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It’s that time of year! Making your resolutions and planning out 2018.

Want to save cash and energy this year? Need some ideas on resolutions to make your home or business more energy efficient? We’ve put together our best innovative, cost-effective solutions to saving energy to create a list of the top ways to save energy and money at home. This year, resolve to try one or more of these tips to and start seeing savings on your next energy bill.

Use your ceiling fans.

This year, give your HVAC system a break and use your ceiling fans more. Set your fans to spin clockwise in the winter and counter-clockwise in the summer. They’ll pull warm air down from the ceiling when it’s cold and create a wind chill effect when it’s warm.

Don’t leave your lights on

This is a simple resolution, but can make a big difference on your electric bill. If you’re not using the lights in a room, turn them off. This goes for living rooms and kitchens, too.

Every degree makes a difference!

By turning the aircon on when the temperature rises to 30 rather than 28, you can save a substantial amount. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall heating/cooling bill will be.

Watch out for standby power

The typical Aussie home has about 30 devices that constantly draw standby power, accounting for around 10% of a home’s energy bill. So if you’re not using an appliance, confirm that’s its completely turned off.

Wash full loads

Most of the energy used by dishwashers and washing machines goes toward heating the water, and washing only half loads of dishes or laundry wastes money. Wait until you have a full load of dishes or clothes before you wash them.

Wooden pegs on a laundry line

Use sunlight to your advantage

 The sun’s rays can contribute heat in the winter but force air conditioners and fans to work harder -- and use more energy -- in the summer. During winter months, you can take advantage of sunlight by opening your curtains during the day to allow the sun to naturally heat your home.

During warmer months, use light-coloured window shades or blinds to reflect heat back outside, keeping your home cooler and more efficient. Using natural lighting effectively will also reduce the need to use artificial light.

Schedule your heating and cooling

Be smart about how and when you heat your home.  One option is to purchase a programmable thermostat. which allows you to schedule automatic increases and decreases in your home’s temperature, saving money on cooling in the summer and heating in the winter.

You’ll be more comfortable and you’ll certainly notice the difference on your electricity bill!

Another option is to utilise carbonTRACK to set timers for compatible heating systems to heat your home with the last few hours of solar electricity.

Install energy saving light bulbs, like LEDs!

LED bulbs can save you a lot of money on energy use over the long haul, plus they have much longer lives than normal incandescent bulbs, making them well worth the upfront investment.

Consider installing some in areas where you keep the lights on for long periods, such as in the kitchen and living room. LEDs are much cheaper than they used to be and use a tiny fraction of the energy of old light bulbs.

Choose energy efficient appliances

If you’re buying some new, big appliances, now is the perfect time to invest in energy efficient models. This will seriously decrease the cost you have to pay on electricity bills over time, even if initially it will cost a bit more. If you think about it, a refrigerator can easily last 20 years. That’s quite a commitment – and one you want to work well for you!

Set up your home electronics with Smart Plugs

Looking forward to getting your television, cable box, DVD player, sound system, and video game console set up? When you do it, set things up with a Smart Plug you to can track how much standby power they are using and switch them off from your phone, from anywhere.

Turning off standby power from devices you’re not using can save a lot of money over time, especially since many such devices eat quite a bit of power as they sit unused, constantly draining your money.

Plant shade trees near your house.

This is a definitely a long term one, but mother nature can help you save significantly on your summer cooling costs — and heating costs in winter, too. If you plant deciduous trees — the kind that lose their leaves in autumn — you’ll really notice a difference.

The leafy shade trees will naturally cool your home during the hot summer months by reducing the amount of direct sunlight that hits your house. In the winter, they’ll lose their leaves, allowing that same sunlight to stream through your windows and heat up the home a bit more. Just don’t plant them where they will shade your solar panels (if you have some or plan to get some).

Person planting tree in pot

Use more electricity when rates are low

Time of Use (TOU) billing is usually set up so that rates are higher when you’re more likely to be consuming electricity. For residences, this usually means late afternoon, while for businesses it might be more like 9am to 5pm.

You can save money by running appliances and devices when electricity is cheaper – i.e. during the off-peak times (when electricity is at its cheapest – usually overnight) and shoulder times (when electricity rates are in between – usually occurring just before and after peak times).

Power down at close time

With carbonTRACK, homes and businesses can schedule lights, air-con and even power outlets to turn off at a certain time each day. This way, no electricity is being wasted overnight. Switching off computer monitors, TVs, the microwave and other small appliances may seem like a drop in the ocean, but over time this will add up!

Know what energy you’re actually using

It's hard to save what you can't see.

Use carbonTRACK to get a solid understanding of what is using electricity in your home and when. You view what you're using, when you're using it - plus you can even switch appliances on and off from your phone! If you’ve got solar, carbonTRACK can help you run connected devices during the day to make the most of your solar generation. Or if you're looking to make the most of time of use billing, you don't have to manually switch devices.

You can program them through carbonTRACK! Some examples of electricity use that could be shifted to the day time include; charging phones and toothbrushes, pool pumps, pond and spa pumps, washing machines, dishwashers and other small appliances. So you're not only monitoring your electricity, you're controlling it too!

Knowing what energy you use means you can save money on electricity any time of year, for years to come! Now that you’re armed with our tips, you’ll be well on your way to changing your energy habits and getting your bills under control in 2018!

Looking to save big this year? Get your bills under control with carbonTRACK. Here's how it works:

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