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Many Australians are making efforts to reduce energy use at home. At the same time the amount of energy used by households across the country is increasing as more, and often larger, homes are built and the number of household appliances increases.
No matter where you live, or what your budget, you can make considerable energy savings by following the ideas and suggestions on Your Energy Savings. You'll not only improve the comfort of your home and save money on energy bills—you'll also help reduce greenhouse gases and the impact on our environment without compromising on lifestyle.
Energy efficiency simply means using less energy to provide the same service or achieve the same result. It's about doing things smarter, or with improved technology, with absolutely no drop in service or your level of comfort. You use less energy as well as save money and reduce your impact on the environment.
The steps below outline some of the options and help you get started!
So you've decided you want to reduce your energy use and costs but are not sure where to begin? To reduce your electricity and gas bills you need to know where you are using energy. A home sustainability assessment can help you to identify where you can make the biggest savings in your home.
- Find out where best to target your efforts to save money, save water and save energy and reduce your impact on the environment.
- Get your assessor to go through your tailored report with you to understand the actions you can take and what your expected savings could be, including the no and low cost options as well as bigger changes that require upfront costs.
- Make a plan and get your household involved in implementing it. Our guides to getting a home assessment and reducing your energy bills will give you all the information you need to jump right in.
The best time to think about and improve the energy efficiency of your home is when you're building, renovating or buying a home. The decisions you make at this time will affect your lifestyle and your energy costs for many years to come.
- Living in well-designed homes that include energy-efficient appliances and features can make the world of difference to reducing how much energy you use. They also help you avoid the need to retrofit or fix the problems and pay costs caused by inefficient design.
- Take advantage of the natural features of your block or existing home or apartment, reduce the need for expensive heating and cooling and improve comfort levels through good design. When buying, make a list of the features important to you and select an energy-efficient home that's close to work, schools and amenities to reduce your need for travel.
- Our guide to building and renovating for energy efficiency and suggestions for simple renovations for homeowners and renters have information and tips to help you save money and make your home more comfortable with less impact on the environment.
Even if the building you live in is very energy efficient, the way you live inside your home will have a big impact on your energy use and costs. And the good news is that changing your habits is free!
- Think about how you use energy and act sensibly to reduce wastage where you can. Even making some simple changes to household habits and behaviour can mean real energy and cost savings.
- Turning off appliances at the wall or using a smart power board can save you money on your power bill. Closing doors to only heat or cool the rooms you are using, adjusting the thermostat on your heating and cooling by one degree, and only your using your game console to play games (not watch movies) are other simple no cost actions you can take.
- Our information pages and list of actions have dozens of ideas on how to save energy at home through efficient heating and cooling, insulation, lighting and using energy-efficient appliances.
If you rent a property, you may feel you are powerless to make substantial energy-saving changes to the home you live in. But there are a number of actions you can take.
- Check out our renter's guide for heaps of handy suggestions—and research rebates available to landlords so you can let them know about any assistance and how much they can save. Changes to things like insulation, water heating or lighting will save energy costs and will also improve the capital value of the property, creating a win-win situation.
- Think about your lifestyle when you are looking for a rental property and choose a location that is near to your work any facilities you need or close to public transport. You can also consider sharing with other people to save money and resources.
- Remember that your behaviour can make an enormous difference to the amount of energy you use or waste in your home. You don't need to rely on capital improvements to make living in rental properties more sustainable. Our list of actions is a great place to start and our guides have ideas for every season.
The major sources of energy use around the typical Australian home are spread across heating water, heating and cooling and refrigeration and other electrical appliances. Standby power, lighting and cooking generally make up most of the rest of your household energy bill.
To make the biggest impact on your energy use and costs:
- Target the biggest sources of energy use around your home first—such as hot water and heating and cooling.
- Look for the high impact, no and low cost changes you can make easily and which will allow you to carry out household functions more efficiently—Your Energy Savings is full of examples including how to use equipment efficiently.
- When replacing or upgrading household items, consider the most energy-efficient appliance you can afford.
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Did you know?
Washing clothes in cold water can produce as little as 10 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by a warm wash.
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