Big energy saving ideas for your home

It’s amazing how a few small changes can have a big impact on your electricity bill and add up to big savings over time. To help you keep your bill as low as possible, here’s a series of simple everyday tips that will help you cut consumption and costs.

Energy efficient appliances

  • When buying appliances, choose one with a high energy star rating as they use less energy and can save you money. Compare appliances now at www.energyrating.gov.au.
  • If you have old appliances such as aircons, dryers or fridges consider upgrading to more energy efficient, high energy star rated models.
  • Use energy-saving LED globes as they use approximately 1/5 the energy a regular globe uses.

Cooling

Did you know that cooling accounts for up to 40% of our energy consumption? That’s a lot when you think about it.

  • Set your aircon between 24˚C to 27˚C and use your ceiling fans. This will reduce humidity and cold air will be distributed more evenly.
  • Don’t sleep under a doona. Sleeping under a doona can increase the running costs of your aircon by up to 30%.
  • Remember, every degree you lower your aircon can increase its running costs by up to 10%.
  • Clean your aircon filters regularly. A clogged up filter can increase your unit’s running costs by 5% to 10%.
  • When buying a new aircon, consider a model with at least a 4.5 star energy rating – every extra star can reduce running costs by 10%. You can compare models at www.energyrating.gov.au.

Kitchen

Fridge

You wouldn’t think a fridge uses a lot of energy, but what about that old beer fridge you hardly fill which sits on your veranda in the heat?

  • A rarely-used second fridge can cost you more than $200 a year. Consider disposing of it or switching it off when you don’t use it.
  • When you are buying a new fridge, choose a 4.5 star model. It will cost you approximately $60 less each year than an average 450-litre fridge with a 2 star rating.
  • Set your fridge’s temperature between 3°C and 5°C, and the freezer between -15°C and -18°C.
  • Make sure your fridge and freezer doors seals are in good condition. Place a paper between the fridge and the fridge door. If the seals don't hold the paper in place when the fridge door is shut, then consider replacing your fridge seals.
  • Leave some space around the back of your fridge or freezer to allow air to circulate.

Dishwasher

  • Only switch on the dishwasher when full and use the economy cycle.
  • When buying a dishwasher, choose one with at least 3.5 star energy rating. Every extra star can reduce running costs by up to 30% a year - the more stars, the more you save. The most efficient dishwashers also use half the water of average models.

Hot water

Hot water can make up for around 23% of your energy consumption, so it makes sense to use it wisely.

  • Set your hot water system thermostat between 60˚C to 65˚C for optimal energy efficiency.
  • Install a low flow 3 star rated showerhead and reduce your showering time, and you could save half your hot water use.
  • Installing flow restrictors and aerators in your bathroom, kitchen and laundry taps can help you to further reduce your hot water consumption even more.

Laundry

Washing machine

In some households the washing machine runs daily, which really adds up. With a few simple steps you can reduce the impact that this has on your electricity bill.

  • When buying a new washing machine, choose one with a high energy star rating. Choosing a six star model over a one star model can save you up to $200 a year.
  • Wash your clothes on cold and on an economical or shorter cycle, and always wash a full load.

Dryer

The dryer is one of the most energy hungry appliances in your home. Hanging your clothes on the washing line or on a frame under a ceiling fan rather than putting them in the dryer could save you lots on your electricity bill.

  • When buying a dryer, choose one with the highest star rating possible. Every extra star cuts 15% off your clothes dryer’s running costs.
  • Don’t overload your dryer as it will need more energy to dry your clothes.
  • Clean the dryer lint filter after use. It will make sure your dryer runs efficiently.
  • Set your dryer to ‘warm’ rather than ‘hot’. Clothes may take longer to dry, but you’ll use less energy overall.

Pool

Don’t overlook the contribution your pool makes to your electricity bill. Most people set their pool pump and then forget about the hours it’s running for, often much longer than it needs to.

  • Engage your local pool shop regarding your pool running time as reducing the time by a few hours a day could save you up to $350 a year.
  • Look for a high energy star rating when purchasing a pool pump.
  • Test your water regularly. With the right chemical balance your pump won't need to work as hard to keep the water clean.
  • Clean the skimmer box and filters regularly to reduce pressure on your pool pump.
  • Consider switching to our ‘Switch to Six’ off-peak tariff and running your pool pump after 6pm. Find out more at switchtosix.com.au.

Further resources

Solar optionsSwitch to Six tariffResidential consumption caculator