Know and Understand Your Energy Bills.
The easiest and cheapest way to reduce your energy usage and costs is to become more efficient within your home, but to do this you nee to be able to understand your energy bill. One of the biggest things we find is that customers have no idea how to read their energy bills, how much power they’re using and what it is that’s using the power! We recently wrote a post called on this very subject so you can check that out here. If you understand your bill already – read on to see what else can be done to save energy in the home.
WATER SAVING SHOWER HEAD
Installing a water saving shower head and/or water restrictors to showers are a great way to reduce water usage and water bills. If you couple this with a 4 minute shower timer to help keep track of time in the shower, and a little bit of education to guests/kids about the reason for the switch. You’ll notice your water utility bill will begin to reduce straight away!
ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHTING
Switch to energy efficient lighting – Carbon Fluoro’s or LED Lighting. There are a lot of options now for CFL and LED lighting to suit a wide range of light fixtures and stiles. What a lot of people don’t understand when purchasing light globes is that “Low Voltage” does NOT mean “Low Power Usage”. Watts indicates the power usage of your light – For example, a standard halogen downlight used in modern style households, kitchens and living rooms can give of great light however they generally consume about 50 watts of power vs. LED downlight which can use 2-9 watts and CFL’s use approximately 7-20 watts.
Setting your air conditioner/heater thermostats just 1 degree higher/lower can reduce the unit’s power consumption by 5%.
Setting the temperature to 20° or 21° rather than 18° will make a dramatic difference over summer!
Installing insulation is an easy way to reduce the need for heaters and air conditioning, keeping your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Insulation alone can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 20%
BYE BYE STANDBY
Switch appliances off at the wall, don’t leave in standby mode. Just by doing this, you can reduce your power usage by a further 5-10%. There is a range of in-expensive remote controlled adaptors that can switch off the hard to reach places such as behind entertainment or home theatre units.
Check and clean your fridge seals to ensure the door closes properly. An easy test is to get a $5 dollar note and close the fridge door on it, if you can move the note, the seals are not sealing properly. Replacement seals are relatively inexpensive and will reduce fridge run times by stopping cold air from escaping!
Electric hot water systems are one of the highest consumer of electricity in a standard household. On average about 20-25% of household energy is used simply heating water. Installing a solar hot water system can cut down your power used to heat water by up to 80%, and when there is insufficient solar to heat your water, you have an electric or gas booster to ensure you’re never stuck with a cold shower!
WATER TANKS & GREY WATER REUSE
You can cut back on your town water usage by installing rainwater tanks to capture the water that falls free from the sky! Water tanks are now available in various shapes and sizes and can even be installed underground!
Rain water can be used for gardens, flushing toilets and even supply water to our washing machine and when used in conjunction with the correct water filtration unit – can even be used for drinking water giving you a source of fresh, chlorine and fluoride free water.
Minimising this use of clothes dryers and hanging clothes on the line will reduce your power consumption and also give you nice, fresh smelling clothes!
There has been vast improvements to pump efficiencies over the years and a variable speed pump is the ideal set up. Variable speed pumps offer ‘soft’ start and stop, and will set it’s speed to suit the amount of water being used. This reduces pump noise and power usage dramatically.
Well that is 10, but we’re not done yet (we got a little excited!) two more tips below…
Installing a grid connected power system can be a great way to reduce your electricity bill. The price of solar power systems have reduced dramatically over the past 5 years, and are especially worth looking at if you are using energy throughout the day. Battery storage is still an expensive add-on, but you can set your system up initially to handle battery inputs in the future if the pricing does get more competitive.
RIDE YOUR BIKE
Riding your bike to and from work is sometimes impossible, but for those of you who can, do it! Riding your bike is a really easy way to get fit, have fun and save money on petrol and more!
If riding is not an option, consider catching public transport or car-pooling!