Save money and the environment by making your home energy efficient – it really is a win-win! Check out our blog to learn how you can save energy at home today.
Every day, Australians consume enough electricity to power 8 billion TVs and enough natural gas to boil water for 36 billion cups of tea. Over the last 30 years, the cost of electricity in Australia has soared by a jaw-dropping 500%.
Energy Bill Getting You Down?
If you break out in a cold sweat whenever you get a power bill, you’re not alone. A 2017 study found that Australian residential customers were paying the highest electricity prices in the world. So, what can you do today to slash your energy bills?
Fortunately, there are many projects that homeowners can undertake to improve the energy efficiency of their property. However, the sheer abundance of options can make it hard to identify a starting point. If you would like to start an energy efficiency project at home and don’t know where to start, we believe that our room-by-room approach is best.
Energy Saving Tips: Room by Room
The Living Room
By getting into the habit of switching appliances off at the wall, you could save up to 10% on your annual energy bill. Before leaving the room, be sure to turn off your TV, games consoles and the stereo.
Televisions can be notorious power guzzlers and the type you use can significantly impact your energy bills. If your TV is over ten years old, you may want to upgrade to a newer model as older ones can consume up to ten times more electricity. When choosing a new TV, be sure to consider its energy efficiency star rating as each additional star represents a 20% increase in efficiency.
Fridges account for roughly 13% of your energy bill. High usage is unavoidable as it needs to run 24-7 to keep food fresh, however there are still a few things you can try to cut down on consumption. Put the temperature on your fridge to 4 – 5 °C and your freezer between 15 – 18 °C. Those with an older, second fridge tucked away in the garage may want to consider getting rid of it as these can eat up to $270 more in electricity per year than modern models.
One of the best ways to increase energy efficiency, hot water management allows you to reduce your carbon footprint and save money. An average household can use around 25% of its total energy on heating water, however this can be slashed by taking a few simple steps:
1. Switch off your hot water systems when you don’t need hot water.
2. Set the water temperature to 50°C.
3. Replace old showerheads – upgrading to a more efficient model can save up to 20 litres of water a minute.
The Laundry Room
Washers and dryers are among the most energy-hungry household appliances, cut costs by:
1. Only running a washing machine when it’s fully loaded.
2. Washing your clothes in cold water. Around 80-90% of the energy used by a washing machine is used to heat water, this simple switch can save up to $115 per year!
3. Adopting the old-school approach of using clothes line to dry clothes outside.
5 Ways to Save on Your Energy Bill
1. Insulate your home to keep it cooler in summer and warmer in winter. This can save up to 80% in heating and cooling losses.
2. Draught-proofing is easy and affordable to implement— even for renters. Banish draughts by keeping doors, curtains, and windows closed. Seal off unused chimneys and fill any other cracks or holes around windows, skirting boards and floorboard.
3. In warmer weather, about 76% of sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows enters to become heat. Cut down on heating and cooling costs by double-glazing your windows. This has the added benefits of improved sound-proofing and home security.
4. Have your heaters & air conditioning checked by a qualified professional every two years. All heating and cooling system filters should also be cleaned on a regular basis.
5. Replace all regular lights with LEDs. LEDs use only 1/10 of the energy of halogen or incandescent bulbs and they will pay for themselves over a couple of months.
How to Make Windows More Energy Efficient
Windows play a significant role in heating and cooling a house. In colder months, up to 30% of a home’s heating energy can be lost through windows alone. Window coverings such as shutters, blinds and awnings can go a long way in making a home more energy efficient by maximizing natural light, taking advantage of heat from the sun in the winter, and reducing heat gain in the summer.
While energy efficiency home improvement projects do often cost money up-front, in many cases such investments are quickly earned back in the form of reduced energy costs and added property value. We hope this post helps you get started on your journey to becoming a greener homeowner!