From shelling out on everything from movie tickets and science workshops to putt putt and acting programs, the school holidays are a budget’s worst nightmare. While we’re busy trying to keep the kids out of mischief, we may not realise that our energy costs can also take a massive hit over the school break –that is until our quarterly bill arrives in the mail!

Most of us are likely to see a bit of a hike in our energy bills over the winter school holidays from a combination of higher heating costs with more people staying at home and the electronic devices getting a bigger workout than usual. That said it doesn’t have to be an absolute bill blowout.

Check out these tried and tested tips for you to steer clear of post school holiday energy bill shock:

Get outdoors

Generally speaking the longer you spend out of the house, the more energy you save. So our big advice is to get outside and take advantage of local parks and bushwalking trails. Don’t forget to check out the website of your local library and museum that often have plenty of free events for kids from arts and craft sessions to movie nights.

Have a technology free day

On those particularly chilly days when you’re confined indoors you can still cut your energy costs by having a technology free day. Switch off the iPads, gaming consoles and TV in favour of an deck of cards or if you’re really up for killing away those hours, try your hand at a game of Monopoly or Cluedo.

Use the natural sunlight to your advantage

Luckily in Australia we do get a fair share of sunlight even in the winter months. So if you’re spending the day at home or just about to head out, open your curtains or blinds during the day to take advantage of the natural warmth from the sun, remembering to close them at night again.

Crank down your thermostat

Turn down your thermostat to a comfortable 18 to 20 degrees and ensure everyone is rugged up with a couple of snuggly blankets and pair of uggies. You may be surprised to know that even turning your thermostat up by just 1 degree can add 10 per cent to the running costs of your appliance.


Just because the kids are on holidays doesn’t mean they can’t learn anything new. Get your kids to be energy aware by teaching them to turn off the light once they leave the room and any electrical devices in standby mode. You could even introduce a challenge with small rewards to encourage them to be more energy efficient.

How do you save money on bills? SHARE with us in the comments below.

Main image source: Shutterstock

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  • I think this is a great article, thanks for sharing.


  • Great tips. A technology free day is quite easy with younger kids, but when they reach teenage years it’s quite hard though.

    • Not always. My teenager daughter is quite good at that, and spends her free time reading or writing stories.


  • Guilty…..of cranking up that heater!!


  • Great tips for families to save money. Thank heavens my children no longer at home these days.


  • In winter the bills are going up so much. We put on the heating just starting around 5 p.m. It’s a gas heater so not as expensive as an electricity one, but still I expect a big gas bill next month.


  • I’d love to know how much energy recharging an iPad or phone uses!


  • All great to consider except it is so ridiculously cold in Melbourne at the moment. Turning off lights, putting on blankets, moving around, all great things to do.


  • These are some very good points to consider!


  • All great tips to save money! Thanks.


  • Conserving energy at home is a good practice to initiate early. Teach children young to look after the environment. Now, to get those shopping centres to stop overheating!


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