Reduce Your Household's Energy Use
Energy prices have risen significantly year on year, to the point where it is a key cost-of-living concern for many Australians, with no real relief in sight.
Cost of living is a major topic in the current Federal Election debate too.
So, while we are waiting to see who is elected in a couple of weeks and waiting to see if there is any respite with energy prices, here’s just a few ways you can also act to reduce your household energy use this Winter.
- Unplug your appliances when they're not in use (your TV, laptops, computers, microwaves, chargers). Most computers have energy saving settings which can be activated to turn the computer and screen off after a period of inactivity.
- Buy energy efficient appliances (especially washing machines and fridges) – the more stars, the better as these indicate energy efficiency. But also, consider the size of your appliances – a larger appliance can have higher, overall energy consumption so if you don’t really need the 8.5kg washing machine or 600L fridge, choose smaller.
- Switch off lights when you leave the room or when you don’t need them.
- Shut doors and close windows, especially when you have the heater on. Closing the curtains and shading the windows on colder nights will help keep the heat in.
- Save energy in the kitchen – the fridge is one of the more expensive appliances to run. Do you have it set to the ideal fridge temperature of 4 or 5 degrees Celsius? Ensure the door seal is tight and that no gaps or cracks let cold air escape. While using the stove, keeping lids on pots reduces cooking time. Only run the dishwasher when it’s full.
- Water heating and laundry - Ensure your electric hot water is on a controlled load (off-peak) tariff, use cold water for laundry and as per the dishwasher, only wash full loads in the washing machine.
- Heating. Dress a little warmer so you don’t need to run the heater all evening. And of course, turn off your heater when you go to bed or leave the house. Every degree above 20 degrees can add 10 per cent to your heating bill. In winter, heating can account for over 30 per cent of your bill. Set your thermostat between 18 and 20 degrees.
For more tips on reducing your energy bill, see the Queensland Government’s website https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/buying-owning-home/energy-water-home/electricity/reduce-electricity-bill