At home

Money-saving tips

Did you know that up to 10 per cent of all household electricity is consumed by leaving your appliances on standby? That’s a lot of wasted energy and wasted money.

Switch off your appliances when they are not in use. It’s just one of the easy actions you can take to save on bills.

In the kitchen

Your dishwasher

  • Get the right size for your household.
  • Only use it when full and choose the most economical programs.
  • Keep the filters clean.
  • If you have a solar hot water system, direct connection to solar hot water may damage your dishwasher due to high water temperature. However, a mixing valve for hot and cold water could enable solar hot water to be used.
  • If you are buying a new one, see our dishwasher buyer’s guide (PDF 614KB).

Your fridge and freezer

  • Set the temperature of your fridge to between three and 4°C, and your freezer to -15 to -18°C. A change of one degree can affect energy consumption by up to five per cent. Remember to check the temperatures occasionally.
  • Place your fridge in a cool spot and ensure the coils get adequate air circulation. Check the manufacturer’s advice on minimum distance from walls.
  • Keep door seals clean and ensure they are air tight. Leaking seals cost you money. Test for leaking seals by closing the door on a sheet of A4 paper. If it slips, contact the retailer or manufacturer for replacement door seals.
  • Defrost your freezer at least twice a year.
  • Do you really need that second fridge? You could be wasting hundreds of dollars, especially if your second fridge is more than 10 years old. Older fridges can be collected under the Fridge Buyback scheme. If you do need a second fridge, consider turning it off during the cooler months and enjoy the savings.
  • If you are buying a new fridge or freezer, check out our refrigeration buyers guide (PDF 518KB).

Your appliances

  • Microwaves, electric frypans and pressure cookers are much more energy-efficient than the oven.
  • Keep the oven door completely closed until the food is cooked. Every time the door is opened, the oven temperature drops by 14 to 20°C.
  • Keep lids on pots and simmer gently, rather than boiling rapidly, for more efficient cooking.
  • Clean range hood filters regularly and vent the exhaust outside.

In the laundry

To get the most energy efficiency from your washing machine, use cold or warm water instead of the 'hot' setting.

If you do need to use hot for your washing – and your water heater is gas, off-peak electric, heat pump or solar – then don’t use the washing machine to heat it. Hot water from your heater will be far cheaper. 

If you have a time-of-use electricity tariff, use the delay start option on your dryer so that you run the machine during low-cost periods.

Only wash when you have a full load unless you have a self-adjusting machine. Some clothes washers have a ‘suds save’ option, which can save water and detergent (use an environment-friendly brand).

Avoid using your clothes dryer whenever possible; hang your clothes out to dry when you can. Even just hanging out some will make a difference. Clean the dryer filter before each use, and keep the areas around the dryer well ventilated to prevent high humidity, which slows drying time.

Avoid overloading the dryer; it means longer drying time (using more power) and can cause wrinkles and drying unevenness. Try to do several loads one after the other. This makes use of the heat in the machine from the previous load.

If you are thinking of buying a new washer or dryer, check out the Smarter Choice buyer’s guide (PDF 663KB).

When ironing, do large batches at a time to avoid wasting power by reheating the iron. Sort the ironing by fabric type and iron lighter fabrics on lower settings first. Use a dry iron, if possible, as steaming uses more energy.

In the bathroom

The best way to save money in your bathroom is to use water and energy as efficiently as you can.

If you have a heater that doesn’t run on renewable energy, don’t waste energy heating water that you will not use. Use showerheads that have been designed to give you only the amount of water you need.

Does your toilet cistern run? It’s wasting water, so call a plumber or make the adjustments yourself. Do any of your taps drip? One leaking tap can waste 20,000 litres of water – that you’re paying for – each year.

You’ll find lots of tips for keeping your bathroom costs down in lowering hot water costs and saving water.

Was this page helpful?

Thank you for your feedback.

Would you like to tell us more?

Share this

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter More...
Page last updated: 29 January 2016