Looking to save on your energy bills? With the soaring cost of energy, we’re going to assume that’s a yes! So we’re going to help you conduct a do-it-yourself energy audit, because little changes really can make a big difference. From heating and cooling, appliances, right down to lighting, follow this simple guide to assess your energy usage, and discover ways in which you can be better (and save!).
Heating and cooling
According to Origin Energy, heating and cooling accounts for 41% of your household energy consumption. So by considering air conditioner temperature and sealing, you’re setting yourself up to make the biggest change on your energy bill.
When it comes to heating and cooling, did you know that each degree increase in heating, and each degree decrease in cooling, can raise energy usage by 5-10%? In winter, aim for a heating range of 18°C – 20°C. In summer, aim for 25°C specifically. When it comes to sealing, walk around the internal perimeter of your home and check for gaps around doors and windows that can cause drafts, or let out air. Tend to any of the gaps you may find.
Average hot water usage for a household comes in at 23% (again, according to Origin Energy). So it’s important to look at things within your control such as shower length and shower flow rate. It should go without saying, but the shorter the shower, the better! Shorter showers not only save water, but reduce the energy required for heating. Win-win. It’s also a good idea to check if you have a showerhead with a 3+ star rating, to save 10 litres of water per minute, and of course, reduce energy costs!
Do you run your dishwasher and washing machine with half-loads, or only when they’re full? Do you do your washing in the mornings, so you can hang your clothes out to dry? Or do you use the dryer? Do you turn your appliances off at the switch? Again, these might all seem like no-brainers, but when was the last time you really stopped to consider these small things? Waiting until a full load of dishes or laundry means less washes overall, reducing the amount of both energy and water being used. Hanging clothes out in the sun not only saves energy on the dryer, it’s also great for extra sanitation! If you have easy access to the switches for your appliances, consider switching them off at the power point each time you’ve finished using them. It will all add up in the long run.
Refrigeration, lighting and cooking
Just like cooling the home with the air conditioner, each degree cooler for your fridge, uses 5% more energy. Your fridge is best set between 3°C and 5°C, with your freezer being between -15°C and -18°C. Are you using fluorescent or LED lights? Check for bulbs and see if there’s an opportunity to switch – these lights are much more energy efficient than traditional lights. Finally, don’t forget to keep a lid on your pots and pans while cooking on the stovetop – you could use up to 70% less energy by doing this!
So there you have it – by conducing a quick home energy audit, you can identify areas where you can make simple changes, that are actually reflected on your energy bill.
Time to switch to solar?
Source: Percentages referenced from Origin Energy.