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More fun, less electricity, tips for energy efficient celebrations

We all love getting together with friends and family to celebrate the good times.

Here are some tips for keeping your energy use low when the spirits are high.

Whether it’s toasting a birthday, celebrating that milestone wedding anniversary, sharing meals and laughs during your favourite holidays or just enjoying a classic Aussie BBQ, having people around is one of the best parts of being a homeowner.

Anybody who’s hosted knows it can take a lot of energy – both your own and your electricity. But don’t worry – we can help you make sure your next get-together is more energy efficient.

Here are some of our best tips for keeping your energy use in check while hosting.

Better ways to beat the heat

Things get a little brighter when summer rolls around. The clocks change, the sun sticks around for a bit longer and the temperature starts to rise to more comfortable levels. While the warm glow of summer is certainly welcome after a chilly, wet winter, it’s also when we start running the air con a bit more. While the cooling feels great, seeing your energy bill might not. Luckily there are a few ways to keep your home’s temperatures, as well as your energy costs, down.

Pre-cooling can make a big difference. This can be done in a variety of ways, including keeping your windows open the night or morning before your party. Using your air con before your event can help cool down your place more efficiently.

Also, see if you can use fans instead of running the AC. A ceiling fan can cost 20 times less to run than a split system AC. And don’t forget that fresh air can be the best air, so open up those windows for some natural comfort if it’s nice out.

Al fresco fun

One way to avoid running your air conditioning is to host your party outside.

There are plenty of smart ways to update your outdoor space and make it a more welcoming venue for guests and good times. One good place to start is making sure you have enough shade to protect your people from that scorching summer sun. You can go green by incorporating ferns, bushes and trees to cover your sitting areas (and they also look great). And shade sails or umbrellas give you flexible cooling power that can be stored away when not in use.

Your bills don’t have to go up when the sun goes down. You can light up your gathering with the help of solar-powered fairy lights or lamps. They work hard to gather sun power during the day to then use at night. 

If you still prefer to plug in, try using LED lightbulbs, which use about 75% less energy than their halogen counterparts. If it’s the end of the year and you’re having a holiday get together, you can get in the spirit of the season with easy-to-use timers that ensure you don’t leave your decorative lights on too long.

When the temperature drops, keep the good times rolling outside with an outdoor fire pit or heater that uses natural wood or gas. This can help you avoid cranking the heating while your guests are around. And if your celebration spans the indoor and outdoor areas of your home, just make sure to keep the doors closed as much as possible so your heating or cooling doesn’t escape.

Eat, drink and be merry

Dishing up an energy-efficient menu can also help you keep your electricity use in check while celebrating.

Remember to embrace the esky instead of relying on that extra fridge in the back. Your appliance will need to be plugged in the day before your guests arrive to fully cool down and be ready for use. That means you’re probably looking at least two days’ worth of power when you take the party itself into account. Instead, keep drinks on ice in an esky within arm’s reach. Not only is it more convenient for your guests, but can also remove the need for them to move from inside to outside – which can help keep your energy costs down.

You can also save some power when figuring out your food. Of your kitchen appliances, ovens are generally considered to use the most electricity. So see if you can whip up snacks that you can cook in a slow cooker, toaster oven or even the microwave.

While your attendees probably won’t be chanting and cheering your electricity savings, there’s no reason you can’t celebrate energy efficiency next time you host. Keep these tips in mind next time you’re getting that guest list together for a celebration.

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