In Australia, hot water accounts for around 25 percent of household electricity bills.1 We all use water in our lives each day, it’s an absolute necessity really.
However, sometimes we don’t realise how much we unnecessarily use, such as the extra few minutes of peace you’re having in the shower, extra dishes you wash through the day, it all adds up!
Making a few small changes to your hot water usage may save water, making a difference to the environment and could help you lower your energy bill.
Use these tips below to help reduce your hot water consumption.
The majority of hot water in the home is used in the shower. Spend less time in the shower (four minutes is plenty), wash your hair every second day and use dry shampoo to get you through those extra few days if you need.
It’s a good idea to look at switching from a high flow inefficient shower head to a three star rated shower head, as this can reduce your usage by half.
When looking at purchasing your next washing machine or dishwasher, be sure to replace it with an energy efficient model. The higher the number of stars, the more energy efficient the appliance compared to models of a similar size and volume.
All new machines will have an Energy Rating Label on it so you can easily determine whether it is energy efficient. The Smarter Choice website allows you to compare the running cost of new electrical appliances using the information displayed on the energy rating label.2
Avoid wasting hot water and only run the dishwasher or washing machine when you have full loads.
With three busy kids I always have full loads of laundry each day and wash particular coloured items on certain days (yes, I am very organised like that!).
But you don’t have to be as particular as I am. Perhaps you could use a simple system to make sure you only wash full loads: separate out the colours and when each pile is full, wash them, but not until then.
Remember, it’s not necessary to use pure hot water to wash clothes, sunshine will help to kill off any germs and detergent will help remove dirt and grime. To reduce our energy costs use warm or cold water in your washing machine.
Wash dishes by hand only once a day
Did you know that hand washing your dishes several times a day (for example after breakfast, lunch and dinner) can be more energy and water inefficient than using an energy-efficient dishwasher?
Use your dishwasher through the day to stow away the dishwasher friendly dirty dishes to run when it’s full, and place the other dirty dishes in the sink. This will keep the kitchen bench tidy. Then after dinner, do a hand-wash of all the dishes that can’t go in the dishwasher, leave them to drip dry overnight, to put away while you are waiting for the kettle to boil or toast to pop, the next morning.
Going on holidays
Remember to turn your hot water unit off if you’re going away for an extended period of time to save wasting energy maintaining set thermostat temperatures.
Check out government accredited GreenPower electricity and Green Gas. This can help balance out greenhouse gas emissions generated by the hot water, reducing the environmental impact of your electricity and natural gas usage.
By using a few of these tips above, I hope you can see a difference in your next energy bill!
Written by Katrina Springer
Kat has a passion for organising and baking. She shows how she manages her home, family and more via her blog The Organised Housewife, one of Australia’s most popular parenting blogs. Kat inspires and helps her readers to create systems and routines from organisation to cleaning, sharing how she stays in control at home through cleaning tips, organising ideas, printable charts and more.
- Commonwealth of Australia, Your energy savings, Department of Industry and Science.
- State of New South Wales through the Office of Environment and Heritage 2014, Smarter Choice Calculator.