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Power prices are making headlines. And with energy prices soaring, many households are taking a fresh look at their energy consumption.

The good news is that you can lower your bills by shopping around for an energy contract that suits your needs.

Here are some tips how to keep your energy bills down.

1. Switch off all appliances when you don’t need them. Make sure you turn off the game console after use. Avoid leaving televisions sets and other devices on stand-by.

2. Wash your clothes in cold water as this can save energy use by up to 80 per cent and save you up to $60 a year.

3. Avoid using a tumble dryer to dry your clothes as they use a lot of energy. Best to dry your clothes outdoors whenever the weather allows. If not dry them indoors and open your windows.

4. Install a water-efficient showerhead, it can save your energy and water bills.

5. A half filled dishwasher uses the same amount of energy as a full one, so wait until you have a full load before starting.

6. Check how old your appliances are and consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient model.

7. Get rid of your second fridge especially if you have one already.

8. Don’t leave the fridge door open longer than needed.

9. Keep your fridge as full as possible. If your fridge is empty fill up bottles of water and leave them in the fridge. An empty fridge uses more energy.

10. Check the condition of your fridge seals by using the “paper test.” If the seals do not hold the paper in place when the fridge door is shut, consider replacing the seals.

11. Make the most of natural airflow by opening low-positioned windows to let the breeze in and high windows to let the hot air out.

12. Fans are the cheapest to run and use the least amount of energy. Air-conditioners use far more energy and create more greenhouse gas emissions than fans.

13. Swimming pools are great for cooling off on a hot summer’s day. But they are big energy and water guzzlers. In a typical home maintaining an in-ground pool can account for 30 per cent of a household’s energy bills and a pool pump is the biggest user of electricity, using more energy than your washing machine, clothes dryer and dishwasher combined.

14. Make sure the pool is well maintained to keep costs down. To minimise evaporation, use a well-fitting pool cover or shade cloth.