Keep the heat in your house and out of your energy bill this winter

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The cold snap has well and truly arrived, and this year with a vengeance. The first week of winter has already seen several frosty mornings across Australia that has sent people reaching to crank up the heating.

With the mercury plummeting, households are likely to increase their electricity usage around 15.4 per cent[i] throughout this cold wintery season, so it’s important to make smart choices this time of year to help keep the bills down throughout the chilly months.

According to research conducted by Origin, 79 per cent of Australians surveyed[ii] said that they’re concerned about their electricity usage this winter, and are actively trying to minimise the use of unnecessary devices.

Luckily, there are some very simple and effective ways households can maintain energy costs whilst still keeping warm this winter.

To help reduce energy consumption we have developed a guide to saving money on your energy bill this winter.

Be smart about your heating[iii]

  • Turn down the heat! By turning your heating system on only when the mercury hits 10° rather than 12°, you could save between $38 and $270 over winter.[iv]
  • Households with electric hot water systems connected to an off peak tariff pay between $70-$190 a season less than systems connected to peak power.[v]
  • Take it down a notch! Set your heater’s thermostat between 18° and 20°. Every 1° higher could increase heater running costs by 10 per cent.
  • Grab yourself an electric throw rug! They are the perfect winter warmer and only cost around four cents an hour to run. They’re great for when you’re watching TV or working at your desk- even if you ran it every day through winter for 12 hours- it’d still only cost you roughly $45-$60![vi] Your electric blanket costs around the same.[vii]
  • Say goodbye to portable electric heaters! These are very energy hungry, a small 1500W unit running for seven hours a day throughout winter could cost you between $280- $938[viii]. Try a gas heater instead; much less energy hungry and you could save between $185-$460.[ix]
  • Heat rises! Remember if you have a ceiling fan you can reverse the blade rotations to help circulate the heat around the room.

Alternative ways to keep warm

  • Use the winter sun to help warm up your home.
  • Place well-fitting rugs on bare floors.
  • Heat yourself rather than the house – it’s a good time to pull out all your winter woollies!
  • Have a throw rug handy to bury under whilst relaxing around the house.
  • Draw down the blinds and close the curtains to stop the cold permeating through glass.
  • Plug up small spaces around the door and window frames – keep the cold out and the heat in!

Buying New?

If you are planning to add an extra appliance to the household this winter it is important you do your homework first. Many new gas and electric-duct units can either heat up the whole house, or selected areas. Most new heaters also have thermostatic controls and timers which mean you can control and cut back on energy consumption.

Older heating units without timers or thermostat functions can cost at least 50 per cent more to operate as their elements or burners continuously run whilst the units are on. Be smart this winter – hunt around for an appliance that can reduce your bills.

As we prepare for the cold winter months ahead remember to throw on your winter woollies, put down a rug and be smart about how you use your heating to ensure you keep the heat in your home, and our of your energy bills.

For more energy saving tips, visit www.originenergy.com.au

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[i] Origin residential customers (VIC, SA, NSW and QLD) average electricity consumption comparison between winter (average 1,545.1KWh during winter 2014)  and summer ( average 1,338.3KWh in 2013/2014).

[ii] Origin Energy Essentials Report – May 2015 (survey of 1000 bill payers)

[iii] All calculations vary depending on which state you live in.

[iv] Energy pricing based on Origin standard state average peak domestic rates inclusive of GST exclusive of supply charges current 1 Feb 2015. Savings examples based on space heating being used (12 days less over winter period) only on days minimum temperatures due to be ≤ 10°C instead of 12°C). All calculations vary depending on which state you live in.

[v] Energy pricing based on Origin standard state average peak domestic rates inclusive of GST exclusive of supply charges current 1 Feb 2015. Savings examples based 10 kW consumed per day for 92 days at off peak domestic rates when temperature is below 10°C. All calculations vary depending on which state you live in.

[vi] Energy pricing based on Origin standard state average peak domestic rates inclusive of GST exclusive of supply charges current 1 Feb 2015. Savings examples based on using appliance when temperature is below 10°C. All calculations vary depending on which state you live in.

[vii] 150W operating for 12 hrs/day for 90 days at peak domestic rates. All calculations vary depending on which state you live in.

[viii] Depending on where you live.

[ix]Energy pricing based on Origin standard state average peak domestic rates inclusive of GST exclusive of supply charges current 1 Feb 2015. Savings examples based on using appliance when temperature is below 10°C. Cost calculated based on an average cost to run a1500W electric heater V 11 MJ natural gas heater operating for 7 hrs/day for 90 days in VIC/NSW/QLD/SA

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