Ways to Save on Electricity

Portable Heaters: A Devil in Disguise?

There’s nothing quite like coming home to a warm, toasty house after a long winters day…

Then you receive your electricity bill for the month, and suddenly the cosy nights just don’t seem so cosy anymore. Sound familiar?

Reality is, as temperatures plummet, our electricity usage can skyrocket, leaving you feeling cold and confused come bill time. When seeking a quick heating fix, it can be tempting to purchase that $25 portable heater from your local supermarket; however, while portable heaters are kind to your wallet up front, they can quickly become a costly addition to the household.

One simple way to avoid the winter bill blues is to calculate the appliance running cost. This can be done in three simple steps and can give you an estimate of how much your appliance is costing to run per hour.

1. Find out how much you pay per unit of electricity

This information can be found on your bill. Look for the kilowatt per hour (kWh) rate.

Note: 1kW = 1000 watts

2. Find out how much input power the appliance uses in kilowatts (kW)

This can usually be found on the appliance or on the packaging. If you can’t find it there, try the instruction manual for the appliance.

Note:  This figure will be displayed as “watts’’

Example:  An appliance that is rated at 2000 watts:
2000 watts ÷ 1000 = 2kW

3. Estimate hourly running cost

Stay with me here…  Multiply the input power in kW by the price of your electricity per kilowatt hour (kWh).
Example: 2kW x 28c per kWh = 56 cents per hour.

Now that you have your kWh rate, you can multiply this by the number of hours you are using the appliance to calculate your daily running cost.

For more information on how to calculate your appliance running cost, head to www.sustainability.vic.gov.au.

Winter saving tips

It may seem all doom and gloom for the humble portable heater, however, when used for short periods of time, on a low setting and in an isolated area, portable heaters can be an effective way to heat small areas of your home.

For tips on what to look for when purchasing a portable heater, visit: www.choice.com.au 

There are plenty of other simple ways to help keep your winter bills in check. Try these tips:

  1. Maintain regular servicing of your heating appliances to ensure that they operate efficiently and safely.
  2. Only heat parts of the home that you’re using, and ensure that doors to rooms that do not require heating are closed.
  3. Set the thermostat to the magic temperature (pssst…. It’s 18-20 degrees)
  4. Use door snakes to ensure that you don’t lose heat through small gaps in the door.
  5. Use a timer to monitor heater usage.
  6. Always check the energy rating on your appliances before purchasing.

By making smarter choices when purchasing and running portable heaters, you can ensure to keep your electricity costs down, and your home warm this winter.

Have questions about your bill?

The team at OC Energy are here to make your experience as pain-free as possible, so you can spend more time on the things that matter. You can Contact Us if you have any further questions, or call our customer service team on 1300 494 080.

You might also like:

Five Simple Ways To Save Money And The Environment


Reference Articles

  1.  https://www.cse.org.uk/advice/advice-and-support/room-heaters
  2. https://www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/heating/electric-heaters/buying-guides/electric-heaters.
  3. http://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/You-and-Your-Home/Save-energy/Appliances/Calculate-appliance-running-costs

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