How To Reduce The Energy Bill In Your Granny Flat
Electricity bills have become a shock (get it?)
Let’s be honest; we all want to reduce them, but it’s something we never actually get around to.
If you want to become a true granny flat dweller, and a naturalised Aussie, it’s time to change that though. Learning to live smart and save is critical in this part of the world.
If you’ve got a granny flat on your property, living small can help you save big on your energy bills, leaving you with more money to spend on the things you love.
After all, what else are these mini dwellings good for if they can’t save you money? (plenty of things actually, but you get the point).
So here’s 5 nimble ways to reduce the energy bill for your granny flat, whether it’s occupied or not. You can adopt these around the rest of your home too.
Ditch the Lights and Get Some Windows
Nothing’s more generous than natural sunlight. It’s the perfect substitute for those power-hungry light-bulbs around your home and lights up your living space with an incomparable natural charm. Plus, it’s completely free and good for you!
If you work indoors, chances are you’re not getting enough Vitamin D anyway. So instead of reaching for the light switch when things get dim, think of ways you can bring in more sunlight. It’ll do wonders for your ambience and energy bill alike.
Start by maximising the number of windows you have, and think carefully about their placement. Sunlight moves around throughout the day so make sure you put them on an angle that’ll get constant exposure.
If you want to go to the next level, you can also install a sky-light in your ceiling, or replace your regular doors with transparent glass ones. The more sunlight you get in, the more you’ll save.
You can also spread the light around with strategically placed mirrors. Mirrors reflect sunlight and carry it to other unreachable areas of your granny flat, setting the perfect mood and increasing the sense of space around you.
There’s truly no better, and more satisfying way to save money on your electricity bill. If you’re building from scratch, then make sure you choose a design that incorporates larger windows. Getting this right at the planning and design stage is a lot easier than incorporating it later on.
Need some inspiration? Check out our Plus designs which feature larger windows.
Use A Power-Point Timer
The best way to reduce your power bill is to actually use less power. It sounds obvious, but it’s surprising how much we tend to ignore our poor usage habits. They add up to a lot of extra dollars every quarter.
Do you charge your devices overnight, leave the lights/heater on while you’re not even home, or turn the TV on just for the sake of company? These have become mainstream living habits for most of us, so it’s no wonder electricity bills are so high.
The easiest way to curb these habits is with a power-point timer, which you can set to shut off your electrical circuits when you’re not using them. That way you can fall asleep with your TV or heater on without needlessly using electricity all night.
Some appliances have a built-in power timer already, but these don’t always turn them off. They might still be using power in the background as electricity is still being supplied from the outlet. Power-point timers disable the power supply completely, so there’s no way for the device to keep draining electricity. This is a lot safer too, especially if you’re using potentially faulty or old appliances which could malfunction.
Buy A Microwave
Microwaves are great for reheating leftovers, but newer models can also cook your meals from scratch.
These small cookeries are the perfect addition to any small home. They’re much more efficient than a conventional oven as they don’t require as much heat, and can get the job done much quicker.
If you frequently cook small meals, using a microwave can break a huge chunk off your power bill and save you a lot of time as well. Save the ovens and stove-tops for occasional meals that actually require them.
Just make sure you find a model with a maximum energy efficiency rating and with the proper cooking functions.
Cook The Old-School Way
Cooking with real fire is still a healthy and viable option, even though electric appliances have become the norm today. It takes a little extra work, but once you try your own authentic charcoal grill you’ll be hooked forever. The intense smoky flavour is a culinary treasure that can’t even be described, and can do wonders for reducing your energy bills.
All you need is some basic equipment. You can’t go wrong with the classic Weber range. These come in handy sizes that make them super easy to store around your backyard or even inside your granny flat.
You’ll also need some basic heat beads or charcoal pieces, which you can buy from any service station or grocery store.
Making traditional BBQ’s a habit can significantly reduce your energy bill every quarter. Try getting the family together every weekend for a classic charcoal roast instead of relying on your stove-top or oven to prepare your meals. You’ll literally taste the savings!
Use The A/C Wisely
Air-conditioners are a great way to get comfy. Whether you like things warm, cool, or just right, using the A/C gives you the perfect temperature on-demand.
But there’s a right way and a wrong way to use these crafty godsends. Turning it on and hoping for the best is a blind mistake, and another sure-fire way to rake up your power bill. Before using any temperature appliance (A/C, fan, or heater), map out where you think it will work best.
Some rooms will work better than others at absorbing and maintaining the temperature. Rooms with ceramic tiles will naturally emit cold air and keep your living space cooler, so if you’re trying to stay warm you’ll need to cover them up or use the A/C elsewhere. You can also change your flooring to carpet or floorboards, which aren’t as cold.
Also make sure you close your doors and windows, which will keep the controlled air inside your home. That means that once you get the temperature just right, you can turn the A/C off periodically.
Rent Out Your Granny Flat
Not everyone wants to become a landlord, but unless you’ve got a specific, dedicated use for your beloved granny flat, think seriously about renting it out.
The added income goes a long way to covering the cost of building, and can help you reduce the added overheads on your electricity bill by passing it off to your tenants.
To do this, you’ll need to have a separate meter and billing account set up for your granny flat. This lets you calculate exactly how much your tenants use, and also protects you from legal disputes regarding costs.
Renting is a tough game though. Finding and managing tenants isn’t easy, so make sure you’re prepared for the workload.
Read up on our best renting tips for landlords before you start.