Love smaller-than-expected gas and electricity bills?

We’ve created these energy saving tips to show you how to save energy around the house. Simply choose a room to get started.

Bathroom Laundry Living Room Kitchen Outdoors

Kitchen

Fridge and Freezer
  • Fridges can account for 7% of your household's total energy use^.
  • Avoid setting the temperature of your fridge or freezer too low.
  • Figure out what you need from the fridge before you open the door and let 30% of the cool air out.
  • A fridge operates most efficiently when it's at least three quarters full, so keep yours full but not overcrowded. Use water containers or bags of ice to fill empty space.
  • A freezer uses more electricity when there’s ice build-up, so defrost it regularly to help save energy. If ice builds up again quickly, check your door seals.
  • Keep the condenser coils at the bottom or back of your fridge clear of dust so air can circulate freely. It can otherwise make the motor work harder and use more power.
  • Regularly clean and check the seals on your fridge door to make sure they're tight. If you can close the door on a $5 note and remove it without any friction, you might need to replace the seals.
  • Always look at the Energy Rating label when you purchase a new fridge or freezer. The more stars, the less electricity it’ll use.

^Source:Baseline Energy Estimates, 2008

Dishwasher
  • Unless you have a small electric hot water unit, run your dishwasher on hot water so it doesn’t use extra electricity to heat the cold water itself.
  • Wait until the dishwasher is fully loaded before you switch it on.
  • Use the economy cycle on your dishwasher with the lowest temperature and the shortest time when you can.
  • Avoid running your dishwasher during the hottest parts of the day so your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to reduce the added heat and humidity.
  • Always look at the Energy Rating label when you purchase a new dishwasher. The more stars, the less electricity it’ll use.
Microwave
  • Use a microwave instead of a traditional electric oven whenever you can and use less energy.
  • Stir or turn food regularly to reduce cooking time.
  • Always look at the Energy Rating label when you purchase a new microwave. The more stars, the more you could save on your electricity usage.
Cooking
  • Limit how many times you open your oven door and stop heat from escaping.
  • Let frozen food defrost in the fridge overnight to avoid using the microwave.
  • Make sure frozen food is completely thawed out to save cooking time and energy.
  • Use a lid when you’re boiling water in a pot to save energy and cook food faster.
  • Don't preheat the oven for longer than you need to.
  • Slow-cooked dishes don’t need a preheated oven, plus you can turn the oven off 15 minutes before you take them out.
  • To get the most out of your oven or range-hood, use it to capacity by cooking everything at the same time if you can.
  • Use flat bottom pans with tight-fitting lids that match the size of your cooker’s burners to cut down on heat loss.
  • Try to cook on your BBQ or in your microwave during summer to keep your kitchen cool.

Outdoors

Pool
  • Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation and to keep in the heat.
  • Running your pool’s filter for 8 to 12 hours in summer and 6 to 8 hours in winter is normally more than enough.
  • Clean the pool’s skimmer box and filters often to ease pressure on your pool pump.
  • Drain and refill your pool only when you have to.
  • Use storm and rainwater to top up your pool.
  • Test your pool’s chemical balance regularly. Getting it right should help you keep the water clean without using the filter too much.

Living Room

Lighting
  • On average, lighting can account for 7% of your energy usage^.
  • Energy-saving light emitting diode (LED) lamps are the most efficient form of lighting. They may cost more up front but will cost a lot less to run. Quality
  • LEDs should last at least 25,000 hours compared to 6-8,000 hours for a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).
  • Last to leave the room? Always switch off the lights.
  • Dusty or dirty lights can dim lighting by up to half. Spend a little energy of your own to clean light globes, fittings, reflectors and lampshades.
  • Halogen lights are some of the most expensive to run, so try using them as little as possible.
  • Painting interior walls a lighter colour will reflect light better and reduce the need for additional lighting.

^Source: Baseline Energy Estimates, 2008

Heating
  • Close doors so you're only heating or cooling the space you're in, instead of the whole house. Keep your heater’s thermostat set between 18°C and 20°C. Every 1°C higher could increase your energy usage by 10%^.
  • Change your ceiling fan's position to 'up' and run the fan on low to help circulate the warm air from your heater that’s trapped at the ceiling.
  • Warm the house on sunny days in winter by pulling back the curtains and letting the sunshine in. Close them again at night to keep the heat inside.
  • Seal gaps around doors with foam weather stripping or ‘door snakes' to stop cold air sneaking in. Don't forget to block unused fireplaces.
  • Dirty filters can force your heating appliances to work harder. Either replace disposable or clean your permanent filters at least once a month.
  • Turn off your living room heaters before heading to bed. If your rooms are insulated, they’ll stay warm for several hours.

^Source: http://www.yourhome.gov.au/energy/heating-and-cooling

Cooling
  • Heating and cooling can account for 40% of your home's total electricity usage over summer^.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed during the day to help keep out the heat.
  • Clean debris and obstructions from around your outdoor air conditioning units.
  • Install a chimney plug (or fireplace plug) in any unused chimneys to cut your room cooling needs by keeping the cool air in and hot air out.
  • Don't place lamps or televisions near your air-conditioning thermostat. The heat from these appliances will suggest the room is warmer than it is, which will cause your air-conditioner to run longer.
  • Set your air conditioning fan to 'auto' instead of 'on' and reduce your energy usage.
  • Dirty filters can force your cooling appliances to work harder. Either replace disposable or clean your permanent filters at least once a month.
  • Set your ceiling fan's position to 'down' and run it on low to circulate the cool air from your air conditioner, rather than lower your thermostat.

^Source: DEWHA. 2008 (http://www.yourhome.gov.au/energy/heating-and-cooling)

Evaporative Cooling
  • Close any updraft vents, install the baffle plate and cover the unit.
  • Don't run your evaporative cooler and air conditioner at the same time or on the same day. An evaporative cooler increases humidity while an air conditioner works to remove it.
  • Change the pads on your evaporative cooler before each summer.
Elecronics and devices
  • Create a 'charging station' powerboard for devices like laptops, smartphones, tablets and digital cameras, so you can turn off individual chargers (if your powerboard has individual switches) or the whole strip when nothing is being charged.

Laundry

Clothes Dryer
  • Limit your use of the dryer. Use a clothesline or clothes horse whenever you can.
  • Venting your dryer to an outside point where it can release the moist air should help improve its efficiency. Or if that’s not possible, open up windows or doors so there’s better ventilation when your dryer is on.
  • Set your dryer to 'warm' instead of 'hot'. It may take longer for your clothes to dry but you should use less energy. Clean the lint filter before every use.
  • Don’t put dripping-wet clothes in your dryer. Wring them out or give them a good spin in the washing machine beforehand.
  • If you must use the dryer, doing consecutive loads will help you maximise the built-up heat.
  • Put together clothes that require roughly the same amount of drying time so you don't waste energy over-drying them.
  • In summer, use your washing machine in the early morning or late evening and stop from adding to the heat and humidity in your home.
  • Always look at the Energy Rating label when you purchase a new clothes dryer. The more stars, the less electricity it’ll use.
Washing Machine
  • If your clothes can be washed in cold water, always wash them in cold water. It’ll help save on your hot water costs.
  • Match the machine’s wash cycle and water level to the type and size of each load.
  • Choose the shortest possible one wherever it’s possible.
  • Save time and energy and use your machine less by doing full loads of washing.
  • Use the spin cycle and hang your washing outside to dry instead of using a clothes dryer.
  • In summer, use your washing machine in the early morning or late evening and stop from adding to the heat and humidity in your home.
  • Always look at the Energy Rating label when you purchase a new washing machine. The more stars, the less electricity it’ll use.

Bathroom

Hot water and taps
  • Insulating your water heater’s pipes can keep its water hotter for longer.
  • Take a shower as it uses around one fifth the amount of hot water as taking a bath.
  • A low-flow showerhead can cut down your shower’s energy and hot water usage.
  • Choose to half-fill the kitchen sink and scrub your dirty dishes by hand instead of running them under hot water.
  • Repair a dripping tap as soon as you notice it.
Water heating
  • Up to 38% of your home’s yearly energy usage can go on producing and storing the hot water it needs for things like cooking, bathing, and cleaning clothes and dishes^.
  • Having showers instead of baths and keeping your shower time under 4 minutes can go a long way in keeping your hot water usage down.
  • Save energy by washing as many loads as you can using cold water.
  • Avoid overfilling your laundry tub with more water than you actually need.
  • You can tell if your water heater has any leaks by looking for pools of water around its base. Also, listen for any water that’s running when your taps are turned off. This may suggest your home has a cracked or broken water line.
  • A dripping tap can leak hundreds of litres a year, costing you plenty. Make sure taps are turned off tightly and repair any that are leaking.
  • While there are energy efficient water heaters available, a solar hot water service can use the power of the sun instead of adding to the total of your gas or electricity bills.

^Source:Baseline Energy Estimates, 2008

Energy saving tips

 

Winter Saving Tips: Heating

Close the door on wasteful energy costs. Simply by shutting up rooms that aren't being used, you can bring heat loss down by as much as 75%