Tips to reduce your electricity bill in winter

When it’s cold outside, electricity bills tend to soar. And we wouldn't blame you for wanting to spend a cold evening curled up next to a heater while watching TV.

However, there are a few things you can do to help reduce your electricity bills. Consider these power-saving tips when preparing your home for the winter months.

Improve insulation

To keep your home warmer without spending more on electricity, insulate specific areas of your home. Cover bare floors with rugs or carpets and drape winter-friendly blankets over furniture.

Pay extra attention to windows – up to 40% of your home's heat is lost here.1 Place rubber seals – which you should be able to find at your local hardware store – on any 3-5mm gaps in the windows. Opt for a storm-proof seal on the front door to keep the elements out.

Use door snakes on internal doors, especially ones linked to cooler rooms like the bathroom.

Keep your windows closed during the evening and covered with thick curtains or blinds.

Wash clothes in cold water

Washing your clothes in cold water could save you around $115 each year as opposed to using hot water.2

You could also further save by switching from using a clothes dryer to hanging clothes outside or using a fan to dry them indoors.

Clean dusty air conditioning filters

A dirty filter can lower an appliance’s efficiency, which can contribute to a higher power bill. Be diligent about keeping filters dust-free – adhering to the manufacturer’s cleaning and maintenance instructions especially if you have pets.

If a thorough clean doesn’t improve your heater’s effectiveness, consider replacing the filters entirely.

Switch off appliances at the wall if not used

You can easily reduce your running costs by turning appliances off at the wall when you're not using them.

Common items that use standby power include microwaves, TVs and game consoles. If it has a clock or a light, it's using power.

Take advantage of natural light

A sunny winter day can provide plenty of light as well as heat to warm up your home. Open any north-facing curtains and blinds during the day to brighten up your home and help you reduce your energy consumption.

Layer up

Before you think about putting the thermostat up a notch, make sure you're wearing warm clothes and have a blanket nearby. Blasting your heating while wearing a T-shirt may not be the most energy efficient choice.

If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, set it to clockwise to circulate warm air throughout the room. You can also try only heating the rooms that you're using to help you reduce your electricity bill.

Consider installing solar panels

While it’s a significant investment, adding solar panels on your roof is perhaps one of the most effective ways of reducing your electricity bill.

You can also install a home battery storage system to store excess energy that your home can use on overcast or short winter days.

If you have a GIO Classic Extras or Platinum Home and Contents Insurance, we'll cover the energy costs for the loss of supply of renewable energy if your solar panels are lost or damaged in an insured event and can’t supply power. Limits, conditions and exclusions apply, so please read the PDS.

Get a GIO Home & Contents Insurance quote

Try a solar-powered water system

Solar hot water systems could also save you money by reducing gas or electricity charges for your water heating. A solar hot water system can use at least 60% less energy than conventional gas or electric heaters.3

Switch to energy efficient light bulbs

Switching to energy-efficient lighting can allow you to illuminate your home using the same amount of light for a lower cost. Consider LEDs, which use about 75% less energy than halogen light bulbs and can last five to ten times longer.4

Keep your insurance up to date

Make sure that the sum insured on your Home and Contents Insurance policy is adequate and up to date. Consider full rebuild costs of your home, including fixtures and appliances.

To update your policy details, simply log in to the GIO App or GIO Online Services.

Review and update my policy

Read more:

1 Your Home
2 Department of Environment and Energy
3 Sustainability Victoria
4 Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.