Need help to reduce your water and energy bills? Read on for more information.
We all love the comfort of using our electricity, gas and water without a worry. Its a luxury we are blessed to have in modern life. That is until the dreaded quarterly bills arrives and slaps you in the face. Whether you’ve just moved out of home and are facing your first ever bills, or you’re a retiree, we can all get a shock when we see the numbers at the bottom of that bill.
This is especially true in the extremes of summer and winter, when our need for comfort grows. Air conditioners and heaters will get blasted all day and night long. We stay longer in the warmth of a hot shower on those cold winter mornings, and in summer the garden needs extra watering to keep it alive.
All of this adds up, and can have a big impact on your wallet. Here a few things you can do to cut down those expenses, without sacrificing your comfort and everyday life.
No one expects you to not shower just to save on water and energy bills, that’s just ridiculous. Cutting down the length of your showers is a sure way to reduce your bills, yes, but that’s a no brainer. A better way is to look into installing a newer, more efficient hot water system. It may be a large upfront cost, but the long term savings will pay it back in no time. Gas and solar hot water systems are far better for your energy bills. They’ll give you more reliable hot water, for a cheaper price.
On top of that, it’s best to go continuous flow, or even explore a heat pump. Storage systems can rack up energy use simply because they are required to be running 24/7 to keep hot water stored for you. For example, Rinnai’s range of gas continuous flow hot water systems are all rated at least a 6 star energy rating, with a couple even reaching 7 stars. Conversely, their storage range are either as low as 4 stars or not given a rating (usually not a good sign).
Solar systems make use of free energy from the sun, what’s not to like about that. They’re only really ideal if you live in a nice sunny part of the world. They’re heating power is greatly reduced when it’s cloudy, but they can be boosted by gas or electric systems so that you don’t go without.
Similarly to solar, heat pump systems thrive in a warmer climate, simply due to the fact that they extract heat from the air around them and turn it into hot water. Incredibly efficient and very reliable, heat pumps are un underrated way of reducing your energy bills.
Heating and Cooling
You’d be surprised how much you can cut down your energy bills by being smart with your thermostat. It does depend on what kind of heating or cooling system you have, however keeping that thermostat in the right position can save hundreds. It’s estimated that in summer you should keep it between 24-26 degrees. Every degree under is an extra 10% on your bill. In winter your heating should be kept at around 18-20 degrees, anything over adds an extra 10% as well.
As I said, it does depend on the type of heating and cooling you have. Here at Jim’s, we can’t comment much on cooling as it isn’t our forte, but gas heating is a speciality of ours. It’s estimated that gas heating can be as much as three times cheaper than electric. This is mainly due to gas tariffs being a lot less than electricity, and the fact that they don’t fluctuate like electricity rates do. If you find you only need to heat one or two rooms, go with a small portable space heater, rather than a large ducted outfit.
You may also consider installing a rainwater tank in your garden to utilise the purest resource nature can give us, whilst reducing your water bills. Water-saving showerheads and tap fittings are a great way to reduce your water bills, as well as getting any pesky leaks fixed by your local Jim’s plumber. Leaking taps can cost you thousands if left unattended for too long. In addition, dual flush toilets can be installed so that you don’t have to use a full flush every time you go, saving thousands of litres of water over a period of time.
To Sum Up…
Life doesn’t have to be difficult in order to save money on your energy and water bills, and you don’t have to be overly frugal to get some extra savings. Most of what’s been discussed in this article will actually improve your life significantly, making it that little bit easier to be comfortable at home. When it comes to cutting down energy bills, don’t forget that its all the little things that add up. It’s all too easy to dismiss certain things as unimportant and insignificant, but over time they’ll only add more numbers to your bills.