You could save hundreds of dollars a year by making a few changes.
Potentially the single biggest source of energy use in your home is hot water.
Wash clothes in cold water, select the shortest washing cycle and only wash full loads. Ensure your dishwasher is full before using it, scrape plates first, then cold-water rinse if needed and use the economy cycle for everyday washing.
Installing water-saving showerheads will reduce the amount of hot water and energy used. Try shortening showers to less than five minutes.
Installing a water-efficient 4-star showerhead could save around $315 a year on water bills, there will also be savings on energy bills due to less water being heated.
Turn off unused light switches and lighting in rooms not being used.
Install energy efficient LED bulbs which potentially use 75% less energy, last significantly longer and produce better light. Apply task lighting by using lamps or spotlights instead of main lights. Love binge-watching Netflix? For a cinema experience, turn off the lights!
Spending more time at home increases heating and cooling costs.
In winter, set your heating thermostats between 18°C to 20°C. In summer, set your cooling thermostats between 25°C to 27°C. Every extra degree increases your heating and cooling energy use by between 5% and 10%. Only heat or cool the rooms you are using and close doors to other rooms.
Clean your air conditioner or cooler to maximise performance. Turn off cooling or heating overnight and when not at home.
Up to 40% of the heat in your home could be leaking out your windows.
Let the sun in by opening curtains or blinds and close them before dark to retain heat – especially when heaters are operating. In summer, cool your home by closing curtains or blinds during the hottest part of the day. At night, open windows, allowing warm air out and cool breezes in.
As much as 30% of your energy bill could come from appliances.
Running 24 hours a day, fridges use significant electricity. Ensure fridge seals are airtight to prevent cold air escaping. Poor seals increase energy costs. For best performance, set your fridge temperature to 4-5 degrees and your freezer temperature between -15 and -18 degrees Celsius.
Keep fridges and freezers in a cool, well-ventilated spot away from the oven and sunlight and allow a five-centimetre gap around your fridge so air can circulate freely.
Turn off any additional fridges and freezers when not needed.
Getting rid of the second fridge could save around $172 a year.
Thaw food in the fridge to reduce cooking time. Microwave ovens, electric fry pans and pressure cookers require less energy, so use these rather than the electric oven. If using an oven, avoid continuously opening the door. Use an electric kettle to boil water.
Use lids on pots to reduce cooking time and the energy used. Fill pots with only as much water as you need.
Washing and drying clothes
Always have a full wash load, use cold water and select the shortest washing cycle. Clothes dryers eat electricity! Dry clothes outside-it’s free!
Using the clothesline once a week could save around $79 a year.
Switch off at the wall
More than 10% of your household electricity use can come from Standby power, so turning off appliances at the wall when not in use is an easy way to save.
Mobile phone chargers, TVs, DVD players, computers, stereos and game consoles still use energy in standby mode, so when not in use, switch them off at the wall. The same applies for hairdryers, electric toothbrushes, radios and any items with a little light on or clock.
Power boards allow you to switch off all appliances using the same switch. New smart docking stations can help reduce wasted energy while devices are on standby.
Switching off the game console after use could save up to $193 a year.
Save up to 20% on your heating and cooling just by having insolation.
Check out the initial upfront cost associated with solar energy. In the long term, solar can end up saving you money on your electricity as it allows you to avoid buying some of your energy directly from a retailer.
Compare electricity plans – This is a quick and easy way to save on your electricity bill.
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Acknowledgements: Energy Australia, iselect