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An Australian pensioner struggling with the rising cost of living has decided to turn off the switch to his electricity, which he says has now saved him hundreds of dollars.

The penny-pinching pensioner may be living in obscurity with his self-imposed power cuts, but Lofty, 74, from Newcastle, said there was a method to his madness.

“Any electricity that goes into the box (meter), you don’t have to pay. It only goes from the box to the house, which you have to pay for,” Lofty said. A topical matter.

Lofty showed A Current Affair reporter Dimity Clancey how he saves money on his electric bills. (A current affair)

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“That’s what I cut when I turn off all the switches.”

Every day, the 74-year-old cuts off his electricity at 8 a.m.

He then turns on “the radio” which he says runs on batteries and only costs him “$1.25 each” and Lofty said he has a technique that makes them last too.

Lofty shared his tips for saving money on energy bills. (A current affair)

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“What I do to save the batteries…I put them in a plastic bag…but only two at a time and put it in the freezer,” he explained.

“It recharges them, but you have to leave them in there for seven days for them to do that.”

He said there are also other ways to cope with limited power, which includes boiling the jug then putting it in a thermos, before cutting the power each morning.

Lofty keeps himself entertained during the day with his battery-operated radio. (A current affair)

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“It’s (the thermos) has two cups and one on top and you get three cups out of it,” he said.

He said it kept him going until lunchtime.

At 11:30 am he turns on the electrical box outside for lunch and also turns on the light, stove and water so he can cook.

Pensioner Lofty stores his batteries in the freezer. (A current affair)

But he only turned it on for 25 minutes, and at 11:55 a.m. Lofty cut the power again.

He turns it back on at 5:00 p.m. for the night.

It’s been three months since he started his self-imposed blackouts and it’s paying off.

He said that before he started turning off the power meter, his energy bill was $678, but another bill only cost him $152.72 afterward.

(A current affair)

He said he now had “credit of $522”.

“If you want to save money, that’s the only way to do it, you can’t save on food or water or anything else, but you can save on that,” did he declare.

Lofty said he thought his method would save him $2,026.73 a year, but like most retirees, he did it hard.

“It’s hard enough living like this, with the cost of everything going up…you just have to go shopping (to see), most of the shelves are empty,” Lofty said.

Lofty shuts off his electricity at the meter. (A current affair)

“I have to change my eating habits…you can’t live without food all the time.

“I can only drive my car once a fortnight because petrol is too expensive.”

Lofty said he’s saving money and reducing his energy use at a time when we’re told there potentially isn’t enough to go around.

Although Lofty has managed to save money with his power, not everyone is convinced that his approach is the best.

Electrician Alex Murker. (A current affair)

“To be honest, I think it’s a bit weird to go to the meter and turn everything off,” electrician Alex Murker said.

“I would be worried about the fridge turning off every day and things not staying cold.”

Murker urges everyone to be careful when handling electricity.

“Activating or deactivating a circuit breaker or safety switch is safe, but it can get a little confusing because there’s a lot going on inside the meter housing,” he said.

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