Eliminating Electricity & Gas Bills

I think this community may be able to help me with some ideas for a new initiative of mine. I have been trying to virtually eliminate my gas/electricity spend lately and am trying to come up with innovative ways to keep my power bills as low as possible.

Here are the things I have implemented so far

  • I have 2 power banks I rotate and charge in my apartment complex garage. I use these to keep my phone powered
  • I don’t use any traditional in-built ceiling lights. I have a few solar camping lanterns I use as my primary light source
  • I only use cold water for bathing, washing etc.
  • I do not use any heating or cooling
  • I don’t do any cooking, only eat cold things. Predominately canned tuna & salads. I also have been making a no bake protein slice (peanut butter, rolled oats, canned black beans) which has been cost effective high calorie food
  • For all my internet and entertainment I only use my phone, which as mentioned above is charged from the power banks

It really just leaves me with my fridge as my only source of power draw. Does anyone have any innovative ideas on how to keep things cold without powering a fridge? Obviously I do not need refrigeration for my tuna. However, my salad ingredients last longer cooled and my protein slice requires cooling for it to set properly.

Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • If you are an Origin customer you could join Origin Spike, and get paid to reduce during certain hours (just turn your fridge off)… https://www.originenergy.com.au/spike

  • WTF

  • +2

    What a sad life OP leads…

  • +2

    Please take a video and start a lifestyle blog. I want to see this.

  • +8

    I also use these strategies.
    I go one step further and charge my power banks at my neighbours apartment while he is taking cold showers or he is down in the carpark charging his powerbanks.

  • Homelessness may save more money, and be more comfortable.

  • Wouldn’t your apartment strata and water levy fees offset any “savings” you are making here. Might as move to a house in the burbs.

  • +2

    If you have a job, use the fridge/freezer at work. Alternatively become good friends with a neighbour, join a club with a fridge or facilities, volunteer somewhere with a fridge, join a cheap gym and use their facilities, fridge etc.

    Alternatively I would YouTube what you are doing and try to make some profit from it. Even if it's only a few dollars I think this would offset most of the costs.

  • Do you live near a convenience store?
    Maybe you can hide your salad in a fridge behind unpopular drinks

  • +1

    If you change from eating cold foods to room temperature foods, you won't need a fridge either!

  • +1

    I regret reading this post….

  • you do know that your garage power is paid by you right?

    other optionsare go to the library most days so you don't use ac, power, use their toilet etc and maybe take a wash there too

  • 🤔😂 Yeah ok, you do you. But, what happens if you wanna bring a chick home, like Netflix and chill.. are you gonna whip out your phone to watch Netflix together 😬 What about dinner, what are you going to cook for her, tuna salad? What if she wants to have a nice warm bath with u 😏 I'm intrigued now

    • Hahahahahahahahahahahah

      Thats precisely what he intends to do to save every cent!

    • +2

      Pale, tuna-smelling, twitchy, smeagol looking chap.. dragging his two powerbanks with atrophied muscles. Hissing if exposed to bright light… I seriously doubt OP would have any of these issues. 😂

      I mean, going to prison would be a substantial lifestyle upgrade for him.

  • dont use fridge.. preserve your food like the good old days..
    smoke em, pickle them…salt them…
    or hook your fridge to your neighbor's

  • Why is this site full of povos like this checks site name oh right

  • Just go off-grid with a water tank + solar power and batteries. Also grow some crops if you want, have a grass-eating animal to keep your property's grass maintained instead of using a lawn mower and they will multiply so you can have an infinite food source. Also recommend chickens for their eggs.

  • Weird flex.. but ok. You can replace your fridge with a good quality esky.

  • Buy your salads daily. Conversely what do you do with all your spare time?

    • +5

      Sits in the dark wondering if life gets any better than this.

      • +1

        Sits in the dark wondering if life gets any better than this

        you really had me on this one 😂

  • This is grim level 100.

  • +1

    As an energy efficiency challenge, I have some ideas. But Let me start by saying, I think you're mad.

    Buy a smart plug for your fridge. Can pick them up for $20-$40. It will let you schedule when it turns on. Your fridge will mostly stay cold while it's off, and only slowly lose cool. So you could tweak with scheduling on the smart plug so that it's on for the minimum amount of time a day that keeps your fridge as cool as you'd like it. You're going to forego some cooling, but it sounds like that might be something you'd be willing to do. Things will still be mostly cold.

    Additionally, you could add and restock ice. This will melt, and need replacing, at which point you can buy more, or leave your freezer on for longer to freeze it again. Basically making use of that energy to create more 'cold'.

    Also, your fridge goes off a thermostat. More stuff in your fridge, the longer it'll take for your fridge to cool to the desired range. Keep less stuff in your fridge, and you'll use less electricity to cool it to the same amount.

    The real extreme here, is juat keep buying ice, keep everything in an esky or the fridge, and keep restocking it. But I reckon that would be more expensive than just using your fridge on a timer with a smart plug, keeping it less stocked, and using a little bit of ice to get some extra time before you need my to switch on again.

    Also, just look for a more energy efficient or smaller fridge (if possible).

    • Op could buy ice to keep food cold in the fridge, then drink or use the ice water for bathing one it has melted.

    • The fridge will already turn off when it's at the set temp; that's one way the newer models save on power. They basically go to sleep, like the little guy inside does when the door's closed.

      A cheaper option would be to increase the temp that the fridge is set to! Just make it, say, 10 degrees and eat faster! ;-)

    • a smart plug for your fridge. Can pick them up for $20-$40. It will let you schedule when it turns on. Your fridge will mostly stay cold while it's off,

      Why spend money on something to do what the fridge thermostat already does?

    • +1

      Also, your fridge goes off a thermostat. More stuff in your fridge, the longer it'll take for your fridge to cool to the desired range. Keep less stuff in your fridge, and you'll use less electricity to cool it to the same amount

      Fridge will be more efficient with a larger thermal mass. It might take a bit longer to cool, but will also take longer to warm. If you run it on a timer for off peak rates, keep it full so it stays colder during the day when not operating.

  • Does anyone have any innovative ideas on how to keep things cold without powering a fridge?
    https://www.popsci.com/build-your-own-diy-refrigerator/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO_sYVrU4Uw

    OP has some peers lol

  • +1

    How have you done so far? Are your bills reduced? On the other hand, has your stress levels increased? Seems so effortful to be so conscious of every little minute activity.

    Why elimination of electricity expenses? Why not minimisation? That seems more realistic and doable.

    But if you're serious, what about fruits that don't need refrigeration and root vegetables that can be stored in dark, cool places? They only need basic "cooking". You can't limit your diet to just 2 items, you won't be getting enough nutrients. Fermented foods? Jerky? An energy-efficient mini refrigerator?

    Cold showers in summer is fine. But on winter days, what about a quicker shower with warm water?

    For entertainment, what about going out and doing activities that require no electronics, such as exercise, a run, biking, hiking, etc? Be as social or anti-social as you like.

  • -1

    Eliminating Electricity & Gas Bills

    Dont use anything that uses electricity or gas. Problem solved.

  • A trick I learnt was to turn down the hot water temperature, saves heaps. Have your fridge on just long enough to freeze ice water bottles, then transfer to fridge, repeat, find out if you are on offpeak rates and cook dinner then, REALLy compare power rates, I just made a good move and got 5 referrals, I learnt to look for price of Kilowatts per hour, and controlled load

  • If you are only using cold water have you turned off the hot water switch at the meter?

  • I don’t do any cooking, only eat cold things. Predominately canned tuna & salads. I also have been making a no bake protein slice (peanut butter, rolled oats, canned black beans) which has been cost effective high calorie food

    If you are buying things like canned beans you would save more money by buying dried beans and cooking them with gas our electricity.

    I have 2 power banks I rotate and charge in my apartment complex garage. I use these to keep my phone powered

    Charging your phone is cheap and you will probably never save back the cost of the power banks. Plus your body corporate fees are paying for the electricity you use

  • Damn you I thought these was a serious post!

    Our mains gas is LPG which is ridiculously expensive. When the gas water heater gave up the ghost I went electric.
    I've been wanting to buy an induction cooktop, and I guess a bigger air fryer, to replace gas stove, but have been putting that off until we renovate kitchen.

    I'm just wondering whether it's time to go solar yet. The rough figures in my head suggest that converting to solar would barely pay off by end of life, and batteries are not going to pay for themselves at this stage. But forever hopefully of being proven wrong.

    Son in law is getting solar with batteries on new house. I said he's making a mistake, that money should go to better components that can't be added later. Him not agreeing with me makes me pretty confident I'm right.

    I'm so annoyed by the price of gas. I had big intentions of doing most cooking outdoors, and having a whole bbq kitchen setup. But a gas bbq was a central component of my plan, so I'm pretty shattered.

    Edit: Oh, and once I do get solar charged batteries, I don't want to be paying a daily charge for an electricity account I don't use. I was told I can't not have an electricity account, but can't I cancel and the electricity company would presume I'm moving??

    • Depending upon where you live, Solar may be mandatory for new builds. We're in the process of a new build and DA wouldn't be approved without Solar. Cost was <$3k on a $750k house & land package, and with our usage we shouldn't receive elec bills, but wont make any money back. Depends where you live though, I'm in Queensland and solar costs seem higher southern states so YMMV.

  • Is it possible to fry an egg using a exercise bike - powered hair dryer?

    • In terms of sustained power levels, like a climb, the best doped Tour de France rider hit nearly 470W average over a bit over 30 minutes, looking for deal at Goody Guys, the hair dryers are around 2000W… so… even if you can find some discount EPO deals and some testosterone on a PBS subsidy, maybe get yourself a health care card for a deep discount :p

  • -1

    you remind me of that show cheapskates episode guy who saves his bath water to reuse again for washing dishes
    I genuinely want to know where OP is from originally, my money is on india

  • "I think this community may be able to help me with some ideas for a new initiative of mine"… NO. NO WE CANT this community is about scoring bargains, deal that sometimes we dont even F#*kin need, we buy it for the sake of it being a bargain, this is a disorder and ozbargain is the drug, i think you should visit ozcheapskates.com

    • Sometimes people are into bargains for the sake of saving money…not just buying cheap crap that we won't use for the sake of it

      • no one said buy cheap crap that we wont use for the sake of it, i said "sometimes" keyword is sometimes. the majority of the times we buy good priced bargains that we do end up using.

        • I'm confused - you made it sound like people are on OzBargain mainly to score useless bargains? Unless I'm mistaken in which case we're actually in agreement and most people on OzBargain are actually interested in saving money (and as a corollary, in a position to provide OP with suggestions)

  • +2

    OP, if you work.

    Why complicate it by living in an apartment.

    You should live at your work place, electricity, fridge, water, maybe shower are all available. Won’t cost you anything to get to work and you’ll be the first in and last out. As a bonus you’ll be the model employee.

  • +1

    Is life/living standard in Australia not worth living? Why live like hell? WTF?

    • +1

      FIRE movement?

      • +3

        I'm pretty certain OP is trolling. On the off chance he isn't, OP would be better off moving to a developing country once in the "RE" phase. Living like this is not called living… its just "survival".

        In most cases, I'd say different strokes for different folks (and I've seen a fair few over-the-top cheapskates here), but this is something else entirely.

  • +3

    keep the fridge in the garage, along with electric stove
    BOOM
    in fact live in the garage
    BOOM

  • These rules maybe helpful for you mate https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/563120

  • Australian Preppers go home, you're drunk!

  • +3

    you can cut down saving on tuna and salad buy eating grass and pigeons from the local park, make some spears from tree trunks and become a hunter living off the land.

  • +2

    What is the reason behind this? If it's purely to save money, just avoid heating and cooling, by far the biggest contributors to your bill.

    This powerbank nonsense is not gonna save you any thing. Spend an hour doing uber eats delivery instead and make back years of savings with that pointless strategy.

    • +2

      100%. Some people just don't see the bigger picture in their life.

  • +1

    its obvious…. you have to move your fridge to the garage ….facepalm

  • +1

    here we go!!! Fifty Buck Fridge Keeps Your Food Cool Without Electricity https://www.treehugger.com/fifty-buck-fridge-keeps-your-food...

  • Move to Canberra for winter. I used to place my milk outside overnight. It stayed cool most the day. Repeat.

  • +1

    you have all these resources at your disposal, yet you live like poor people in third world countries. Hot water, warm food, cooking and electricity is necessity of life not luxury. At least use them in conservative manner and give some dignity to your flesh. Your savings would be less than $1000 a year and what are you gonna do with that savings? One week worth of second job will return you an easy $1000 to compensate your spending on electricity.

  • Buy bagged ice and put in esky. Solved.

    But seriosuly, all these 'savings' will probably cost you more in the long run - lantern gas, ice, not to mention in safety and comfortability. If you want to save, continue to save on food. Food is much more expensive than utilities… or install solar water and electricity.

    • Ice isn't exactly cheap - it costs $4.75 for 5kg at Coles, and going through two bags of these would cost $9.50 per week - which is far more than what it costs to supply the electricity to run a fridge/freezer (unless OP plans on going fully off-grid/solar)

  • +2

    The real solution to the fridge is to buy a chest freezer that can be turned down to fridge levels (or rig it yourself). It will keep the cold air in a lot better then a fridge.

  • +1

    I have solar system installed. Cost me $4,600 upfront. I produce about 8,000 kWh per year and my feed in tariff is 20c per kWh.

    On a net basis (feed in tariff credits less usage cost and daily supply charge), I actually got paid by the electricity retailer in 2019. Got the electricity retailer to refund me the excess credits to my bank account.

    On top of that, the electricity retailer rewarded me with a free SIM only plan (200GB every month, unlimited calls and texts) for being a "good customer". Instead of using it with my phone, I inserted it the spare 4G USB dongle and plugged it into my router to get internet. Minimum download speed is 20 Mbps and minimum upload speed is 10 Mbps. So I cancelled my Opticomm service. Savings is probably at least $70 per month.

    Conservative estimate suggests that my annual savings from the initial $4,600 solar investment is $1,600 from electricity savings and $840 from broadband internet savings. At $2,440 per year, that represents an approximate 53% p.a. return on investment in 2019!

    Solar systems generally last 25 years (with a potential replacement of solar inverter during the 25 year period). Assuming the solar inverter replacement will cost me another $1,500 in 10 to 15 years, and accounting for loss of efficiency, the annual return will still be consistently above 40% p.a. This is every value investor's wet dream.

    Just thought I'd a real world example of how utility costs can be slashed, although I must admit the reducing feed in tariff and AEMO's threat of cutting off electricity exports in peak generation times does not make solar as worthwhile as before, from a investment viewpoint.

    • That's a great FIT you have there. Haven't see those rates advertised in recent times and the ROI would be much less

      • +1

        Maximum FIT available in each State:

        NSW ReAmped Energy 21c
        Vic Tango Energy 20c
        Qld On by EnergyAustralia 18c
        SA ReAmped Energy 19c
        WA Horizon 50c
        NT Rimfire Energy 23.7c

  • put a notice in apartment asking if anyone would share space in fridge for few bucks a week so u can access once a day. mostly when u return from work.

    • +1

      No, what an inspiring story though!

      Thanks for sharing.

    • There is a saying: "When there is a will there is a way!"

  • So added anymore ideas int your checklist or…?

  • http://www.aselfsufficientlife.com/chest-freezer-to-fridge-c...
    Get an old chest freezer and convert it to a fridge. Will save you lots. You are right that fridge is a big elec drain. The chest freezer will be much more efficient for 2 reasons, a freezer is much better insulated than a fridge. A chest freezer opens from the top and the cold air won't fall out every time you open the door triggering the thermostat to cool the thing down again. All the best!

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