From the fridge, to the microwave, kettle and TV – we use household appliances all the time. Find out how you can reduce your energy consumption and improve energy efficiencies by making a few small changes to your everyday habits.
Written by Anja Barisic
My alarm clock went off at 6am today. I jumped out of bed, made my way to the kitchen, filled up the kettle, grabbed milk from the fridge and switched on the TV to catch up on the latest news.
This is my usual morning routine. But today, I did something a little out of the ordinary. I counted the number of appliances I used. I’ve made a conscious effort to reduce my energy consumption – and taking note of how many appliances I have on at any given time is part of my plan.
By 6:15am, I’d already used three.
We use appliances all the time without a second thought, and as a result, we end up using lots of energy.
According to Your Home, Australia’s guide to environmentally sustainable homes, household appliances and equipment account for about 33% of energy consumption and 45% of greenhouse gas emissions.
That’s a big chunk!
By making a few small (but important) changes to the way we use our appliances, we can reduce our impact on the environment and hopefully save some money in the process.
First of all, let’s take a look at which appliances consume the most amount of energy.
“Household appliances and equipment account for about 33% of energy consumption and 45% of greenhouse gas emissions.”
- TV – 19%
- Fridge and freezer – 18%
- Cooking – 15%
- Miscellaneous – 11%
- Standby – 10%
- Home office – 9%
- Home entertainment – 5%
- Pool and spa – 5%
- Microwave – 2%
- Dishwasher – 2%
- Clothes dryer – 2%
- Clothes washer – 2%
Tips for reducing energy
Now that we know which appliances are costing us the most, here are some simple changes we can make to reduce our energy consumption.
Our TVs top the list, using the most amount of energy when compared to other appliances. Try to get into the habit of turning your TV off when you’re not watching it. Leaving it on might lead to a spike in your energy bill.
If you’re buying a new TV, opt for a newer LCD TV over older plasmas (they’re usually more energy efficient). Find out more here.
So, we can’t use the same tactic here as above – keeping your fridge switched on is important. However, there are a few other things we can do to cut down the amount of energy it uses.
Set your fridge’s temperature between 3°C and 5°C, and the freezer to somewhere between -15°C and -18°C. Every degree lower after that uses around 5% more energy.
If you have a second fridge, only turn it on when it’s needed – an extra fridge could cost you around $220 a year.
If you love getting your ‘Jamie Oliver’ on in the kitchen, try setting your oven to fan forced. It cooks quicker and more evenly than conventional settings, saving you time and money. Winning!
Shopping for a new oven? Check out this blog for some helpful tips on choosing the best appliances for your kitchen.
Your pool and spa might be consuming a whole heap of energy. Check whether you can connect your pool to an off-peak meter tariff – so you can make some savings.
We have a great blog about saving money on outdoor energy costs in Autumn – check it out.
Energy efficiency ratings
Whenever you’re buying new appliances, make sure to check the energy-rating labels. The more stars they have, the more energy efficient they are.
And lastly, avoid paying for standby power! You can save up to $100 per year just by turning off appliances at the wall. Get into the habit of doing this, and you’re likely to see a change in your energy bills.
Saving energy isn’t just great for your hip pocket, it can make a difference to the environment too. Find more energy efficiency tips here.
About the author
Anja is Origin’s blog content lead. She’s passionate about taking information and bringing it to life in interesting, relevant and useful ways for our audiences. Outside of work, the Pilates-loving, fashion-obsessed Melbourne girl can be found at the beach, soaking up the sun (while brainstorming her next creative concept for Origin’s blog).