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Top 8 areas to save energy in your home

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Top 8 areas to save energy in your home
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Summer means ice creams, days at the beach and fish and chips. But for many it can also mean higher energy bills.

Increased use of fans, aircons, pool pumps and hooking up that second fridge can mean increased summer bills for many Australian households.

So we put together our best 8 energy saving areas and resources that could help you to use your existing systems and appliances more efficiently and hopefully save money this summer!


1. Lighting

Replace old halogen or incandescent bulbs with LEDs - an old tip, but a good one. LEDs can use up to 80% less energy than halogens1, so the cost of the replacement is well worth the reward.

As a renter, this is one thing you can do to save money that doesn’t require permission from a landlord. But remember, even though LEDs use approximately 80% less energy, you should always switch off the lights when you leave the room.


2. Appliances

Purchasing a new appliance is a big deal, so it’s always worth comparing energy ratings at the time of purchase.

What might be a $100 difference in price between appliances could end up saving you cash spent on energy in the long run. If you’re not replacing less efficient appliances, then limit use as best you can.


3. Solar

Solar power is a big-ticket item that can save on your energy bills in the long term.

By using solar energy you generate, you can save cash and support the environment. The Powershop app shows half-hourly breakdowns of your households solar generation - at times of high generation you should turn on a load of washing, or start the dishwasher to take advantage of your solar power. You will also be updated on how much money you received from exporting your excess power generated to the grid.


4. Tracking

Keeping track of your home energy usage can help identify what appliances use the most energy and gives you the knowledge to make reasonable changes.

If you have a smart meter and you are a Powershop customer, you can use the Powershop app to track usage in close to real-time so you can identify pesky appliances using too much power. If you don’t have a smart meter installed we can sort this for you - often for free.


5. Water heating

If you have an old electric or gas hot water system you could save money by using a solar hot water system or a more modern and efficient electric or gas system.

But we totally get it; sometimes the budget doesn’t stretch that far so limiting the use of hot water (and water in general) to the extent you can, can help reduce hot water costs and the impact on our planet. Try doing a cold machine wash more often and limit showers to a few mins.


6. Insulation

How do you stop draughts? Two words - door snakes! Otherwise known as draught stoppers.

Reducing draughts and improving your home’s insulation can reduce heat loss in winter and help keep things cool in summer. If you’ve got the cash to spend, double glazing windows and replacing insulation also helps improve temperature regulation. If you don’t have the spare dosh, draw the curtains to keep the winter chill or hot sun out.


7. Behaviour

There are a few simple things you can do each day to help reduce your energy bills:

1) turn off appliances at the wall rather than leaving them on standby;
2) turn off the lights when you leave a room;
3) wait for a full load of washing before turning the washing machine on; and
4) dry clothes in the sun rather than in the dryer, if possible.


8. Heating & Cooling

If you’re in the market for a new aircon, we recommend installing reverse-cycle air-conditioning for heating and cooling.

Reverse cycle air-conditioning is more energy-efficient than most electric heaters and a lot more efficient than gas heating2.Already have one? To run efficiently, set the temperature to between 24-26°C in summer and 18-20°C in winter. If your budget can’t swing a new aircon - remember to pull the blinds down on hot days to keep rooms dark and cool and to pull on some fuzzy socks and a jumper on chilly days before turning the heater on.


Extra resources:

Download the poster by clicking the image below:

As more and more people, including renters, are looking to improve the efficiency of their homes, North Sydney local council has put together helpful fact sheets and recommendations for both homeowners and renters. Download these to get tailored suggestions for improving your energy efficiency.

While it seems like there’s a never-ending list of things you can do to make your home more efficient, there are experts available to help. If you’re in Victoria, the Moreland Energy Foundation offers an affordable home energy assessment to give you personalised recommendations for how to reduce your home energy usage. Once you have this knowledge you can make a plan for what steps are affordable and accessible to you.

*References
1. "LEDs can use up to 80% less energy than halogens"  (Victorian energy saver)
2. "Reverse cycle air-conditioning is more energy-efficient than most electric heaters and a lot more efficient than gas heating" (ABC news)

Related blogs:

How are Australians preparing for summer bills
How to save energy when you live in a share house
Top tips for staying cool in the heat


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One comment on "Top 8 areas to save energy in your home"
  1. Nigel, June 2, 2020:

    It is always important to know and learn ways on how to save energy at home. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips!

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