To make your home more energy efficient, you can carry out an energy audit. You’ll pinpoint appliances to upgrade, save big bucks on your energy bill, and make your home more comfortable to live in. Here are some tips to get you started.
TIP ONE: Find out your energy usage in kilowatts per hour (KWh) Compare your usage to the average at your location to see how your home stacks up. If your electricity bill reports a seasonal daily usage greater than 10 KWh above average, that’s a strong indication your household requires a thorough energy audit. You can find average KWh readings for your location here.
TIP TWO: Identify energy guzzling appliances
Energy guzzling culprits often include old fridges, pool filters and small fan heaters. One simple trick, if you don’t have a smart meter, is to turn off all your appliances except the one in question and look at your electricity meter to see how many revolutions it does in a minute. The faster (more revolutions) the meter goes, the more energy the appliance is using. Another method is to multiply the wattage of the appliance (often found on the base) by the number of hours used per day. Divide this by 1000 to obtain your daily kWh and then multiply by the rate per kWh on your energy bill to find out how much the appliance is costing you each day.
If you do have a smart meter you can log into our online portal MyAccount and view your usage in more detail.
TIP THREE: Upgrade high usage appliances
You might be surprised by how much that old beer fridge is costing you. New appliances, on the other hand, often use less KWh electricity – so you can recoup the purchase cost in energy savings. Be sure to choose appliances with the highest Energy Star Ratings, but be aware that different appliances are rated according to different usage criteria. You can calculate future running costs here.
Our hardship team may have some suggestions to help ease the stress if you do need to upgrade your appliances or you may try your local government may also have teams to help in these situations. For example, South Australia has R.E.E.S which makes energy saving options such as water saving shower heads and LED light exchange.
TIP FOUR: Check your lighting and heating/cooling is optimised Replace inefficient halogen lights with L.E.D. lights and avoid heat-zapping downlights that act like little chimneys, sucking warm air out of your home. Instead of costly central heating, use efficient inverter heating or cooling systems to only heat or cool the room you are in.
TIP FIVE: Install adequate insulation and ventilation
Having inadequate insulation means you need to run your heating or cooling for longer. To check if your insulation is suitable for your location click here. Heavy insulation (high R-Value) works wonders for keeping your place warm in winter, but can also hold the heat in in summer. One solution? Install inexpensive ceiling vents – open them in summer and close them in winter.
TIP SIX: Check for air leaks
Twenty-five per cent of heat loss in your home in winter can be caused by draughts. Investigate windows, junctions of the floor and ceiling, doors and lighting and plumbing fixtures to identify cracks or gaps and seal them up. Also, use heavy curtains, pelmets and door snakes to prevent heat loss. Closing doors to adjacent rooms to the one you are in will enable your heating or cooling appliances to reach the desired room temperatures faster.
Check to make sure you are on the best plan for your household.