Looking to cut your costs? Use these handy tips to save money on your utility bills throughout the year.

1. Unplug appliances and electronics

Appliances are sneaky. Even when they’re not turned on, they still draw electricity when plugged in. The rule of thumb is: Unplug appliances and electronics that aren’t used on a regular basis, i.e. your toaster, kettle, blender, etc. If going on an ‘unplug spree’ around your apartment isn’t your idea of fun, why not buy a power strip to control multiple electronics and appliances at the same time? Easy.

2. Get shady

Windows that receive direct sunlight throughout the day will warm up your house, which probably isn’t what you’re after when the mercury starts rising. Hang window shades or coverings on these windows, and keep the windows closed during the day. Your apartment will stay cooler. In winter, you should keep them open to allow your sun to warm up the apartment!

3. Never do anything by halves

Where possible, try to avoid doing partial loads of laundry. If you wash a full load, you’ll lessen the number of loads you have to do. Try to wash your laundry in cold water wherever possible. If you have the room, air dry your clothes on a collapsible clothes rack. It’ll save you money using the dryer.

4. Energy-efficient lighting

A really easy way to save money is to use energy efficient light bulbs. These bulbs individually can help you save money on your utility bills because they use less energy. Most homes could reduce the amount of energy they use for lighting by 50 per cent or more by making smart lighting choices. In Australia, traditional, inefficient incandescent light bulbs have been phased out. Now you can buy more efficient types of lighting including light emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

5. Wear the right clothes

This might seem very basic, but if you dress for the temperature, you won’t need to use so much energy around the house. In summer – all you can really do is wear less clothing. Winter is a different story.

6. Is your refrigerator running (efficiently)? 

Your fridge is always on – and if you think about it – it’s one of your most expensive appliances. Make sure the door seal is tight and free from gaps. This stops hot air from escaping. If you have a second fridge or freezer, only turn it on when / if you need it.

7. Save energy in the kitchen

To reduce cooking time (and the time your appliances are switched on) thaw frozen food out in the fridge ahead of time. When you’re cooking, use the microwave when you can. It uses far less energy than an electric oven. If you need to use the stove, keep lids on your pots to reduce cooking time.

Do your research, talk to your local utility companies and think about talking to your landlord or property manager about other ways you can make your apartment more energy efficient.