Household Energy Tips
Power Company Assessment
Firstly, it’s important to check that you are getting the best energy deal from your provider.
- Call your energy retailer and ask if you are on the best deal and whether they have any rebates or assistance.
- Switch energy providers to save. Visit Energy Made Easy, an independent government energy price comparison website to help you find the best and cheapest energy offer.
- If you’re having difficulty paying your bills call your retailer and ask to go on a hardship plan. You could go onto a payment plan and protect yourself from disconnection, interest payments and late fees.
Look into rebates and assistance that may be available to you
- See if there are any rebates or assistance you can access from governments across Australia. Your local council may also offer rebates and assistance, so check with them too.
In addition to checking that you’re getting the best energy deal, it’s also recommended to look into the environmental credentials of your power company to see if they’re doing their part for the planet. The Green Electricity Guide may assist in this process.
Simple Tips to Save Energy (and money on your power bill)
Heating and cooling
Did you know that heating and cooling is about 40% of home energy use? And for each degree of heating increase or cooling decrease, energy use increases by about 5% to 10%?
- To keep your bills in control, think about setting your heating thermostat to 18 to 20°C in winter and to 25 to 27°C in summer.
- You can make the most of the energy you're using by closing internal doors and only heating or cooling the rooms you're using.
Improve window efficiency
- Prevent heat loss or gain with well-fitted curtains and blinds to trap a layer of air next to the window. Open curtains in winter to let the sun in during the day and close them before it gets dark. Close curtains during the hottest part of the day in summer.
Make the most of heating and cooling by sealing any gaps and cracks to stop air leaking
- To get the most from your heating and cooling, draught-proofing your home is a cheap and easy way to keep your home comfortable and save up to a quarter of your heating and cooling costs.
- Sealing gaps around doors, floors, windows and skirting boards, and using a sand-filled or fabric 'sausage' draught-stopper are 'do-it-yourself' options.
This summer, choose fans over (or with) air conditioners
- Fans cost around 2 cents per hour to run. This is much less than air conditioners. Fans can reduce the temperature by 2°C or 3°C. Fans circulate air and can improve the effectiveness of other cooling systems.
Harness the breeze
- In summer make the most of natural airflow in the cooler parts of the day. Open windows to bring in the breeze and let the hot air out.
Did you know that hot water is responsible for around 25% of the average household energy bill?
Easy actions you can take to reduce hot water usage include:
- Washing clothes in cold water and waiting until there is a full load
- Only running the dishwasher when it's full
- Fitting a low-flow showerhead (it will pay for itself in no time)
- Keeping showers short.
*Extra tip: Where possible dry clothes on the line rather than the dryer - Using the clothesline instead just one day a week will save around $70 a year.
Energy efficient appliances
Did you know that household appliances can account for up to one third of your energy bill?
- If you're buying a new appliance such as a fridge, freezer, television, washing machine, clothes dryer, dishwasher or air-conditioner, look for the Energy Rating Label—the more stars, the less energy the product will use.
- While high star-rated models can cost a little more up front, choosing a cheaper less energy-efficient product could end up costing more in the long run due to higher energy costs.
Did you know that lighting uses around 10% of the average household electricity budget?
- Utilise natural light: If it’s light outside, open the curtains or blinds rather than switching on a light.
- Utilise lamps in the home: A desk or standard lamp will provide more focused reading light. They can be cheaper to run than lighting the whole room. Switching lights off when you leave the room will also save energy.
- Switch to energy-efficient lighting: Replace old-style globes with light emitting diodes (LEDs) which use around 80% less energy. They should also last between 4 and 10 times longer.
Stand by power
Did you know that ‘stand by power’ used by products like microwaves, televisions and gaming consoles can account for 10% of your electricity bill?
- If it's got a little light or clock - it's using power.
- Running costs can be reduced by turning off appliances at the wall when they are not in use, and unplugging phone/tablet/computer chargers when not in use
Note: Do not switch off fridges, freezers, security and medical equipment.
Reference: the above information can be found on https://www.energy.gov.au/
Energy saving tips for pool owners
- Buy a variable speed-pump or retrofit your pump with a pool pump controller.
Single pumps are constantly running at a high speed, which is only needed for backwashing. At all other times you can use a low speed setting, which leads to a dramatic reduction in power consumption, noise and wear on the pump, and will improve filter performance.
- Use a pool blanket to stop evaporation and save on water and chemicals.
Don't heat your pool or - if you like it warm - use a heat pump, powered by
rooftop solar panels.
For further information, visit Zero Sydney North.
For homeowners, rooftop solar is one of the most effective ways to reduce power bills and contribute to a better climate.
Payback is between 3 to 6 years on average, depending on your house and products; and then free electricity for the system's lifetime. The lifespan of a solar system is approximately 25-30 years.
To find out more, visit the Clean Energy Council.
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