Smart energy tips

Smart energy tips

Looking for some tips on how to save electricity and reduce your bill? Check out our new smart energy tips – start saving today!

              Energy Rating 3                           Vic Energy Saver 2

First steps

Curtains and doors

Heating or cooling the whole house can be expensive. If your system allows it, close air vents and doors in areas you’re not using.

Ensure your windows are closed and sealed and if possible block draughts around doors to prevent air leaking in.

Seasonal clothing

Dress for the temperature. If you wear the right clothes at home (such as wool or simply wearing layers) you can lower the amount energy you use on heating and cooling.

Thermostat settings

Setting your air-conditioner a few degrees higher or lower may not make a large difference to the temperature, but it can to your electricity bill. Every degree you heat above 20 degrees can add 10% to your heating costs, whereas in summer every degree below 20 degrees can do the same.

Ensure to switch off the heating and cooling whenever possible i.e at night or when you’re leaving the house.

Washers and dryers

Run your washing machines and dishwashers when they are full and use cold water, the higher the water temperature, the more electricity you use.

Dryers can use a lot of electricity. Whenever possible, hang your clothes out to dry.

Refrigerators and freezers

Refridgerators and freezers use a lot of electricity. If possible try not to overstock them or open and close them too much.

To ensure your seals are working properly, you should not be able to easily slide a playing card between the seal and the fridge.

Turning off the second fridge or chest freezer can save you over $200 per year*. 

Next steps

Be aware of where energy use may vary throughout the year

Colder weather requires more heating and vice versa.

Fewer daylight hours results in increased electricity usage for lighting. Energy-efficient light bulbs last longer and save power.

Hot water systems work harder to reach set temperatures when the weather is cooler.

Longer showers and warmer baths use more electricity.

Get to know your meter data

You may be able to access your metering data online.

VIC – If your poles and wires company is Jemena (NMI starting with 600), AusNet Services (NMI starting with 630) or United Energy (NMI starting with 640) and you have the appropriate meter, you are able to access your meter data through their online portal.

In SA, QLD &NSW – online monitoring is only available if approved Diamond Energy metering is installed.

If you have solar panels with a smart meter installed by Metropolis, you can access your meter data here.

If you have an interval meter, you can request your data from Diamond Energy once a year and we will provide it in a spreadsheet file. Please note administrative charges may apply.

Get shifty with Time of Use rates

Households with All-day rates are charged the same electricity rates 24/7.

With Time of Use (TOU) you are charged different rates for the electricity you consume at different times of the day (for example peak, shoulder and off-peak). TOU rates and times differ depending on your poles and wires company (Distributor).

If you have a TOU capable meter installed and can shift your electricity usage to utilise the cheaper rates, you may benefit from TOU. If you also have a solar system installed, the benefits may be even greater.

If you have any questions about TOU and whether it is right for you, please get in touch.

Optimise your pool filter all year round

You may save energy by connecting to a Controlled Load tariff (applicable in QLD & NSW) or running overnight on a Time of Use tariff (applicable in VIC and NSW).

Talk to your local pool shop staff about how long to run your pool filter in winter and summer and get some advice.

A pump with an input of 1, 120 watts will cost around 30 cents per hour to run if connected to peak electricity tariffs.


Get shifty! You could save by shifting your electricity usage around

Getting shifty is a great way to reduce your electricity bill and see a better return from your solar system.

Depending on the feed in tariff you are receiving, it may be beneficial to utilise the electricity you generate in your household first, rather than exporting it to the grid. This means you are using your own electricity and as a result, reducing what you use from your local grid and what you pay for! If you qualified for a high feed in tariff you may gain more by shifting some electricity usage from day time to overnight or on weekends.

If you want some help on how to save by shifting your electricity usage around, please get in touch.

Develop a feel for how your system is performing

Your inverter is a valuable source of information as it records data from your solar system including how much electricity it generates.

If you keep an eye on your inverter you will develop a feel for how your solar system is performing and this may help you identify any performance issues early.

The Clean Energy Council provides information on average daily solar generation in your area. Keep in mind factors such as panel orientation, angle, shading and dirt which can all impact your solar systems performance.

For information on how to read your inverter and interpret the data, refer to the instruction manual provided to you at time of installation.

Keep nearby vegetation from shading your panels

If nearby trees and shrubs are getting out of control and starting to shade your solar system, consider giving them a trim to ensure your panels are unobstructed.

Keep your solar system clean

Most modern solar panels do provide a level of self-cleaning when it rains. However excessive grime, dust, moss and bird-droppings can reduce performance over time.

Consider getting your panels cleaned by a trained and qualified person. Check with your solar installer to see if they offer a cleaning and maintenance service.

If your solar panels are to be cleaned, ensure the panel manufacturers and system installer’s instructions are followed at all times. If you are cleaning them yourself, hosing down hot solar panels with cold tap water on a hot and sunny day is a particularly bad idea. Ensure all safety precautions are taken!

It may be time for a maintenance and safety check

To ensure the maximum ongoing benefit and safe operation of your solar system, consider organising a regular maintenance visit  as recommended by your solar installer and poles and wires company. Ask them to check your system is operating to it’s full capacity, that panels and mounting hardware are securely fastened, all wiring is protected and not damaged by wildlife and all other requirements are met.
*Clean Energy Council and Household Energy Efficiency Fact Sheet