Money-saving powerhacks: home entertainment edition


What’s a powerhack, you ask? Think of it as a life hack that helps you save on your power bills. With energy prices at a high, these powerhacks can help you reduce your energy and save money.  

Welcome back to our second powerhacks edition. Last time we looked at fun tips to reduce energy in the bathroom and kitchen. This time we’re focusing on powerhacks related to home entertainment. We all love being entertained, so this edition helps you still have fun and engage in your hobbies, but without the energy-related stress.  

Turn off the red lights 

Look around your house for those little red standby lights to see what’s secretly chewing your juice. Leaving your entertainment appliances such as your TV, gaming consoles and stereos on standby still uses electricity. While it may seem that an individual appliance on standby doesn’t use much power, collectively standby power can drain up to 10% of your home’s electricity.  

Time after time(r) 

To save time going around the house turning off appliances, use a switch timer that you can set and forget. Timers are inexpensive to buy but can save you substantially over the long run. They are perfect for turning off your gadgets, such as your laptop, phone, Wi-Fi and even your air con, while you sleep. If you want a smarter solution, consider using Wi-Fi-enabled plugs so you can turn off your entertainment devices in one go, from the convenience of your mobile phone. 

someone holding a wifi modem

Wi-Fight it 

We love to be connected online, but how much is it costing you IRL (in real life)? Wi-Fi is one of your home’s highest standby energy drains, in fact, it could be costing you up to $40 annually. Shutting down your Wi-Fi at night while you’re sleeping or when you’re not home will save money on your electricity bill. 

Fully charged 

You don’t keep filling up a glass of water once it’s full. The same logic can be applied to charging your gadgets. Your phone, laptop, speakers, e-reader and other gadgets don’t need to be on charge 24/7. Remembering to turn off your devices once fully charged will not only save energy, but the battery of your devices may also last longer. (Hint: See Time after Time(r) powerhack to help you turn off your charger while sleeping.) 

Someone holding a remote

Dim it down 

If your monitor is too bright, it can put a strain on both your eyes and your wallet. Check your screens, from your computer to your TV, to your iPad and your laptop. Dimming your screens by a couple of shades could make a bigger difference than you think. 

Screen time 

It’s easy to mistake computer screensavers as energy savers. However, when your screensaver is on, so too is your screen, which means you’re still using energy. Close your laptop or switch your monitor off completely when not in use to save energy.  

Game over 

Do you enjoy playing video games? When you’re finished playing, use the Shutdown mode versus the Sleep mode to save 20 times more energy.  

Unplug the printer 

On standby, your home printer is thirstier than you may think. Surprisingly, it consumes up to $35 a year in standby energy costs! Switch off the printer at the wall when not in use to save on your bills.  

fish tank

Something’s fishy 

Keeping fish can add Zen to your home, but it can also be a drain on your back pocket in terms of energy bills. Consider swapping out fluorescent lighting for LED, which is 40-90% more energy-efficient and long-lasting. Look for the optimal Goldilocks temperature to keep your fish comfortable (not too hot, not too cold). Remember, heat = energy consumption, so reducing by a degree or two can make all the difference. Also look for a filter that does the job using the lowest wattage. You can even insulate your fish tank too! Reflective foil is a great option.  

Break-up with your devices 

Have a break from your devices by going offline for some old school entertainment. Arrange a board game night with your family or friends, roast marshmallows in a backyard campfire, spend time in nature, tend to your garden, take up knitting or whittling, volunteer your time for charity, do a puzzle or read a book. Disconnecting from your devices can save you money, while helping foster connection with your family, friends and the community.  

That’s it for our entertainment powerhack edition – let us know on our socials what hacks you’d like to try or even share one of your own powerhacks that has helped you lower your energy bill.  

What’s your household energy footprint??

Did you know that energy accounts for approximately 48% of the average Brisbane household’s carbon emissions? Take the Brisbane Carbon Challenge online calculator to find out what your energy carbon footprint is and more ways to reduce your home energy use for lower bills and emissions.

The author

Cherie Pasion

Cherie worked at Brisbane Sustainability Agency, and is a self-confessed energy nerd committed to a slow-living lifestyle.

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