KNOWING what time of the day electricity is at its cheapest is one of the easiest ways to reduce your electricity bills, says the winner of the inaugural Bust Your Bills competition.
Last year Valentine resident Mila Yates cut her electricity bill by 52 per cent, earning first prize in the competition.
Bust Your Bills, which is run by Lake Macquarie City Council and sponsored by The Star, aims to help local residents reduce their bills and create a more sustainable city.
Mrs Yates reduced her electricity consumption from 29 kilowatt hours in 2011 to 14 kilowatt hours in 2012 in the same quarter.
She said knowing the cheapest time of the day to turn on her dishwasher and washing machine helped reduce her power bill.
As the winner, Mrs Yates had her $346 power bill paid by the competition.
Residents who participated last year saved an average of 20 per cent on their electricity use.
The inaugural Bust Your Bills competition was hailed a success by Lake Macquarie City Council's sustainability manager Alice Howe.
"Council is working with residents during the competition to help them make changes that can decrease their energy use beyond the competition period," Dr Howe said.
"This will not only help residents save money, it will also help council reduce the city's carbon footprint."
The council is working to reduce Lake Macquarie's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2018.
Bust Your Bills is on again this year and participants can win up to $500 towards their power bill, as well as monthly prizes, and energy-savings kits.
Participants have until Friday, November 29, to reduce their power bill and win.
■ Go to lakemac.com.au/bust-your-bills to get involved with Bust your Bills.