Reducing your household energy usage is good for the environment and your wallet. There are a lot of easy changes you can make right away that will have a huge impact over time. Below we’ve got some easy tips. But first, let’s take a look at the biggest energy sapping culprits in your home.
What appliances are using your energy?
Follow these tips to take control over your energy use, cut your bills and reduce your carbon footprint:
1. Turn your aircon up and heating down
Adjusting the temperature on your aircon or heating by just 1 degree can reduce your energy use by 10%. So in summer set your thermostat to 22 instead of 21 degrees. In winter set it to 19 instead of 20 degrees. It’s a small change for a pretty big impact.
2. Know what time of day to run your appliances
This depends on your energy source and your contract with your energy retailer. Homes with solar are generally better off running big appliances (washing machine, dryer, dishwasher) during the day. Solar panels will be soaking up the sunshine to refuel and as people generally use less energy during the day there’ll be less demand on the grid.
Households powered by non-renewable energy will usually benefit from running appliances late at night through to early morning. This is considered off-peak and electricity will be cheapest.
3. Wash your clothes in cold water
For the average home, hot water is the second biggest energy drainer. By choosing the cold wash, your washing machine will use up to 80% less energy. Washing in cold water doesn’t make a huge difference for most loads, other than whites. And stains are best washed in cold water because hot water will set them. It is worth doing a hot water wash every now and then to clean your washing machine but aside from that, keep it cool.
4. Change your light bulbs
When it comes to choosing the best bulbs, LED is the winner hands down. Because LEDs put all their energy into creating light, not heat they use about 80% less energy than halogen or incandescent bulbs. They also last 12 times longer than halogen lights and 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
5. Turn off and unplug
While a device left on standby mode won’t use much energy at all, every little bit makes a difference. In fact it’s estimated that standby mode makes up 10% of the average energy bill. Get in the habit of switching off appliances like printers and game consoles when you’re not using them. And when your laptop or phone has finished charging, unplug that too. All of these little energy suckers add up.
6. Control the temperature of your home naturally
Heating and cooling are by far the biggest energy guzzlers in the home, being responsible for almost 50% of a household’s energy use. The easiest way to avoid this cost is to stop cranking the air conditioning in summer and to rug up in winter. It could also be worth investing in better insulation to help regulate the temperature in your home. Effective roof insulation can save 40-50% on a household’s heating costs.