Energise Your Energy Savings
by Carlisle Homes
The Australian Energy Regulator has confirmed that energy prices will be rising this year. So what can Australian households do to soften the blow?
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to conserve energy in the home and keep your bills to a minimum.
Limit heating and cooling
Heating and cooling is the biggest ticket item in the modern house, accounting for up to 40% of power use. There are significant savings to be had by keeping the ambient temperature closer to outside and warming yourself instead. When we run space heaters or air conditioners in a large space, the appliance has to work hard to change the temperature. The smaller the space, the more efficient.
- Insulate your home. There are plenty of things you can do to increase your home's insulation when building a new home but even if you’re not, you can still increase your thermal efficiency. Try hanging heavy curtains to keep in the heat or block the summer sun. Carpets and rugs will block draughts from cold wooden or tile floors. Draughtproof you entryways with door snakes. The more you do, the more heat you’ll retain in winter, so your appliances won’t have to work as hard.
- Keep the temperature as close to the outdoors as you can. For every degree that you heat your home over 20C, you can add up to 10% to your energy bill. In summer, every degree cooler than 22 has the same effect.
- Heat your body, not the whole space. Warm fuzzy socks, a snuggly jumper or the ever-popular Oodie all help to trap body heat so you can keep the temperature lower. For a pop of luxurious comfort, try a heated blanket. They’re deliciously warm to snuggle under in the evening, and because they only heat you and not the whole room, they cost very little to run.
Assess your appliances
Appliances account for around a quarter of the energy used in the average home. You don’t have to give up your morning mug of tea or go back to washing clothes by hand, but you can save money by:
- Buy energy-efficient appliances where possible. If you’re in the market for a new appliance, check the star rating on the front before deciding to buy. The more stars, the more energy efficient.
- Turning off appliances when not in use. Standby mode is convenient, but it uses significant power. Make it part of your nighttime routine to turn off TVs, laptops, kettles and microwaves at the powerpoint.
- Avoid using appliances more often than you have to, and be smart about the way they’re used. Modern laundry detergents are very effective in cold water, and a cool wash uses a fifth of the power of warm. Fridges and freezers work more efficiently when they’re full rather than nearly empty, so consider if you really need that extra chest freezer or bar fridge in the garage. Dryers are particularly power-hungry, so line dry your laundry wherever possible and consider an indoor airer for those rainy days.
Lighten up your lighting
Did your Dad always nag you to turn the lights off in an unused room? He wasn’t wrong. Lighting uses about 5% of the total energy in an Australian home. These simple changes might help.
- Switch from halogen bulbs to energy-efficient LED options. They cost more upfront, but they use around 80% less energy and last 10 times longer, making them economical in the longer term.
- Utilise natural light where possible. Open your curtains as soon as you get up, and avoid using overhead lights unless you really need to during the day. In the evening, a couple of lamps with low-wattage light bulbs set a nice ambient tone - and, bonus, low-watt light bulbs use less power.
- Turn off lights when not in use. Just like your Dad always said.
These energy-saving tips are good for the wallet and good for the environment. If you can make them a habit, you’ll benefit everyone.
“It’s incredible how much we’ve fitted into this 45-square home without spaces feeling compromised – it really is ideal for a growing family or different generations living together,” he says.
Want to start planning your dream house? Get in touch with Carlisle Homes on 1300 978 051