The cold, wet Winter weather often translates into more nights spent at home, which can cause electricity bills to skyrocket. Most of us already live according to strict budgets, so finding ways to reduce our electricity consumption during this season would be ideal. Not to mention that a lowered electric bill is also a more environmentally responsible way of living, which is something we should all be striving towards…        

Of course, following those dark days of load shedding (excuse the pun) in 2015, everybody should be well aware of the obvious electricity savers, such as unplugging all of your appliances when they’re not in use, filling your washing machines and dishwashers with a full (not half) load before switching them on, making use of geyser blankets, and installing ceiling insulation for heating and cooling purposes. But, there are loads of other subtle tricks homeowners can try in an effort to lower the meter reading at the end of the month:

1) Unplug in Bulk
Plug your appliances into a power strip. That way you only have to unplug one device to prevent all of your appliances from drawing a phantom charge from the power socket.

2) Dust your Lightbulbs
Dust on the lightbulbs in your lamps is another “phantom” electricity thief. The dustier your lightbulbs, the less light they provide, which means that you are more likely to switch on additional lights in order to brighten the space – especially during Winter when the evenings and mornings get darker earlier. 

3) Shop for Groceries Wisely
Freezers and refrigerators use less electricity when filled to their recommended capacities. Each item over the recommended capacity will increase electricity usage by between 10-20%. A similar effect occurs when these appliances are too empty. Homeowners should consider the needs of their household carefully before purchasing a fridge and freezer.

4) Empty Vacuums Cleaner Bags
Vacuum cleaners draw a lot more electricity when the dust bag is full, which is why it is best to empty the bag every time you use it.

5) Wash on a Cold Cycle  
Set your washing machine to a cold cycle. As a bonus, you do not need to separate your lights and darks because the cold water is less likely to make the colours run.

As a final trick, why not spend a little less time in front of their screens this Winter and more time engaging with their loved ones instead? Board games and conversations are a great way to stay entertained on rainy days without using any electricity.