After a few lifestyle tweaks, you may be saving more energy and more money than you thought possible.
If you're looking for ways to curb spending, try these energy saving tips.
On cold days and frosty evenings, heating makes for comfortable living. Ensure all doors are shut and curtains are drawn - especially during the night. This will help maximise heat retention and save on cost and energy.
According to research, every degree over 20 can add 10%1 to your heating bill, so a good tip is to turn your heater down two or three degrees lower than usual. Fans are also a great way to increase heat distributions, especially when paired with heaters on lower heat settings.
Running a small heater in a large room means unnecessarily high costs, often without the adequate heat. Lastly, the cleaner you keep your heater, i.e. dust-free and filter-clean, the more cost effective it’ll be.
Wherever possible, turn appliances and electronics off completely by unplugging them. Equipment such as your printer, TV, and laptop all consume energy when they’re on standby.
When buying any electronics such as a fridge, washing machine or TV, consider the Energy Star label. The Energy Rating Label will show the standby power consumption for all appliances. Avoid dipping below four stars, if it’s within budget because short term expense can result in long term savings.
Use energy ratings to choose energy-efficient washing machines and dryers. The more stars, the more energy-efficient the appliance. If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, look for a front loader. The reason is that this type of washing machine typically uses 50% less water2.
While top loaders are still more affordable to buy, front loaders are cheaper to run because they’re more energy and water efficient. Since washing a full load or only a few items uses the same amount of energy, always ensure there’s a reasonable amount of laundry before you start a load.
A simple hack is to wash clothes in cold water and whenever possible use the sun to dry them. The clothesline is free and environmentally-friendly, as opposed to dryers which are both costly for the environment and for you.
If using the dryer is unavoidable, never overfill it and always clean the lint filter after each load.
Save on lighting energy by swapping incandescent globes for fluoro globes, such as LED and CFL. While energy-efficient lights are more expensive, your costs are recouped through substantial energy savings of around 75% 3. Compact fluoro globes have a longer life of 8 to 10,000 hours compared with the 1,000 hours from incandescent light. Use fluorescent lighting in the kitchen, lounge, family room and other areas where lights are on for more than four hours a day. When it comes to lamps, light coloured lampshades absorb less light. To maximise your power savings, regularly clean your lampshades and light fittings.
It’s not surprising that on average your fridge and freezer are among the biggest users of energy5 in your house. Running 24 hours a day, all year round, even the smallest energy saving can make a big difference. Start by checking the door seal. If the seal is good, you shouldn’t feel any cool air escaping. Be practical about what you need, as buying an oversized fridge or freezer isn’t great for your wallet or the environment.
Again, the higher the energy rating, the more efficient the appliance. The location of your white goods is also important. Look for a cool location, far from ovens, stoves and direct sunlight, ensuring there is good air circulation around the refrigerator and/or freezer. Always avoid unnecessary opening of doors, and especially keeping them open for extended periods.
Around one third of home energy use is associated with heating water, and more than half of all hot water use is in the bathroom4. Luckily there are many times of the day to save power, including in the morning. Reducing the length of showers and balancing water temperature by reducing hot water rather than adding cold water are two very easy energy-saving tactics.
Building a new home? Positioning the hot water system near the bathroom, laundry and kitchen, and protecting external hot water pipes with a minimum of 10mm of insulation greatly reduces heat loss. In addition to choosing an energy-efficient hot water heater, you could consider installing a solar hot water system, reducing the need to heat water using electricity or gas.
It’s one thing to ask how can we save energy in our daily life, but it’s another to make an effort to make a difference in our daily routine. Small energy saving actions can make a great impact. Because it's not only our bank accounts that matter. When was the last time you reviewed your energy use in the home?