How can I increase energy efficiency?
Energy efficiency is a topic that’s been gaining traction in recent years. With increasing concerns about climate change, alongside improvements in technology and energy efficiency in household appliances, homeowners and renters across Australia are eager to save energy.
If like us, you care about your environmental footprint and wouldn’t mind saving a bit of money too, then this blog post is for you. In fact, by the time you finish reading this blog you will know how to save up to $322/year.
Tip 1: Become energy efficient at home and save
Australians are generally mindful of their energy use. But how many of us actually know that our efforts are making a difference? Not many, according to canstar.com.au.
Here are some calculations we put together for your everyday power usage to help you put it into perspective.
Switching off appliances instead of leaving them on stand-by
A common household with 10 standard appliances such as a coffee machine, toaster, kettle, lamps, washing machine, heated towel rack, fans, phone and laptop chargers for example spends about $90/year on standby energy costs according to canstarblue.com.au. Try to switch off your appliances at the power point when you’re not using them.
Psst. Remember if you have smart appliances this may interfere with their programming.
Limit the water you boil to make a cup of tea
An average kettle may only cost you 4.5c to boil which doesn’t seem like much, and most of us flip the on switch without a second thought. But consider the amount of water you boil to the amount that you actually use.
An average kettle costs about $50/year to run. Even if you use half the amount every time you boil, you’re still wasting $25. Try to boil the amount you actually need.
Limiting clothes dryer usage to winter months
As a busy household, you might be in the habit of using your dryer frequently? We get it, with school uniforms to keep clean it can be tempting to turn on the dryer to save time and stress! However, with an average drier using 2.5 kWh of energy per cycle the cost can add up. If your unit rate is 23 cents per kWh that’s 57.5 cents a cycle. Using it 3 times a week will cost you $89.94 for the year.
If you can manage to get your usage down to only during winter, and emergencies, you can save yourself close to $45.
Increase your air-conditioning a few degrees
We’ve had one of the hottest Summer’s on record so if your property has an air-conditioner, you’ve probably been using it a lot more recently. If you use a 6kW cooling capacity split system every evening for 5 hours throughout the summer months at 21°, it will cost you $225, according to canstarblue.com.au. Increasing the temperature to 24° will bring the bill down to $166.50, saving you close to $60.
When was the last time you looked into your energy bill? Switching energy plans is a great way to save on your bills. You can get a personalised energy quote on apply.nectr.com.au.
Switching to energy efficient lightbulbs
According to www.energyrating.gov.au, in an average household 10% of the energy is attributed to lighting, and an average home contains 37 lightbulbs. If you replace only 18 of these your home can save $102/year.
Total estimated savings made per year = $322
Tip 2: For homeowners, investing in energy efficiency in your home can increase the value of your property
With the current global trend of energy efficient appliances and smart appliances gaining momentum, a home that is environmentally conscious will stand out in the market.
In a recent report about communities of the future an overwhelming 52% of the respondents under 40 years indicated that buying or renting an eco-conscious home was “somewhat” or “very important”.
What are some of the traits they looked for in a house that you can consider adding to your home today? The most popular features noted by the group included:
- Double /triple glazing (58%)
- Solar panels (41%)
- Energy Efficient appliances (35%)
As a homeowner you would also be interested to know that 22% of the respondents would pay up to 30% more for your home if it was energy efficient.
Tip 3: Think about your energy efficient appliances as investments rather than an expense
Do energy star appliances really save money? Yes, and buying an energy efficient appliance is rarely more expensive than a non-star rated appliance when you take into consideration the energy savings over the lifetime of the appliance (not to mention the positive impacts on the environment).
When you chose appliances that are ‘always on’, like a refrigerator, check their efficiency as well as performance and make a decision based on both. According to choice.com the running cost of a 1 star rated fridge over 10 years is $1596, whilst a 4 star rating will cost you $886. That’s a saving of $710, which can be spent on a better appliance.
Keep an eye on your old appliances too. For example, if you feel heat coming from your laptop, even when it’s not attached to a socket, that’s a sign it is an energy guzzler.