Energy around the house
Where do you use the most energy?
Did you know that the four main energy culprits in homes are:
- heating and cooling
- water heating, and
Understanding where you use the most energy and making a few small changes can help you manage your energy costs (and it's good for the environment too).
1. Heating and cooling
It's no surprise that in Australia about 40% of an average household's energy usage is related to heating and cooling. Reduce your heating and cooling costs by:
- heating only the rooms that are being used
- closing curtains and blinds—on hot sunny days this simple step can keep rooms cooler, while on colder days closed curtains and blinds at night can protect against drafts, and
- choosing fans for cooling—they are a cheaper cooling option and have a low greenhouse impact.
Everyday household appliances like the refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher and the TV can account for 33% of your energy usage. In fact, a large screen TV can use up more energy than an average family fridge if used for long periods daily. Reduce appliance energy usage by:
- turning off appliances at the power outlet—many appliances continue to draw power even when you’re not using them, adding unnecessarily to electricity costs, and
- checking appliance energy ratings—careful selection of appliances can save money in the long run.
3. Water heating
Heating water accounts for about 20% of the average household’s total energy usage. Save energy on water heating by:
- lowering the water heater thermostat to between 60°C and 65°C
- installing a water efficient shower head, and
- using cold water for the washing machine.
Switching on the lights uses about 6% of your total home energy usage, so remember to turn off lights when not needed. There are also many energy efficient lighting options you can choose when installing lights.
For more information on energy efficient living, check out the Australian Government’s Your Energy Savings website.