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Just a few small changes in the way you use energy around your home could make a big difference to your next energy bill.
Simple reductions to help you save
Do you want to reduce the amount of energy you use in your home? Take a walk through the rooms in your home to find ways to save.
The family room
Switch appliances off at the wall
Standby mode doesn’t mean no energy is being used. TVs, DVD players, computers, stereos and game consoles still use energy in standby mode. When you’re not using these appliance, switch these appliances off at the wall.
Use a power board
A power board can supply electricity to multiple appliances at the same time. This means you can switch off all appliances using the same switch.
Try lamps or spotlights
If you only need a small amount of light, why not use a lamp or spotlight instead of the main ceiling lights.
Use energy-saving globes
Halogen lighting can be up to 30% more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. New compact fluorescent bulbs can save up to 80% on energy bills and LED globes can reduce your lighting costs by up to 85%.
How many lights are on?
If you’re not in a room, or not going to be n it for more than a couple of minutes, turn the lights off.
Thawing food in the fridge first will reduce cooking time. Microwaves also use less energy than an oven, so try using your microwave for more than just reheating. When using an oven, avoid continuously opening the door.
Keeping lids on pots during cooking will reduce the amount of time and energy used to heat the food inside. Dinner will be cooked faster too.
Most of us use an electric kettle rather than a stovetop kettle these days, but did you know that filling the kettle when all you need is a cup or two of water will use more energy?
Using the economy cycle for everyday washing and only run the dishwasher when it's full will not only help save energy, but will save water too.
Fridge and freezer
Setting your fridge temperature to 4-5 degrees and your freezer temperature between -15 and -18 degrees Celsius will still keep your food safe, but will also save you on your electricity bill. Keeping fridges and freezers in a cool, well-ventilated spot away from the oven and the sun will also help save electricity. Just make sure to keep a five-centimetre gap around your fridge so air can circulate freely around your appliances.
Only running the washing machine or dryer on full load and using cold water to wash clothes will lower your electricity bill. Spinning the clothes thoroughly before drying will make sure they dry faster, which is especially important if you need to use the dryer rather than the washing line.
Use a clothesline instead of a dryer wherever possible. Only use a dryer with a full load and when clothes are wrung or spun well first. Never place completely wet clothes in the dryer, this will just make the load slower to dry and will possibly lead to a shorter appliance life. Make sure you keep the lint filter clean to reduce the risk of your dryer catching alight.
Use water wisely
Set your hot water system temperature to 50 degrees Celsius. Water--saving showerheads can be purchased in most hardware stores. Installing them in your home will reduce the amount of hot water and energy used. Shorten your showers to less than five minutes to save water and water-heating energy.
Switch off appliances
Switch off appliances such as hairdryers, electric toothbrushes and radios at the wall. Just like appliances in the living space, they will continue to use some energy if on standby
Use timers and sensors
Use programmable timers and sensors to light outside areas. They are available at most hardware and electronics stores.
Use solar power
Solar power lighting is becoming readily available, especially for outdoor lights. Consider installing them for your garden or outdoor areas.
Cooling and heating
Reduce your need for cooling and heating devices
Closing the doors to any unused rooms will reduce the area you need to cool or heat.
Keep your curtains and outside window shades closed to reduce the amount of energy needed to maintain a consistent temperature inside. This works in both winter and summer.
Rather than heat your bedroom, add another blanket to your bed or use an electric blanket, wheat bag or hot water bottle.
Look after your cooling and heating systems
Clean your air conditioner or cooler so it doesn't use as much energy to run. Turn off your cooling or heating overnight and when you're not home. Make sure your gas appliances are checked at least every two years by a licensed technician to ensure they are in perfect working order.