How to keep winter energy costs down

Being comfortable during the winter months is important, and it’s a time when household and business energy bills can soar. Here are some easy ways to keep costs down and help you save on your winter energy bill.

Heating systems

Heating can significantly affect your winter energy costs and using more energy-efficient heating, like a reverse cycle air conditioner or gas heater rather than a fan or bar heater, can make a big difference.

If you're using a reverse cycle air conditioner for heating, make sure it's running efficiently and using less energy by:

  • cleaning the filter at the start of the season
  • not turning the heat up too high - set the temperature at 19-21 degrees.

Keep your home insulated

Australian homes are often designed to release heat to help us during our hot summers. In winter, this means our homes can feel cool.

You can help by taking simple steps to reduce draughts and insulate your home to trap heat:

  • close windows and curtains when the sun starts going down
  • shut doors to other areas of the house that are not currently in use
  • use door snakes along the bottom of doors to cover gaps
  • use rugs on hardwood, concrete or tile floors.

Hot water systems

Hot water systems are another energy-hungry appliance and longer and warmer showers in winter can lead to higher bills.

Check to see if your hot water system is on an off-peak tariff as this can save you money. Try to limit your long showers as well - aim for a maximum of 4 minutes.

Make sure your hot water system is set to around 60 degrees. Any hotter and you will need to add a lot of cold water to make it usable.

Check if your hot water system overflow valve is in good working condition. If it is leaking water, this will mean your system is working harder to keep the water up to temperature.

Rug up with winter clothes and linen

Before resorting to the heater, make sure you are rugged up in your winter woollies. Dust off your winter clothes and layer up to keep warm.

Having winter bedding is another great way to avoid turning the heater on. Flannelette sheets and winter-specific doonas will keep your bed nice and toasty.

Worried about winter energy bills?

If you’re worried about paying your winter energy bills, contact your energy provider to see what help is available.

Energy providers can help by setting up payment plans based on a customer’s energy usage and ability to pay, and they can also provide information about how to save energy. Your provider’s customer assistance or hardship team will be able to discuss the options available.

If you have a dispute with your energy company, EWOQ may be able to help. EWOQ provides a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service. We help residents and small business customers across Queensland who have a problem with their electricity or gas providers, and those in South East Queensland with water issues too. You can submit a complaint online.