Managing electricity bills
Find the best energy deal - get $250
One of the easiest ways to reduce energy costs is to compare energy offers. Victoria's Power Saving Bonus (PSB) is a one-off, $250 payment to help ease cost-of-living pressures and to encourage Victorian households to look for a better energy deal.
The $250 bonus is available between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023. It is available to all Victorians who visit the Victorian Energy Compare website or engage with an energy affordability service through participating community outreach partners. If you need help to apply, you can call the team at Good Shepherd on 1300 026 500.
The $250 Bonus is limited to one payment per eligible household.
10 simple tips to keep you and your home cool
To help you stay safe and save money, we have put together 10 tips for keeping you and your home cool in hot weather:
1. Block the heat - shade your windows
Stopping heat getting into your house in the first place with appropriate external shading means spending less on cooling. Shade windows and walls using external coverings, like blinds, awnings or large potted plants. Plant deciduous trees that cast shade over your home in summer, but still let the sun shine through in winter.
2. Close your blinds
Keep your blinds closed, especially on north and west-facing windows. Better yet, invest in some block-out curtains to shield your home from that harsh summer sun.
3. Use personal fans and adjust ceiling fans
Sometimes, a fan is all you need for some welcome cooling air. Since fans cost only $5—$20 per season to run, using them as much as possible helps lower your energy bill.
If you have ceiling fans, set them to rotate counter-clockwise in summer to push air straight down, helping to create a cooling effect (and clockwise in winter to pull cool air up).
4. Set your temperature wisely
If you must use your air-conditioner, set the thermostat to between 24—27°C, or as high as you feel comfortable. Increasing your thermostat by just 1°C in warm weather can reduce the running cost of your AC by about 10 per cent.
5. Only heat or cool occupied areas
If no one’s in a room, there’s little reason to heat or cool it. Close doors to rooms you aren’t using to keep cool air where you need it most.
Room sensors, smart controls, and timers for your heating and cooling can be used or get in the habit of turning it off when you leave.
6. Keep doors and windows closed and seal gaps
Keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible. Seal gaps around doors and windows, and use draught excluders to ensure the cool air can’t escape.
Evaporative air-conditioners will be more effective if you open some doors and windows to increase air flow through the home.
7. Maintain AC and clean the filter regularly
Use the maintenance schedule contained in your air conditioner’s manual. This will head off many energy-sapping or expensive-to-fix issues before they even begin.
Clogged filters make your air conditioner work much harder to produce the same effect; for optimum energy use, clean or replace them every 1—2 months.
8. Insulate your house
A fully insulated home compared to a non-insulated home can reduce the cost of heating and cooling a home by around 40 to 50%.
9. Buy an energy efficient split system air conditioner
If you have a ducted air conditioner system, you’re spending $100—$300 more — per season — than you need to. Energy efficient split system air conditioners are not only cheaper to buy and install, but also cheaper to run for both cooling and heating. If you're replacing an old heater in the process, you may be eligible for a $1000 rebate from the Victorian Government's Heating and cooling upgrades program for a new energy efficient split system.
Either have your outdoor air conditioner component installed in a shady place, or protect it from direct sunlight with an awning. This will help it run more efficiently and protect it from overheating.
10. Go solar
This is the biggest investment, but can also provide the biggest savings. Solar systems can save their owners 30-60% on their energy bills, and pay for themselves in 3—7 years. Check out our Solar Saver program to make the process easy.
Get more tips on using less energy around your home and saving money on your electricity bills, including information for renters, in our saving energy at home guide.