Smart ways to save this winter - energy efficiency tips

23 June 2017

Winter calls for woolly jumpers, hot drinks and nights by the heater. Here are some great energy efficiency tips you can use around the house to stay warm during the cooler months, without spiking your energy bill.

Making a few small changes around the home can make a big difference to your energy bill. Use these steps to keep your electricity and gas bills down, without sacrificing comfort.

Step 1: understand your energy use

The first thing to do is to get a better understanding of where you use energy the most. Here’s a snapshot of where the average Australian home uses energy:

  • Heating and cooling 40%
  • Appliances – 23%
  • Hot water – 21%
  • Refrigeration – 6%
  • Lighting – 6%
  • Cooking – 4%

Step 2: put a plan in place

Now that you know where most of the home’s energy generally goes, you can put a plan in place. Here are some handy tips to help you save energy around the home.

 

Find the right energy plan for you

 

Heating and cooling

We know that the average Australian home uses about 40%* of its energy on heating and cooling so even small changes to the way you warm and cool your home can lead to some great savings.

View our heating and cooling systems.

Tips for heating

  • Only heat the rooms you use the most
  • Keep your doors and windows closed when the heater is on, or when it’s cold outside
  • Stop drafts coming in under the door by using a draft stopper
  • Seal up gaps and cracks in walls, doors, windows and floors
  • Keep your thermostat between 18 and 20 oC – each degree over 20 oC uses about 10% more energy
  • Switch your ceiling fan on when using the heater – hot air rises and the fan will push it back down
  • If you have central heating with a zoning option, use it to heat different areas of your home at different times
  • Stay warm with our range of gas ducted heating systems and improve your heating efficiency.

Tips for keeping cool

  • After a hot day, open your windows or use ventilation fans to let the hot air out
  • Keep the areas you’re cooling to a minimum by shutting doors to unused rooms
  • On hot days try keeping your air con at 24 oC – each degree below this uses about 5%* more energy
  • Use external blinds or awnings to keep out the heat

Hot water

About 20% of an average home’s energy is spent on hot water. Use these hot tips and save.

Tips for washing your clothes

  • Set the washing machine’s water to suit the size of the load and reduce your hot water use
  • A full load of washing uses as much energy as a half load, so plan ahead and try to do all your washing at the same time

Tips for washing your dishes

  • Instead of using hot water, rinse your dishes in cold water before washing or loading the dishwasher
  • If you use a dishwasher, wait until it’s completely full before turning it on
  • You’ll even save energy if you switch off the dishwasher before the drying cycle and let the dishes air-dry
 

Lighting

Did you know about 6%* of the average home’s energy bill comes from lighting?

Some bright ideas

  • Get into the habit of turning off the lights when you leave a room
  • If you don’t need much light, use lamps of spotlights instead of lighting the whole room
  • Use trimmers and sensors to control outdoor and security lighting

Appliances

Appliances can contribute to about 23%* of an average home’s energy bill. Here are some tips to saving in the kitchen.

Cooking

As a rule, cooking with gas is the most energy efficient way to cook, but if that’s not an option, try these simple ideas:

  • Cook with a pressure cooker, electric fry pan or microwave – your microwave uses up to 80% less energy than your electric stove#
  • Keep a lid on simmering pots – it can reduce your energy use by up to 70%#
  • Make sure the seals on your oven are in good condition to prevent heat escaping
  • Rather than using your grill to make toast, try using a toaster. It uses a third less energy*
For more tips on energy efficiency, check out our ultimate appliance guide.
 

Small investments

  • Keep heat in by sealing gaps and cracks in walls, doors and floors
  • Use draft stoppers on windows and doors
  • Use a share cloth or external blinds to keep the heat out
 

Large investments

  • Insulating your home is a cost effective investment and could save up to 45% in your heating and cooling bills
  • Consider a pergola or other shading device to keep direct sunlight off your home to keep it cooler
  • Install a skylight – they look great and you won’t need to use your lights as much
  • Reduce your hot water bills by installing a solar hot water service – it could provide up to 90% of your hot water needs
  • A front loader washing machine uses less energy than a top loader
  • Always look for the energy efficiency label when buying appliances. The more stars it has, the more efficient it is

Big or small, no matter how much you spend, these tips are designed to give you an idea of how investing in energy efficient items can help to reduce your energy bills over time.

Check out our factsheet to find the estimated annual energy savings for your state.

Sources:

Your Home, Heating and Cooling

www.yourhome.gov.au/energy/heating-and-cooling

Projected average home energy use in 2012 www.yourhome.gov.au/energy

www.yourhome.gov.au/energy/appliances

http://www.actsmart.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/596049/130451-

Energy-Smart-Booklet-Accessible.pdf

http://www.yourhome.gov.au/passive-design/insulation-installation

Actual energy used for your individual electronics, while in standby mode, may vary. Estimated power on standby has been sourced from www.yourhome.gov.au/energy/home-entertainment-and-office-equipment (Commonwealth of Australia, Department of the Environment and Energy 2016)

COMPARE ENERGY PLANS

Find a plan that suits you

Learn more