How to Use More Electricity?

Hello Ozbargainers!

Yes that's right, help me use more electricity!
As part of our energy contract, usage in our last month (May) will be free (usage and supply charges). May in VIC is the end of autumn/starting winter.

And inb4 environmentalists, this is Ozbargain where every cent must be collected!

Some ideas I have:
  • Increase usage of air con heating and cooling
  • Increase usage oven, kettle and microwave
  • Laundry and dryer
  • Charge batteries e.g. cars
  • More lighting
  • Electric water heater for house (where to get cheaply?)
Historical usage
  • May 2016 …. $101.39
  • May 2017 …. $111.87

So please share some ideas on how to maximise this! Ideally resale electricity ;)

thanks all who contribute ideas,
Basically I wanted to know ways to use less of other energy types like gas and use electricity since it was free. E.g. instead of ducted heating, use column heaters/air con heaters. Instead of gas stove top, use oven. Instead of gas water heater, use electric heater. Instead of petrol, electric car. Etc. There was a good idea about cryptocurrency mining which was a good financial incentive (I might ask a friend to rent/bring in their unit), however the forum has gone astray as to my aims and became more on the environment.


  • +67

    bitcoin mining.

    • +5

      This would be the only financial viable method. Shop around to find someone who has the biggest rig possible and set it up in your garage, ask for a cut in the profits.

      • +1

        'could also buy an EV = 100% Elec Vehicle

        Compare SA+AU to California:

        SA/AU seem to be ENCOURAGING folks to WASTE Energy! :-/

        California, OTOH, has Tariffs that encourage SAVING it. :-)

        AU just doesn't "get" Climate Change, IMO

        Compare Ontario, Canada's pattern (Export HEAPS, normally) & CO2 / Watt
        eg, here:

        Live.GridWatch.CA (look for GREEN fonts, near bottom of web page)

        to, eg:

        SA's numbers (eg, using app "Electricity Map")

        While you're in that app, look at (Dark Brown VIC.
        and BLACK Qld & NSW, all Coal-burners from the Past!)

        Then look at: rebuttal to:

        Stanford's M Z Jacobson's "100 WWS" = "All Wind+Water+Sunlight"
        (ie, Renewables)

        Jacobson's big plan is all over (lots on YouTube),
        but Conley & Maloney's Rebuttal just hit the I'net

        For their Rebuttal view YouTube: "Conley Maloney TEAC8"

        • One more thot:

          Join an Electricity Co-Op, & sell as much to them as they can take.

          (Oh, may need to be producing it, eg, with Wind, PV panels, etc.
          Otherwise, this would be best, IMO.)

          One more option:

          Join a Virtual Power System (again, assume you got Free PV Panels
          from the VPS organisation, eg, using zero-interest loan fr SA govt

          (This is a Future project, we just heard about, no paper to refer
          to on details. Remember, in SA, we're in a Pre-Election period…
          So, No Guarantees either… :-/

        • +2

          @IVI: damn that's a clever thot

        • Allow others to use your electricity and charge them a lower price than they would have to pay directly, hence generating demand and profit for yourself

    • Crypto mining at least. 1 month 24x7 with a few decent GPU's should net a decent return.

    • Bitcoin mining is not profitable unless you invest several thousand dollars in ASIC hardware, that will generally take a few weeks to be delivered. Even with free electricity you're very unlikely to mine enough to get a payout from a mining pool, and return on investment (with free power) for bitcoin mining hardware is generally around a year.

      Probably the easiest/most profitable way is to mine Monero using easy to use software like Minergate.

      • +4

        That is incorrect
        My equipment is now paid off in under 6 months
        Had existing solar
        Getting $250 in 7 days
        power for 7 Nights $12 - $14

        $230 profit for it to sit there, Pays the power bill , rates with left over

        • +5


          Could you share your setup?


  • +22

    I hear trying to cool your house with the fridge door open is a good start.

    • +3

      The door open beep would annoy the crap out of me

      Just run A/C with windows open

      But like someone said below - why on earth do you want to do this other than sticking it to the retailer? Most ideas aren't exactly going to save you any more money in the long run compared to your regular May usage.

      • +2

        My LG fridge has an option to disable the beeping if you press and hold the "door alarm" button.

      • +3


        once you consider the wear and tear on the equipment you wish to put through additional cycles in your quest to "stick it to the man" you quite possibly could be looking at replacing your aircon, fridge, toaster, hairdryer, washing machine, lights, kettle etc etc just that little bit sooner. Or, in the case of a paper shredder I once had, be up for a new one within the month.

    • +18

      Wouldn't that be a quick way to kill your fridge? I think I saw it on a documentary called The Simpsons once.

    • +1

      Leaving your fridge open would be a net heat gain

  • +12

    Recharge all your eneloops

  • +4

    Share your electricity with your neighbours on the provision that they supply (or buy) a long enough extension cord from the outside outlets to their house. No doubt your neighbours will think you are NQR at first but they can't say no to free electricity.

  • +4

    run electric heaters, turn air con all the way up, open doors and windows.

    In all seriousness though, why would you want to use electricity just for the sake of using it? seems a bit silly

  • +14

    Before you go nuts, make sure you check on the terms and conditions for a "Fair Use" clause. You may only get free electricity of a value up to or around your average usage in that calendar month.

    • +18

      Or alternatively the free month is figurative, you get rebated 1/12 the yearly spend. That would be an epic fail by OP to take "free month" literally.

  • +8


    Sure, you can charge some batteries, but other than cooking enough food for the following month is there really any reason to use more sparks? What they are hoping is that you'll get used to using more sparks and then when you start paying again you'll pay more.

    • +5

      I think he likes creating unnecessary pollution. Stuff the environment, I want to think of unnecessary usage methods because it's free!

  • +1

    I'd be checking for a fair use policy… or conditions like its free upto your average usage

  • Run a Genset

  • The electric water heater should do the trick, we were living in a 1BR apartment with an electric water heater and our power bills were regularly over $1000/qtr.

    Yes, you read that correctly - a 1BR apartment.

    • Whaaatt! What do you do with that much hot water?

      I live in a 2 BR apartment with an electric water heater, electric stove, and we use the clothes dryer every time we do laundry. Still only around $400/qtr

    • Turn it down. It's probably an industrial unit that allows you to go above 60 C. Set it to 55 C.

      Check your fridge seals, defrost cycle. Are you washing clothes in hot water? Using an electric dryer?

      Do you have a swimming pool/ spa?

      It will be one of those things.

      For reference, My 3 bed house is all electric, $170/ quarter.

      • We weren't using much, because there was just the 2 of us, turning it down helped a bit but not much overall.

        Suffice to say we bailed the minute the lease expired.

  • +7

    grow a few crops in your lounge/garage/wherever…$$$$ *wink wink

    • +2

      yeah, there's a lot of money in potatoes.

      • Don't forget the heirloom tomatoes…

  • +4

    this is Ozbargain where every cent must be collected!

    Not that you'd actually be collecting anything. In fact, it's already costing you money (in time and wear on your computer) just thinking how to scam this.

  • +4

    Tell your neighbours and run extension cords to their houses.

    • +5

      Then charge them each a $20 access fee

  • The potential for this to backfire is off the charts!

    Sure theres no nasty 'based on average usage' clause or something for the retailer to get you on?

  • +1

    Please don't say this is the Origin "One Month Free" deal, as the "free month" comes in the form of a credit on your account that is 1/12 of your annual spend.

    But if you really do have a month of free electricity (no strings attached) - try reach out to anyone with a cryptocurrency mining rig.

    As an example, if someone has an Antminer S9 (popular for bitcoin mining), it costs on average $8/day to run (used the average VIC rate of $0.25/kWH).


    • +1

      Thanks all, This isn't Origin and the free month is on the actual usage and supply charge. Confirmed by support rep that there is no such limit for consumption.

      • I presume that you have a smart meter that monitors hourly and daily usage, as you don't want the free month to be an average of the usage for the quarter based on opening and closing meter readings.

        I'd be downloading the usage data from the distrubuter's website and taking a photo of the meter reading on the first day of the free month.

        • Thanks for the tip, yes we have a smart meter and I will be monitoring our usage. On our bill, the meter reading says Actual, so I'll keep an eye on the free month if it also says actual. Potentially the retailer may give a lower estimate and the following month charge more.

      • Whos it with and how do i get the plan?!

  • +4

    Can you host a few of my milk-crate mining rigs for me?
    I'm happy to over-clock them to inefficiency for you while they're there.
    Will need to be air-conditioned 24/7

  • +2

    Set up a Hydro room full of lights! and cultivate

  • +4

    I think there needs to be an equation here of some sort,

    you are already getting the months electricity free.

    anything extra would require effort outside your normal living pattern.

    the amount of effort you put in to use more electricity Vs the amount you gain would need to considerably high in order to have any financial benefits,

    if you are doing it just to spite the retailer.. then you are approaching this wrong, because no amount of electricity you consume would spite or even worry them.

    the goal would be least amount of effort for maximum gain.

    running a bitcoin mining operation would be great but considering you can only do it for the month how much financial gain can you achieve, and you have already got this mining system ready to go.

    same with a giant battery storage system, charging these batteries for the month and then using the power later to offset costs would be probably a good idea

  • I wonder if they hope you run the air con non stop, so you get use to it…

  • +2

    public Tesla charging station?

  • +4

    "Hydrophonic farming"

  • +3

    you want to use electricity just because it's free? did i read this correctly.

  • Don't do anything.

  • Charge a few Tesla batteries.

  • Leave the fridge door open and put hot baked potato leftovers straight in.

    Maybe a waterslide or wave pool.

  • +1

    Electric chair.

    • Reported.

      • I think he means an electronic massage chair.

        • +1

          Yeah that's what I meant.. (¬_¬)

  • Yeah, do all of the above things, then have fun when the Police show up in the middle of the night with a warrant because the energy company tips them off thinking you have a hydro set up. Sure, you can explain it all, but do you really want to go through that? Also, if you have kids I don't think they would find it a pleasant experience.

  • +1

    hydro pot farm

  • Set the oven to 11

    • +1

      And your guitar amp too.

  • +10

    This may be ozbargain, but half the troubles we suffer environmentally today are because of baby boomers with your same attitude, shame on you for thinking this world is yours to f**k up. And you are not taking advantage of a bargain, you are deliberately trying to abuse a fair use policy. Let the negs begin.

  • +8

    Acquire teenagers…..

    • +1

      I was just going to suggest letting local teenagers come over to charge their phones.

      Though be careful to not end up on a register.

      • +1

        Free phone charging is the new free candy.

    • bonus points….your fridge gets emptied, sink fills with unwashed dishes (that is if they even make it that far from the bedroom/couch/floor).

      Plus wet towels left strewn over floor, beds and furniture.

  • Run power cords to your neighbours and charge them 70% of their normal billing.

  • +3

    wow, what a douche bag thing to ask and post..
    if you found a loop hole that one day in the year it was actually legal to kill endangered spices. you would be a murdering machine.
    or one day to dump waste into the oceans. you would buy up all the toxic waste from factories and line it up. you seem like one of the guys captin planet would slap around…

    • Maybe knocking off a few spice girls wouldn’t be too bad.

      • just. dont. touch. emma….
        do what u wish with the rest

  • +3

    Just when you thought the topics couldn't get more pointless and retarded…..

  • +1

    charge a heap of batteries

  • +5

    I don’t understand the purpose here … Why would you want to waste electricity just because it’s free for a month… ?

    Besides this could be your provider’s way of getting people to do crazy things (like you are trying to) because it’s likely that the wasteful habbit will unknowingly continue after the free month.

    I mean seriously though, if you are offered free water for a month would you keep all your taps and showers open 24/7 for that month?

    • +1

      Indeed some people are consumer idiots. Unlimited internet plans or people who have "failed" to use up all their quota and download crap just to use it up…..seriously!!??

      Often makes other users (4G or fixrd internet) suffer with reduced capacity/congestion.

      • If you have leftover data, just run a TOR exit node ;) easily saturate any network connection…

    • Yes, it's the free-rider problem, affects everything 'unlimited' and, in my opinion, everyone (to different extents). Maybe not leaving the taps on all day, but perhaps watering the plants more often etc.

  • +3

    Stay up all night with the table light on studying how not to waste natural resources and give our planet a break.

  • That isn't one man job, get help from your neighbors next door. I bet they will be more that glad from that bargain.

  • +4

    Wasting electricity for fun is a sure case for guaranteed bad karma. Look both ways before crossing the road.

    And speaking of karma: what did we do to deserve this site being overrun by so many idiots in the last year or so?

  • Per several comments above I think you should re-check the T&C's as their are likely to be caveats to the "free" month. If there are none this would be the ideal plan for those errr, indoor tomato growers. If you had 11 other mates all on this plan, you'd a have a year long supply for free.

  • +1

    Supply electricity to all neighbouring construction sites.

  • -1


  • +1

    OP, is there actually a financial incentive to do this? Or is it just for funzzies?
    I'd be interested myself as I use a lot of electricity.

    • +1

      Basically it was to use less of other energy types like gas and use electricity since it was free. E.g. instead of ducted heating, use column heaters/air con heaters. Instead of gas stove top, use oven. Instead of gas water heater, use electric heater. Instead of petrol, electric car. Etc. There was a good idea about cryptocurrency mining which was a good financial incentive (I might ask a friend to rent/bring in their unit), however the forum has gone astray as to my aims and became more on the environment.

      • +1

        Ironically, this site often does this. You'd think it's all about the bargains, but it's not like that anymore.
        - In the Caged Egg deal last week; well, it's world war 3 and full of negs.
        - In the Grill'd Polished Man deal, it's full of "Men are underrepresented" negs (c'mon, free burgers or at least cheap burgers).

        I'd better not post details about running cheap hydro-power generators (from gearbest) on the bathtub 24/7, and the free water I get by renting lol.

  • +1

    You stand to gain absolutely nothing by using up electricity for the sake of it, and the power company has a legal team that could probably find 101 crafty ways to make you pay for abusing it. Don't be an idiot, you're just ruining stuff like this for everybody else.

  • Hire an electric crematorium from Kennards Hire and charge people $2000 a pop to burn their loved ones in your back garden.

  • Attaching onto this discussion what's the max load an average house can pull

    • 63 Amps is a typical single phase dwelling

      If you want to understand it better look up how to calculate "Maximum demand" this was from my old AS3000 Wiring rules (so i haven't checked against latest revisions)

      This information should be used as a guide only.(disclaimer i copied it from a page) rather than cut and paste each section from my rule book to give you an example of how maximum demand is calculated, and to be honest there are calculators out there that you can just plug in the numbers for each section.

      A. Lighting. 3A for up to 20 points. 2 A for the next 20.
      B. Socket outlets (10A). 10 A for the first 20 and 5A for the next 20.
      C. Hotplates. Clothes dryers over 10A 50% of connected load.
      D. Airconditioning. 75% of connected load for units over 10A.
      E. HWS storage type. Full connected load. Instantaneous type 33.3% of full connected load.
      Thus for a residence with the following.
      20 lighting points = 3A
      20 socket outlets = 10A
      Hotplate unit 7000W = 3500W = 16A.
      Airconditioning 5000W input.= 3750W =17A
      Instantaneous HWS. 6000W = 2000W= 9A.
      Total max demand 55A.

      Always get this worked out if you plan to make additions Calculator is useful to check before you get work done that may be Impossible.

      Circuit breakers are not there to protect the equipment or end device.
      They are there to protect the installation only.

  • Run equipment belonging to your Direct neighbours if in reach and give them a discounted rate for using your power over their own if they aren't on same deal.

    I'm going to provide no more than that.