Wednesday, 3 June 2020

As more of us spend time at home working or studying, it’s not surprising that our power bills could be on the rise.

As we head into winter, Council’s Charge Ahead program is running a series of free sustainability webinars to help you find ways to improve the energy and water efficiency of your home.

Here are seven easy ways to save energy while keeping you and your family connected and comfortable*.

1. Heating

Heating is often the biggest energy expense, particularly during chilly winter days.

  • Heat with your home air conditioner - Most modern air conditioners have a reverse cycle, which is the least expensive way to heat your home.
  • Set your heater to 18-20℃ - You’ll hardly notice a couple of degrees warmer or cooler than this, but your heater will; every degree higher can add 10% to its winter running costs.
  • Use an electric blanket - If you’re just relaxing on the couch or bed and don’t need to heat an entire room, cosy up under an electric blanket – they’re deliciously snuggly and only cost three cents an hour to run!

2. Hot Water

  • Take showers instead of a bath - Even a relatively long 8-10 minute shower uses 75-150 litres less water than the average bath.
  • Take 4-6 minute showers - You can halve your shower costs by halving your shower time; setting a timer will help.
  • Wash laundry in cold water - Many delicate fabrics need cold washes anyway. Do the rest of your laundry with them — you’ll save between 50 and 85% of the energy needed for a typical warm water load.

3. Compare Energy Plans

  • Discover if a different energy plan can save you more. Check out federal government website Energy Made Easy.

4.  Go Solar

  • With more time at home, it could be the perfect opportunity to investigate your solar and battery storage options. Going solar will lower your energy bills and has a short payback period typically between 3-5 years, with multiple financing options. For more information visit our Simplifying Solar webpage.

5. Window Curtains

  • Using heavy curtains is a great way of avoiding heat escaping through your windows.

6. Turn off ‘Energy Vampires’

  • Some electronics keep charging even in standby mode, pushing your bills even higher. To save cash and energy, you could turn off appliances at the powerpoint after using them including computers, TVs, surround sound systems, cable and satellite TV boxes and items with clocks, such as microwaves.

7. Cooking

  • Cool at the right temperature - Set your refrigerator between 3°and 5° and your freezer between -15° and -18°. These temperatures will preserve your food without wasting unnecessary electricity.
  • Use smaller appliances – Warming something up? Consider using the microwave instead of your oven. The smaller the kitchen appliance, the less energy use (and the smaller your bill).

*Source: Australian Energy Foundation

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