Four simple and effective ways to cut down your power bill.

If you’ve just received your power bill, you’re probably freakin’ out right now.

The cost of power keeps increasing, and after a few months of colder weather, we’re all in for a pretty hefty bill.

Even trusty gas is now more expensive with a decrease in supply sending bills skyrocketing over the past couple of months.

But there are a few easy things you can do to cut down the amount of energy you’re using, so you can spend that hard earned moolah on something a little more fun.

Here are five steps you can take to reduce your power bill:

  • Choose your appliances wisely.

Some household appliances chew through your power a lot faster than others. Washing machines and dryers are the biggest (and most obvious) culprits – Money Smart recommends only washing full loads and air drying as much as you can.

save power bills
Please make it stop. Image via Universal Pictures.

Smaller appliances such as dishwashers, irons, microwaves and vacuum cleaners are surprisingly hungry too and Sumo Power says they make up as much as 15% of your power bill. Obviously you need to use these appliances to get through daily life, but you can cut down your power bills by only turning them on when you really need them and switching them off at the wall when you're finished with them.

  • Turn things off at the wall.

When you turn off your TV, shut down your laptop and switch off your lights, they go on standby mode unless you actively turn them off at the power source. Those appliances sitting in standby mode all day are actually slowly chewing through your power - so it pays to go around the house switching off wall sockets as often as you can. Even if it makes you look a little anal retentive.

  • Try everything else before you switch the heater on.

On these cold days it's tempting to switch your heater on and leave it running all day. But heating can really chew up your power. You can save a whole lot of money by getting a little bit creative. Rug up in your warmest clothes while you're hanging around the house - think warm woolly jumpers and ugg boots - and invest in handy little warmers like a hot water bottle and a electric blanket for your couch.

The “script” that could save you major dollars every month. Post continues...

  • Switch off your lights.

They might seem inconsequential but lights can suck up a lot of power. You can save money by switching off your lights and relying on natural light during the day, and using lamps to create some mood lighting at night. You can also replace your regular light bulbs with energy efficient ones.

Do you have any other energy saving tips? Share them in the comments below.