Energy saving tips

It's important to be sensible about the way we use electricity to help save on our electricity bills and help the environment. Just a few small changes in how we use electricity at home can make a big difference.
It's that simple. So use your energy sense and start saving.
Hint of the month
This summer, set your air conditioner to a cool and energy efficient 25oC as every degree cooler adds around 10%1 to your aircon running costs – which quickly adds up.
Our simple energy sense hints
Here are some simple energy sense hints you can do today to help you save around your home.
  • Use fans – they can help to circulate cool air through the house and are always friendlier on your pocket than air conditioning
  • Turn the aircon off when you leave home - it should only take around 20 minutes to cool your house when you return
  • Dress appropriately for the weather
  • Install ceiling insulation with a minimum rating that suits your locality
  • Shade your windows with curtains and blinds to protect from the sun
  • Close doors and windows in areas you want to cool.
  • Use pots and pans with tight fitting lids and flat bases that stay in contact with the hotplate
  • Think about what you want from the fridge before opening the door
  • Keeping your fridge full will use less electricity to re-cool it after you close the door
  • Check your oven seals regularly to prevent heat loss
  • Keep your dishwater filter clean to allow the washing water to circulate freely
  • Allow enough space for air to circulate around your fridge and freezer.
Bathroom and laundry
  • Install a low flow showerhead or a flow control valve to reduce the amount of hot water used without reducing pressure
  • Connect your hot water system to Tariff 33 and cut your future running costs by up to 30%2
  • Fix leaky taps quickly - just 60 drops a minute is around 9,000 litres of wasted water a year
  • Ventilate your bathroom by opening a window instead of using your exhaust fan if possible
  • Make sure your items can tumble freely in the clothes dryer and have as much water spun from them before going in
  • Households can use around one-third of their hot water in the laundry. Wash in cold water to save on water heating costs
  • Adjust the water level to economically wash a partial load or wait until you have enough for a full load
  • Fold washed items carefully to avoid the need for ironing and iron in batches to save reheating time.
  • Connect your pool pump to Tariff 33 and cut your future running costs by up to 30%2
  • Upgrade to an energy efficient pool pump and save up to 80% on your future pool running costs3
  • Keep your pool cool - the warmer your pool is the more cleaning and chemicals are required to combat algae growth
  • Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation, keep leaves and other debris out and minimise the energy needed to clean your pool.
Around the home
  • Use LED festive lights as they require less electricity and last longer
  • Fit exterior lights with movement detectors or two way switches to provide convenience and security while saving energy
  • Use a power monitor to see the energy that each appliances uses. Involve your kids so that they can see what uses what.
Determine how much electricity you use. Use the monthly electric bills from the last year to calculate an approximate value. (If possible) Compare different offers from electrical companies; chose the one that is the cheapest (lowest cost per kilowatt hour). Find out if there is an OFF-PEAK time of the day when the rate is lower and use that time for most electricity needs (e.g. running washing machine, dish washer, pool or air conditioners). This will likely require additional costs for special metering hardware to track usage during those times.
Buy energy efficient devices
Don't buy devices that are bigger than necessary (buy and use small pressure cookers whenever possible). Ask for energy efficient devices. Don't forget to check the stand-by consumption. Check if there is a label like Energy Star.
Switch off or unplug devices when not in use.
If a device doesn't have an on/off switch, use a plug connector withan on/off switch. Connect for example your TV and the loudspeakers with a plug connector. You can switch off both devices by just one action. Connect your DVD recorder with a separate socket since it is likely that you have to readjust it if you would switch it off.Don't forget that power adapters (transformers for rechargeable appliances) also consume energy. Unplug them when not in use.
Energy Consumers in the household
  • Lights
    Find effective places for lights and light switches.
    Paint your rooms in a bright color. Those brighter walls reflect more light and so you need less light to make your room bright.
    Replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. It is economical to replace a light bulb if it burns for more than half an hour a day. Use high quality L.E.D. - Light Emitting Diode (Best type) or C.F.L - compact fluorescent bulbs. Don't use ceiling floodlights, unless there L.E.D. types.
  • Dishwasher and washing machine
    Check if these devices are connected with the hot water pipe.
    Make the devices as full as possible.
    Reduce the water temperature and use energy and/or water saving modes.
  • Avoid the air conditioner
    You need 3 times more energy per degree to cool a room than to heat a room.
    Ventilate during the night or early in the morning in order to store the coolness for the day.
    Keep the coolness in the house during the day. Close the shutters and keep your windows and doors closed.
    Use a fan instead of an air conditioner.
  • Avoid heating with electric energy.
    While electric heat is the most efficient, it is often the most costly. If you can't change this or you use an other energy source (natural gas, propane or heating oil) you can save money on electricity if you lower your heating costs.
  • Avoid the clothes dryer.
    Dry your wet clothes on a laundry line. If you are unable to follow this step because you don't have access to a clothesline, fill the dryer reasonably full, but not so full that air cannot circulate, and use the mode "iron-dry".
  • Optimize the energy consumption of your PC
    Modern PCs can be set up to enter energy saving modes from both the BIOS settings page and directly from the Windows Operating system. Enable "Sleep" and "Hybrid Sleep" for desktops and "Hibernation" for notebook PCs running Windows.