Reducing your energy consumption
One important way to reduce your energy consumption is to choose energy efficient appliances when you replace old appliances. However, there are also steps you can take now to reduce your energy bills at little or no cost.
Heating in winter
- Turn the temperature on the thermostat of your heater or reverse cycle air conditioner to 18-20°C. Every 1° increase in temperature can increase the heating component of your energy bill by up to 15%.
- Install ceiling insulation.
- Close curtains/blinds to minimise heat loss.
- Seal cracks and holes that cause drafts. Drafts can increase winter heat loss by up to 25%.
- Heat only the areas of the house you are using.
Cooling in summer
- Use fans instead of or with air conditioners.
- Set the thermostat of your air conditioner to 23°C or higher. Each degree lower can add 10% to the cost of running an air conditioner.
- Close windows and blinds during the hot parts of the day to keep the heat out.
- Install ceiling insulation.
Electric hot water systems usually account for about one third of a household's energy bill.
- Reduce your hot water usage by shortening shower times (a shower timer may help).
- Installing an energy efficient shower head can halve your hot water usage.
- If possible, lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 60-65°C to reduce costs.
Fridges and freezers typically account for around 14% of a household's annual electricity bill.
- Use a fridge thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature of your fridge and freezer. Keeping the refrigerator temperature lower than necessary wastes power and adds to your power bill.
- Make sure the door seals are clean and the fridge door closes properly.
- Only turn on your second fridge when you really need it.
- Dispense with a second fridge altogether. Go to the energy rating website - www.energyrating.gov.au (opens in a new window) - to calculate how much it is costing to run your second fridge. Residents in some areas of NSW may be eligible for a $35 rebate if they have a second fridge taken away (see www.fridgebuyback.com.au (opens in a new window) ).
- Washing with cold water can cut 80% to 90% off running costs.
- Hang clothes outside or on the balcony to dry. Go to the energy rating website - www.energyrating.gov.au (opens in a new window) - to calculate how much it is costing to run your dryer.
Turn TVs, DVDs, VCRs, games consoles, set top boxes, computers, mobile phone and other chargers off at the power point when not in use. This can account for up to 10% of your power bill.
Home Power Savings Program
If your household is eligible under the NSW Home Power Savings Program, ask for a free home energy assessment, a power saving kit and expert advice on reducing your energy consumption. See www.savepower.nsw.gov.au/households/home-power-savings-program/about-the-program.aspx (opens in a new window)
Many other websites provide advice on saving energy. For example, see: