All homes use energy and despite the increase in solar power uptake, most of Australia’s electricity comes from the grid. Around half of the electricity goes into HVAC, with another 12% or so keeping the lights on. While many homeowners replace their doors, windows, blinds and loft insulation to regulate temperatures and save energy, there are several changes you can make to your electrical systems that can cut your bills.
Here are just a few
Install motion-sensor lighting
We often leave lights on when we leave a room for a few minutes, or leave pool and patio lights on overnight, especially if we’re worried about security. Sometimes this is unavoidable, so one way to cut down on this sort of energy usage is to install motion-sensitive lighting outside so that the lights only come on when there’s any action in the area.
Upgrade to more modern and efficient appliances
Upgrading to newer, energy-efficient appliances is a good long-term investment, but it works best when you overhaul the entire system. High efficiency rating can also mean that newer washing machines, dishwashers and so on also need a higher wattage and this can put a strain on the entire system, especially the circuit breakers. Your electrician should review your entire system to see if it can handle the increased load and improve it if it can’t.
Look at your insulation
If your insulation isn’t that great, or there at all, then you could be losing and/or gaining excessive amounts of heat, leading to extra heating and cooling expenses over the year. See how much you could save by installing improved insulation and blinds – you may be surprised.
Look into alternative electricity
Going solar isn’t just about the environment, it can save you quite a lot of money over the year and make you a lot less reliant on the grid – always a bonus!
Change some habits
You don’t have to go all-out and install solar panels or rewire the entire house! By simply adjusting the way you do a few household chores you can knock down your bills, so try:
- running your washing machine and dishwasher only when there’s a full load to be done and try to avoid using high temperatures;
- dry clothes on a line rather than in your tumble dryer;
- turn off TVs, PCs, printers and scanners at the plug when you’re not using them, and
- book an energy audit – this will tell you where, when and how you’re wasting electricity and how you can stop this from happening.