Power down: how to cut back on your energy usage these school holidays

By Kelly Emmerton ·

Love them or loathe them, school holidays are a major chunk of every parent’s calendar. In the summer holidays, keeping kids entertained, cool and active takes considerable brain power.

It can also take a toll on your wallet in more ways than one, from paying for days out right to a spike in your energy bills. Having the kids home seven days a week means your home will be powered up more often than not, and with energy prices as high as they currently are, it can make a bigger difference than you might expect.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with 5 ways to cut back on energy usage these school holidays - without missing out on any of the fun.

1. Take a break from screens. Laptop, Xbox, TV - chances are your kids are planning to spend a reasonable chunk of their holidays in front of a screen of some description. These all suck up energy, so limiting screen time to a few hours a day is not only good for your kids health, it’s good for your budget too.

2. Break out the sprinkler. It’s set to be a scorching summer this year, and having the aircon pumping day and night is tempting. But that can send your summer energy bill skyrocketing, so cool off by turning on the sprinkler or hose for a homemade water park, or head to the nearest public pool for a dip instead. It’s more fun for the kids and easier on your wallet!

3. Switch off. If you’re heading away on holidays this school break, make sure your empty home isn’t sucking energy while you’re gone. Turn off all the lights for a start, and then check which appliances or technology you can switch off as well. Leaving things on standby will continue to use power, so make sure to turn things like spare fridges, computers or microwaves off completely when you can.

4. Get involved with local events. Many cities hold a whole host of free events during the school holidays to help you keep your kids entertained. Try to head out to as many of these as you can, to avoid your kids spending the entire break under the aircon in front of the TV. It’s a win-win - you use less power, and your kids get to have some fun new experiences.

5. Score a better value energy plan. All these things can help you minimise the impact electricity bills have on your budget, but the biggest difference will come from finding the cheapest energy plan for your household. Mozo research has previously shown that Aussies can save up to $1,000 by switching their energy plan to a cheaper option. That way, you and your kids can have as much aircon and Xbox time as you like this school holidays.

If you’re keen to save big bucks on your power bill, head over to our Energy Cost Cruncher to run the numbers on your electricity use and find out if there’s a better deal out there for you.

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