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How to save energy at home?

Vidhu Bajaj avatar
Vidhu Bajaj
- 5 min read
How to save energy at home?

It’s no secret that energy bills are starting to skyrocket. So, what options do Australians have to help keep this pesky utility bill down?

You may save money and reduce energy wastage at home by using energy wisely and implementing energy-saving measures while still meeting your demands for convenience and comfort. Further, reducing your energy consumption and minimising wastage are also good for the environment.

How to reduce energy consumption at home?

According to a guide published by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, a family of four could save up to $760 annually by making small changes to their lifestyle, such as using a clothesline to dry clothes once a week or simply turning off the game console after use. 

Even though this is just an illustration and the actual savings you might make by adopting energy-efficient practices will differ according to your usage and energy rates, it shows that small lifestyle changes can be good for your pocket and the environment, too. 

Here are some simple things you can do to reduce energy consumption and save money on your next energy bill.

  • Purchase energy-efficient appliances:

    Home appliances that save energy are sometimes more expensive to purchase. However, they may save money in the long run because they cost less to operate.

    When buying a new appliance, you can compare the energy rating labels on different models to make an energy-efficient purchase. In general, an appliance with a higher energy rating (more stars on the label) will be more energy-efficient, which means your running costs will be low.

  • Switch off appliances that are not in use

    Standby power might account for more than 10 per cent of your total household electricity consumption. If you're not using an appliance, turn it off at the wall. It's a simple approach to saving electricity.

    It's also important to use your devices wisely when you do. Turning off appliances when they’re not in use, drying clothes on a line instead of using a dryer unless necessary, and making the effort of covering pots with lids while cooking can help you save a good amount of energy.

  • Use your heating and cooling systems efficiently

    Heating and cooling appliances can contribute massively to your energy bills. Energy.gov.au recommends keeping your thermostat setting between 18-27°C throughout the year. This is considered an efficient temperature range for most cooling and heating devices and could potentially cut down your energy usage significantly. It's also a good idea to close the rooms you are not using to only heat or cool the necessary areas in the house.

  • Watch your windows

    It's important to seal your windows properly or use heavy curtains to prevent the heat from leaking out of the windows. Depending on the weather, you can also use natural sunlight to keep your house warm or cool. For instance, opening the curtains to let the sun in during winters and drawing them before it gets dark can help keep the heat in and improve your heater's performance. In summers, you might want to close the curtains during the hottest parts of the day to keep your house cool.

  • Minimise the use of hot water

    Water heating can contribute significantly to your energy bill. Installing a water-saving shower head and taking shorter showers can help reduce the amount of hot water and energy used. Another place where you can save some energy is by washing your clothes in cold water and only running full loads. Energy Australia also recommends setting your hot water temperature to 50°C to optimise your energy consumption.

    Besides using these simple energy-saving strategies at home to reduce your energy consumption, it's helpful to review your energy bills regularly to understand your usage patterns. This can help you identify the months when your energy usage is high so you can take steps to reduce your consumption accordingly.

    Your energy bill will also tell you the times of the day when your energy usage is the highest to help you identify the culprits contributing the most to your bill. Moving your energy usage away from peak hours could help you save on money.

    Reducing your energy consumption can save you money, but it will depend on your energy tariffs. You need to realise there might be a gap in the prices charged for electricity between different service providers. You can compare energy packages and tariffs offered by various service providers to find a retailer that gives you value for money. Understanding your energy consumption can help you identify the right type of tariff or plan for you and prevent you from paying higher charges for energy when you don't need to.

    Energy charges also differ between regions. Try to find an energy retailer in your area that offers you competitive pricing and features most suitable for your needs. 

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Alex Ritchie before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.