Saving energy in the home

There are many ways to reduce greenhouse emissions and save money.
Solar

Family Energy Rebate

Are you aware that the NSW Government's Family Energy Rebate helps NSW households with dependent children cover the costs of their energy bills.

To find out if you are eligible visit the NSW Resources and Energy website.

The application deadline is 11pm Thursday 15 June 2017.

Lighting

  • Turn off unnecessary lights.
  • Make the most out of natural lighting.
  • Replace all light globes with energy efficient ones.
  • Where possible install LED lighting, which last 80 times longer than incandescent globes and will save at least 85 percent of electricity use.
  • Use the lowest wattage globe wherever possible.
  • Keep lights and light fittings clean and free from dust. Dust build-up can reduce light output by up to 50 percent.
  • Avoid down lights. Apart from using more energy, they also contribute to heat loss through the roof.
  • Use timer controls or sensors to switch lights off automatically.
  • Paint walls in light colours to reduce the amount of lighting needed.

Heating and cooling

  • Seal cracks around windows and doors or use door ‘snakes’.
  • Hang heavyweight, tight-fitting curtains from closed pelmets to reduce heat loss by 30-50 percent.
  • Keep your home cooler in summer by shading north and west facing windows with native vegetation or awnings.
  • Wear warmer clothes.
  • Close off unoccupied rooms.
  • Consider roof, underfloor and wall insulation.
  • Use ceiling fans in high temperatures.
  • Reverse cycle air conditioners are up to four times more energy efficient than other heaters.
  • Gas heaters are cheaper to run and produce less greenhouse gas than electric heaters.
  • Use a thermometer to set temperatures for heating and cooling. Ensure it is between 18 to 21 degrees Celsius in Winter and 23 to 26 degrees Celsius in Summer.

Appliances

  • Turn off electrical appliances (computers, TVs, DVD players) overnight and when not in use.
  • When purchasing new appliances buy a high star rated model to save energy and water. The more stars the more savings! Find out more about energy ratings.
  • If you have time-based billing, use dishwashers, washing machines or dryers during off peak times to save money (after 10pm and before 7am).
  • Wait until you can wash with full loads rather than washing small loads frequently.
  • Dry your washing on the clothes line rather than using a drier as often as possible.
  • Program the computer to have a blank screen when idle as screensavers will not reduce energy use.

Cooking

  • Use a microwave rather than a conventional oven to cut costs by 70 percent.
  • Try not to open the oven door when cooking.
  • Boil water in an electric kettle instead of on the hotplate.
  • When cooking in a saucepan, use minimal water and keep the lid on to trap heat.
  • Switch to gas cookers, which produce 80 percent less greenhouse gas than electric ones.
  • Fan-forced ovens cost up to 35 percent less to run than conventional ovens.
  • Cook larger batches of food and freeze for another day.

Refrigerator/Freezer

  • Set the fridge at five degrees Celsius and the freezer at minus-15 degrees to reduce running costs.
  • Keep the fridge at least five centimetres from the wall to allow the heat to escape and save up to 150kg of greenhouse gases each year.
  • Locate your fridge/freezer out of the sun and away from the oven.
  • Open the doors as little as possible.
  • Sell your old second fridge or freezer with the Fridge Buyback Program.

Solar/PV Installation

Solar power systems are now an affordable option for Australian households looking to reduce their power bills and generate their own clean electricity. With the increased range of products and suppliers on the market, being an informed consumer has never been more important. The Clean Energy Council’s Consumer Guide to Buying Household Solar Panels tells you everything you need to know.

Save Power Kits at Your Library

Find out which of your household appliances is using the most energy and how you can save on your power bills by borrowing a Save Power Kit from your local library. The kits contain a range of practical tools to help you save energy and the environment, including:

  • Power monitor to work out how much power your appliances use.
  • Infrared thermometer to check for draughts.
  • Thermometer to test heating, cooling and refrigeration temperatures.

Switch to GreenPower

Help decrease greenhouse gases by purchasing GreenPower products from your energy retailer, who will then buy electricity from renewable energy sources on your behalf.

Make Sure you're getting value for money

Energy Made Easy lets you compare all electricity and gas retailers in your area to see if you are on the best energy offer for your needs. You can also learn how to understand your electricity usage and compare it against other households in your area.

Further links