Guide: Tips to Reduce Your Home Energy Bills
Guide: Tips to Reduce Your Home Energy Bills
- Water Heating
- Computers and Monitors
- Fridges and Freezers
- Clothes Dryers
- Washing Machines
- Our Top Ten Tips
- More Information
Lighting consumes approximately 12 per cent of the average household electricity. Most households could reduce the amount of energy they use for lighting by 50 per cent or more by choosing more efficient technologies.
Light Emitting Diode (LED) globes are the most energy efficient lights on the market.
- Use natural lighting during the day and avoid using bathroom radiant heat lamps as lights.
- Turn off lights when not needed and control outdoor lights with timers, motion sensors or photocells.
- Think lumens, not Watts - Buy the light bulb that gives off the amount of light you need. Higher lumens mean brighter light.
Light Conversion Table
250 (3 - 4 W)
230 (4 - 6 W)
215 (18 W)
500 (6 - 8 W)
430 (7 - 9 W)
415 (28 W)
800 (9 - 13 W)
740 (10 - 14 W)
700 (42 W)
1100 (12 - 18 W)
970 (13 - 17 W)
925 (52 W)
- Reduce usage by installing a low flow showerhead and take shorter showers.
- Have your hot water system regularly serviced by a licensed tradesman.
- Plan for your hot water system’s replacement, especially if it is more than ten years old.
- When replacing your water heater, talk to your installer about running costs as well as the initial purchase price.
- Save by selecting the best tariff. Energy providers in most areas offer special electricity tariffs for water heating.
- When it’s cold, set your thermostat between 18°C and 20°C.
- Check your heater is appropriately sized for your space.
- Think about insulation, keeping draughts out and using effective window coverings.
- Close doors to zone your home and use reversible ceiling fans to redistribute built up heat.
- Don’t leave your heating running overnight or while you are out.
- Use a timer to turn heating off and on automatically.
- Set the room temperature between 25°C to 27°C.
- When a hot day is expected, turn on the air conditioner early rather than wait until the building becomes hot.
- Adjust air conditioner louvres towards the ceiling (as cool air falls).
- Have your unit serviced regularly, and keep filters clean.
- Install your air conditioner on the shady side of the building and make sure the air flow around it isn’t obstructed.
- Go to energyrating.gov.au/calculator to compare running costs of similar sized air-conditioners (cooling only or reverse cycle).
- Turn the TV off at the wall or use an energy saving power board.
- Turn the brightness down and use the power saving mode if available.
- When shopping for a new TV, look for models with a power saving mode.
- Think about the size of screen – larger screens can consume more electricity than smaller screens.
- Go to energyrating.gov.au/calculator to compare running costs of similar sized televisions.
- Take advantage of the monitor’s power management features, which often include power down, sleep, and hibernation modes and turn it off if you won’t be using it for at least 20 minutes.
- Turn off your computer when you have finished using it or if you won’t be using it for the next hour or so.
- Reduce the screen brightness to the lowest setting you’re comfortable with and don’t use screen savers.
- If you are looking for a new computer monitor, think about the size of screen - the smaller the monitor, the less electricity it will use.
- Go to energyrating.gov.au/calculator to compare running costs of similar sized monitors.
- Place fridges and freezers in a cool and well-ventilated space, following manufacturer instructions.
- Set the thermostat at 3ºC for the fresh food compartment and -18ºC for the freezer compartment.
- Don’t open doors too frequently or for too long.
- Keep door seals clean, replace damaged seals and keep any coils at the back of the fridge free of dust.
- If you have a second fridge, switch it off when it’s not needed.
If you’re looking to purchase a fridge/freezer:
- Choose the right size for your needs.
- Consider choosing a model with the freezer on top, as they generally use less energy than those with the freezer at the bottom.
- Go to energyrating.gov.au/calculator to compare running costs of similar sized fridge/freezers.
- Hang washing outside to dry when possible.
- Run the dryer on a medium heating setting and don’t overload the dryer or over-dry your clothes.
- Dry several loads one after the other to make use of the heat in the machine from the previous load.
- Don’t mix heavyweight and lightweight articles in the same load as they take longer to dry.
- Clean the dryer’s lint filter after each load and keep the room well-ventilated.
If you’re looking to purchase a clothes dryer:
- If you use your dryer regularly, consider a heat pump dryer as these are usually cheaper to run.
- Look for models with auto sensors to avoid over-drying.
- Go to energyrating.gov.au/calculator to compare running costs of similar sized dryers.
- Wash in cold water, because washing in warm water uses up to 10 times more energy.
- Use the economy setting, and adjust the water level to suit the load size that you are washing.
- Wash a full load rather than several smaller loads.
- Spin the clothes on as high a speed as possible.
If you’re looking to purchase a washing machine:
- Look for washing machines that have a cold water wash cycle and load sensing technology.
- Consider a front loader washing machine as these are generally more energy efficient and use less water.
- Look for models with a programmable timer or delay start function to enable you to run the machine at cheaper off-peak rates.
- Go to energyrating.gov.au/calculator to compare running costs of similar sized washing machines.
- Use the Energy Rating Label and Energy Rating Calculator at energyrating.gov.au/calculator to help you choose products that provide the best value for money (initial purchase price plus ongoing running costs). You can adjust usage assumptions on the calculator to suit your own circumstances.
- Avoid the lure of upgrading to bigger products or those with features you may never use. You could be locked in to higher running costs for years to come.
- Target the biggest sources of energy use around your home first—such as hot water, heating and cooling.
- Install appliances according to manufacturer instructions, and keep them well maintained.
- Operate the appliance for the shortest amount of time possible and turn it off at the wall.
- Zone your home. Only heat or cool and light rooms you are using.
- Purchase LED or CFL lamps – they use significantly less energy, last 5-10 times longer and can save between $71 and $91 each year per household.
- If you have a swimming pool or a spa, select an energy efficient pump, use a timer on the pump, and use a well-fitting pool cover to reduce water and heat loss.
- Compare electricity suppliers to check you are getting the best deal on your rates.
- Find out about energy efficiency programs in your State or Territory that can help in purchasing efficient products.
Energy Rating Calculator and appliance efficiency information
Information on saving energy, cutting power bills and water use, and government assistance
Information about how to design, build and live in an environmentally sustainable home
Understand your home electricity use and compare against others, and learn about energy related topics