Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Tips for Saving Money & Helping Nature Through Reducing Your Energy

Sustain Your Home
From the inside-out

Each area of the house uses energy in some way and making changes can reduce your bill buy up to 70%.  Let’s look at the different areas of the home that use energy and could benefit from some simple changes.    

Here are some common areas.  

Lounge- TV, stereo, computer, DVD, game console, heater, cooler, lights
Kitchen- microwave, fridge, kettle, coffee machine, toaster, lights
Bathroom- hair dryer, electric shaver, hair straight, lights
Laundry- washing machine, clothes dryer, lights
Garage- fridge, TV, stereo, lights, power tools
Bedroom- lights, stereo, computer

As you can see above lights are everywhere in our house.  One way of reducing your energy bill is swapping over to eco friendly globes.  It can save you money in two ways.

1. The need to replace them reduces
2. Lower watt use means lower energy use and a lower electrical bill

For more information click on this link

If you have high energy bills it could turn out to be a faulty appliance.  Make sure appliances are running efficiently by keeping appliances clean, dust free and regularly serviced.  If you have a fridge or washing machine that is over 10ys old, upgrade to 4 or 5 star energy efficient model. 
Energy efficient whitegood appliances
Low income households can apply for several loans schemes to purchase energy efficient appliances.  (note Not a Rebate) It's a no interest loan scheme (NILS)

Turn appliances off at the power point when not in use 
Standby power still generates 2-3% energy.

Make sure to keep appliances clean and dust free. With a regular service you can be certain they are running efficiently and will last you longer.

To the left is a newspaper clip from an Australian local paper printed in 2011, this is to let you know the average cost of some appliances. 

Ways to check if appliances are running poor
This idea is best done during the day and in pairs.

1. Turn everything in the house off at the power point – (most fridges and freezers can still cool things for up to 13 hrs after power out) 

2. Turn on each appliance one at a time – have one person turning things on and the other looking at the electricity meter

3. Give each appliance time to register with the meter, 1-2 minutes

4. If the meter runs at normal pace it shows the appliance is OK, if it runs fast after you have just turned on a single appliance you may have found the culprit. 

Fridge and freezer
Fridges and freezers being one of the main appliances in the home can use a lot of energy. It is wise to make sure it runs efficiently by making sure all door seals function as intended, keep the back of them clean and dust free and position them out of direct sunlight and away from the wall (12 cm gap from wall to fridge) 

Free energy saving changes you can do yourself

Try to use your car less, or carpool with others

Check the temperature of your fridge. It needs to be between 3-5 C and 15 C in the freezer

Use cold water to rinse dishes

Close doors to keep heat and cooling in smaller area

Use a door snake

Heat yourself first not the room.  Dress warmly and if you use a portable heater, sit near it to avoid wasting heat.

Keep winter thermostat at 19-21 C the higher the temperature the higher the cost!

Avoid using an electric clothes dryer, Dry clothes the old fashioned way or on an indoor rack

Keep you summer cooling thermostat to 24-27 C the cooler the air-con the more energy you will be using

Open windows and doors to cool down your house at the end of a hot day

Shade windows in summer to keep rooms cool and avoid using air con instead use ceiling fans

If you are a healthcare cardholder, you are entitled to a winter energy concession.  Talk to your provider.

Changes you can make cheaply 
Sign up to green power through your provider.  You can get a certain percentage for free!

Draught test
Light a stick of incense and run it along the frames of your windows and doors, if the smoke stats to blow or dance around there are gaps. These gaps let heating and cooling escape and also allow heat and cold in.
Check for air gaps around your doors and windows, seal up. Use a door snake or some old fabric to block a draught under your door.

Changes with permission
If you are renting you must ask permission to make certain changes.
If appliances such as ovens, heating or hot water systems break down encourage your landlord or housing officer to purchase energy efficient models.  

Top Tips for energy saving for homeowners
  • Install energy efficient heating and cooling system - up to 60% of energy  use is from heating and cooling the home
  • Install energy efficient hot water system.  Efficient gas or even better solar hot water systems will greatly reduce your homes greenhouse gases
  • Install solar panels and provide all your homes energy from the sun
  • Install or upgrade insulation in your roof Walls and floors
  • Choose 100% accredited green power
Rebates for energy saving products

Money savings 

Health and safety
Be aware of pipes that may be hot when looking at hot water systems.
Take care when accessing appliances that may be elevated.
Be aware of faulty or damaged electrical appliances or leads and power points.

Some things need to be done by a professional
  • Do not attempt to undertake any work with 240V wiring.
  • It is illegal to make permanent changes to domestic plumbing without a license
  • Installing solar systems requires the service of an accredited installer, contact http://www.seia.org/ or http://www.seia.org.au/

Make some changes and track if it saves you money by comparing your energy bills.  Use one from before you made the changes and compare it to a bill after you made the changes. 

Thank You For Reading

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