How to do a home energy audit in under ten minutes

21 June 2019


Want to see how you could reduce your energy bills by making a few simple changes? A DIY home energy audit can help uncover how you’re currently using energy in the home and find ways to start saving.

What uses energy in the home?

Before getting started with your home energy audit, it’s important to understand which parts of the home are the biggest energy users. You can start out by focusing on these areas.

 

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Let’s get started…

Completing the audit is easy. Read through the questions and follow the steps below to get started.

If you answer yes? You’re all good, move onto the next question!

If you answer no? Read our tip to try and reduce your energy usage.
 

Heating and Cooling (40%)

When heating and cooling, do you check the temperature?

In winter the best heating range is between 18°C - 20°C and in summer try to set your aircon to between 25°C - 27°C. Every 1°C increase to heating and 1°C decrease to cooling can increase energy usage between 5% and 10%[1]

Does your home have insulation?

Installing insulation in your walls and ceiling could save up to 45%[2] on your heating and cooling costs.

Have you sealed gaps around doors and windows that let draughts in?

Use draught excluders, door and window seals to prevent draughts and regulate temperature inside your home.

Important: When using a gas appliance, you have to ensure adequate ventilation to avoid creating a serious health hazard.

Appliances (23%)

Do you run your dishwasher and washing machine only when full?

Washing a full load means less washes in the long run, reducing the amount of energy and water being used.

Do you hang clothes out to dry?

Hang your washing out once a week instead of using the dryer, to save between $40 and $80[3] a year. 

Do you turn appliances off at the switch?

The average stand-by power use is 81.8 watts per hour, which can add up to $250 per year[4] to your energy bill.

Hot Water (21%)

Do you shower for less than four minutes? 

Taking shorter showers will save water and reduce the energy needed to heat it. You could save between $60 and $650 a year[5] by keeping your showers under four minutes.

Is your shower flow rate nine litres per minute or less? 

Change your showerhead to a 3-star rated one and save between $190 and $700[6] a year.

Do you have a solar, electric heat pump, or a five star energy rated gas water heater?

Choose an energy efficient water heater when your current water heater needs replacing. A solar hot water heater could supply up to 90%[7] of your hot water needs.

Refrigeration (9%)

Is your fridge temperature between 3°C and 5°C? 

Make sure your fridge temperature is between 3°C and 5°C. Each degree cooler uses 5%[8] more energy, while higher temperatures allow bacteria to grow.

Lighting (6%)

Do you have energy efficient lights? 

Fluorescent and LED lights are much more energy efficient than traditional incandescent or halogen lights. Think about replacing inefficient lights, especially when you have large groups of halogen downlights.

Cooking (4%)

Do you use lids on pans when cooking?

Keep a lid on your pots when using the stove – you use up to 70%[9] less energy this way.

Congratulations – you’ve completed your DIY home energy audit! Now that you’ve looked at a few easy ways to reduce your energy usage, it’s worth making sure you’re on the right plan for your needs to maximise savings.

TIP: It’s worth checking out how your energy usage stacks up against other households by using this benchmark tool from Energy Made Easy. If you’re energy usage is consistently higher than other households with the same amount of people in your area, this is an indication that you might need to take a closer look at your energy usage!

[1] https://www.energy.gov.au/households/energy-basics-householders

[2]  Your Home: Australia's guide to environmentally sustainable homes

[3] A 5.5kg auto-sense type dryer, consuming 4.5kW per load, saving 1 load a week each year. You can find savings figures specific to your state, on our estimated yearly energy savings page

[4] https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/energy-and-environment/using-saving-energy/easy-energy-saving-tips

[5] Gas hot water, showering for 4 mins instead of 8 mins twice a day using an enegy efficient shower fitting (7 L/min flow) over 90-per day summer quarter (Nov-Jan). You can find savings figures specific to your state, on our estimated yearly energy savings page

[6] Gas hot water with annual savings in a medium sized household (4 people using 90 MJ/day). You can find savings figures specific to your state, on our estimated yearly energy savings page

[7]Your Home: Australia's guide to environmentally sustainable homes

[8]www.yourhome.gov.au/energy/appliances

[9] The ACT Government's Energy Smart Booklet