Australians, per capita, are among the highest producers of greenhouse gas emissions in the world but a few small changes around the home can make a significant difference – and it doesn’t have to involve spending bucket loads of money on retro-fitting your infrastructure. In fact, going green can actually save you thousands each year.
Heating water is the biggest use of energy in the home and nearly half is used in the bathroom. A three star shower head is the simplest, cheapest, most effective energy solution for the home.
Aerated shower heads give the same number of water drops but each drop is filled with air, so with each shower you are using less water and less power to heat the water. Shorter showers and going five star will reap even bigger rewards. Installing a AAA showerhead can save up to $100 a year on your energy and water bills.
In the laundry, using cold water to wash clothes will further reduce your hot water bill and it’s worth considering that washing machines and dish washers use the same amount of energy for a full load as for half a load, so fill them up before you turn them on. But overfilling and incorrect packing can make these appliances less efficient so don’t go overboard.
Once you’ve sorted out the hot water you should reconsider your fridge. Ok, this is Australia and we know you need a fridge – but how badly do you really need that bar fridge or the old fridge on the back veranda? Getting rid of your second fridge can save you as much as $200 a year.
We’ve gone a bit soft in recent decades – we don’t like it too hot and we don’t like it too cold and the affordability of modern appliances makes it easy to remain “just right” all year round.
Insulation can make a home 7 degrees cooler in summer and 10 degrees warmer in winter and can save as much as $300 a year on your power bill.
If you have to use appliances only heat and cool the areas with the highest use – not bathrooms, toilets and laundries.
If you have air conditioning set the thermostat between 22 and 26 degrees – every degree increase can save up to 10 per cent of operating costs.
Try and recirculate cool air and make sure the section of your air conditioner that is outside is shaded.
Choosing the right heater can make a huge difference. Portable electrical heaters can increase your winter electricity bill by hundreds of dollars.
When it comes to lighting, energy efficient compact fluorescent globes use 80 per cent less energy than standard incandescent globes and last up to 10 times longer. Replacing 10 globes could save $100 a year.
Our homes are full of electrical equipment – TVs, DVDs, microwaves, computers, printers and these modern conveniences continue to drain power even when turned off. Simply switching them off at the power point can reduce this use of standby power and save up to $50 a year.
Most energy companies as well as state and federal governments and environmental groups have an extensive range of tips to help you make your home more energy efficient and more economical.
Go Green and Save Big
– Instal a AAA showerhead and save $100 a year on your energy and water bills
– Use cold water not hot water to wash clothes
– Completely fill the dishwasher before turning it on
– Getting rid of your second fridge can save you as much as $200 a year
– Home insulation can save as much as $300 a year on your power bill
– Energy efficient compact fluorescent globes use 80 per cent less energy than standard incandescent globes and last up to 10 times longer. Replacing 10 globes could save $100 a year.
– Switching TVs, DVDs, microwaves, computers and printers off at the power point can save up to $50 a year.