home and the potential opportunities available to reduce costs.

We’ve all heard the spiel before – “save power”, “reduce electricity”, “lower your household energy use”, etc – but how exactly do we achieve that? The fridge still needs to stay cold, we still need to use the washing machine, and candles just don’t provide enough light to make dinner for the family.

It’s actually pretty easy, and it’s both little tweaks and bigger changes combined that will help lower the amount of power your home consumes each month. (We promise, no candles needed.)

There are a number of things that you can do around your home to save electricity and reduce your monthly power bill. Here are some tips:

Sun over misty mountains

Convert to free power

Sounds too good to be true, but adding a solar PV system to your home provides you with free, green power from a renewable energy source (the best kind). Once installed every ray of sunshine can be helping to power your home throughout the day. By including a solar battery in your solar system you can use your excess green energy after dark too.

Upgrade your light bulbs or lighting

This is a simple, gradual change that over time can reduce the electricity used to light your home as well as lower bulb replacement costs. When an old light bulb blows, replace it with a more energy-efficient alternative such as LED. Apart from using a fraction of the power to operate (compared to older style bulbs such as halogen) LED bulbs last a lot longer which means you’re not paying for a new bulb anywhere near as often.

Clock on bedside table

Switch to off-peak tariff electricity

If you’re on a standard residential electricity tariff then chances are you’re paying a flat rate for power regardless of whether you use it during the peak arvo/evening period or in the middle of the night. Check with your electricity retailer to see if they offer an off-peak tariff and make the switch to help to reduce your overall electricity costs.

Energex (supplying SE QLD) offers two off-peak tariffs:

  • Super Economy Tariff 31 – 10 pm to 7 am
  • Economy Tariff 33 – 8 pm to 4 pm

Some residents may be able to connect to a Time of Use (ToU) tariff that allows households to pay less by choosing to use most power outside peak periods. Speak to your electricity retailer for options available to your home.

If you’d like to know more ABC News has written a great article on off-peak electricity – What is off-peak electricity? What hours are considered off-peak? Am I eligible for off-peak electricity rates?

Washing machine and dryer

Adjust when you use large appliances

Try to use your washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower (ToU tariff). This tweak can be as simple as delaying turning the dishwasher on until you go to bed or putting a load of washing on in the morning rather than after work.

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Monitor your electricity consumption

You can’t manage what you don’t measure so it’s important to keep track of your electricity consumption. There are a number of ways to do this including using a smart meter, online portal, or mobile app. This will help you to identify areas where you can save electricity and money.

Red spotted piggy bank

Energy-saving tips

Other things you can do to lower your home electricity use include:

Home heating/cooling

  • Run the aircon on eco mode.
  • Close curtains or blinds, block draughts and shut doors to keep the cool/heat in.
  • Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your aircon to recirculate heated/cooled air throughout the room.
  • Set the aircon thermostat to the most energy-efficient temperature – 24 degrees Celcius in summer and 19 degrees in winter.
  • Clean air conditioner filters regularly and schedule an aircon service for the beginning of summer and winter.


  • Set the fridge thermostat to 4-5 degrees and the freezer to -15 to – 18 degrees.
  • Check fridge seals and replace them when needed.
  • Cook with the pot lid on – keeps heat in the pot and speeds up cooking times.
  • Check oven seal and replace when needed.


  • Wash laundry in cold water.
  • Use the washing line rather than the dryer.
  • Only put a wash on when you’ve got a full load.


  • Connect your pool pump to an economy tariff.
  • Look for a high energy star rating when replacing appliances.
  • Turn off storage hot water systems if you go away for more than a few days.
  • Turn the light off when you leave the room.

By following these simple energy-saving tips, you can save each month. Do your part to conserve energy and help minimise rising electricity prices.