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No doubt you’ve bought the cot, researched the safest car seats, looked at colour swatches for the nursery walls and possibly even invested in organic, paraben free nappy rash cream. In the spirit of preparation here are a few helpful tips you can put in place before the arrival of your first bub and their first couple of months, to save on your electricity bill and peace of mind when you need it most.
Take a weekend to change your halogen lights to LED’s, these are a much more energy efficient way to light a room.
'Halogen Bulbs can use 9 times as much electricity as an equivalent light from an LED globe or downlight. When you multiply that by the number of lights you have in your house, it can add up to hundreds of dollars a year.'
No doubt you’ll be entering late night and early morning feeds, so it’s worth considering some low light desk lamps as well. These will give you enough illumination to stumble bleary eyed to your feeding chair, this will also save on your electricity bill and your eyes in the dark.
With the carbonTRACK system you can easily control your lights and appliances from your phone, so you can save those stubbed toes.
You’ll most likely have been gifted lots of newborn clothes, people cannot resist buying those tiny little jumpsuits. Considering this, try doing full loads of laundry. Not only will it reduce your water and electricity bill, but you’ll also find you’ll save time.
A good tip is to do loads in the evening, when everything has been dirtied for the day. This is also more likely to be an off-peak time for electricity, so you’ll be charged at a lower rate. You can pair this with avoiding using hot water to further increase savings.
'Roughly 75 percent of the energy required to do a load of laundry goes into heating the water.'
Cold water can help your clothes last longer too, as heat can break down dyes in the clothes and cause shrinkage.
If you have solar panels installed, you can do your washing during the day when you are generating your own electricity. For those who work during the day, there are some great home automation products out there. These products allow you to set schedules and turn on your appliances when you aren’t around but your solar is.
In the summer months get into the habit of hanging your washing on the line, baby clothes only really need a peg a piece, plus you’ll feel much better for taking ten minutes moving around in the fresh air.
You can do this in winter too, but if it’s wet and cold outside, invest in a clothes horse you can put on front of a light facing window.
Avoid turning the heater on every night and instead stock up on plush blankets that you can snuggle under in the loungeroom, reserving the heating for those really cold nights!
To gain a little more control over your heating and cooling costs, as well as lighting levels of the baby’s room, investigate having block out curtains installed. These will ensure rooms do not absorb too much of the sun’s heat in summer, while also keeping the place warm in winter. They can decrease the amount of heat that is transferred via your windows by up to 24 percent. That means you can avoid changing the thermostat less frequently. As a bonus, you can make your baby’s room nice and dim for nap time. It’s okay, you can thank us later.
Your hot water tank is also a big energy user and most house hold tanks are set to a higher than necessary temperature, usually around 70°c. Instead change the setting to around 40 or 50°c (If you have a hot water storage tank, set the temperature no lower than 60°c).
This makes sure that you won’t be heating the water unnecessarily and you won’t need to run extra cold water to cool it for your newborn’s skin. This saves on water and electricity. It’ll also increase the volume on that voice in your head that says “You’ve got this!”.
Here you can find handy step by step instructions of how to adjust your temperature settings.
Have you ever tried to cook meals in a large batch, to set out portions for the week? This not only saves you time both cooking and cleaning, it also reduces the energy cost of turning the oven or stove top on each night.
Here are some great recipes you can try at home:
As well as giving you more time to focus on your new bundle of joy, you’ll also notice that a full fridge saves on your electricity bill. When there are less areas for warm air to populate when you open the door, your fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to compensate.