Cool runnings: managing energy costs during the school holidays

3 min

If you think your kids have been high energy this month, then it’s likely your home and its appliances have been too.

With a busier home than usual during the school holidays, it can be a challenge to both contain energy levels (of any excitable young people) and conserve them (around the house). Adding those high summer temperatures into the mix, and keeping cool while the mercury rises, can make January a demanding month for residential energy bills.

However, this is also a great time to educate the kids by improving their energy literacy around the home, instilling in them some sensible energy saving practises that they can adopt no matter the season. We’ve laid out a few practical steps to help you get started:


  • Lights around the house: it can sometimes feel that there are twice as many people in your home than there are, with bright lights beaming in every room and devices/screens entertaining a phantom audience. Switching to energy efficient light globes and getting young people into the habit of turning lights off in rooms they are not using is a great start
  • Vampire devices: educate younger energy consumers about the difference between standby and switched off, a difference which can add significant heft to energy bills. Many appliances such as TVs and home entertainment systems, as well as phone and laptop chargers, continue to drain electricity even when they are switched off at the device. Unplugging these ‘vampire’ devices will not only help to reduce energy usage but also keep your home safer from overheating electrics
  • Cool air: similar to the lights in your home, it makes sense (financially and environmentally) not to use air conditioning to cool unoccupied rooms on those hot days
  • Swimming pool pump(s): if you have a pool, running the pump 24 hours a day can produce the same level of carbon emissions as a large car, and can really ramp up energy bills. Consider purchasing a multispeed pump which may help save money over the course of the year
  • Evening washing up: using appliances (like your dishwasher or washing machine) later in the evening, from 8PM onwards, can significantly assist our energy systems and help to reduce household energy costs
  • The great outdoors: and finally, with advice that every generation has received from their parents for the past 100 years, “go outside and play”. Moving all your principal energy consumers off the premises during peak hours can really reduce energy usage. It’s the perfect time of year to spend nice afternoons playing outdoor sports and activities, enjoying the water (safely and responsibly) or having a picnic or bbq (please make sure young people are supervised and it’s not a total fire ban day) in a local reserve


For more information on staying cool in the summer time check out our energy facts for summer and for more technical detail take a look at our recent summer readiness report. To get all the latest news, insights and analysis from the Australian energy industry sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of the page and download the new Energy Live app on Apple and Android.

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.