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Practical ways to take action

If you’ve already read Part 1: Understanding energy management and your energy consumption, you’ll know that home energy management looks different for every household. Your electricity costs can be impacted by everything from your habits and housemates to your heating, cooling and home design.

In this second part of our three-part blog series, we’ll look at some practical ways you could reduce the energy consumption in your home.

 

Look for easy wins first

As you begin to create your energy management plan, you could find some easy wins. For example, you might decide it’s time to sell your second fridge to help save energy and make some extra cash. 

You could also find that some simple maintenance could help your appliances run more efficiently. For example, it might be time to book in a service for your air conditioning or make time to clean out your freezer. Always follow manufacturer instructions. 

Try this: Use our Synergy Energy Tool to explore what is likely to make up your energy consumption.

Consider upgrading your older appliances

If you’re looking for a simple but potentially effective way to invest in your energy management, you could consider upgrading some of your appliances to more efficient models. If you’re using older appliances, there’s every chance that a more energy-efficient model is now on the market - so it’s worth doing your homework.

Try this: Look for energy-rating labels. These are regulated by the Australian Government for a range of appliances, making it easy for you to compare the energy use of new appliances. You’ll probably pay more for a higher energy star-rated appliance, but a more efficient appliance generally uses less power than a less efficient option.

Commit to some new habits

Get your family or housemates on board to work out some behaviour changes you could all try to help reduce your energy use. For example, you could find a lot of your devices and consoles don’t need to be left on charge constantly, or your microwave can be easily switched off between uses. 

If yours is like most households, your heating and air conditioning accounts for the majority of electricity consumption. If you can change some of your habits or invest in more efficient heating and cooling systems, this could help you reduce your overall energy consumption.

Remember to take the change of seasons into account too. Most people consume more electricity during the summer and winter months when they cool or heat their homes. Knowing this, you can plan ahead for the changes you can make. 

Try this: Make a habit of regularly checking your electricity consumption data in My Account. This way, you’ll have a clear picture of how your electricity consumption is tracking. This gives you more control over your account and could help you to avoid any nasty surprises with your electricity bill.

Be a solar super-user

Having a rooftop solar system could be a way to reduce your electricity bills, as you could draw less from the grid during the day by using electricity generated by your solar panels.

If you already have solar, you could find that a few simple behaviour changes could help you to make the most of the energy your system generates. For example, set a timer to schedule appliances such as your washing machine to come on when your solar system is generating energy in the sunniest parts of the day when you might not be home, and the electricity would otherwise be exported to the grid. 

Try this:
Find out how to make the most of your solar system in A day in the life of a solar super-user.

Embrace electrification

Electrification means using electricity to power our homes, transport and workplaces. The more electricity that can be sourced from renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and hydro technology, and the more we can collectively electrify our lives using renewables, the more emissions we could reduce. 
If your hot water system, space heater or cooktop are currently powered by gas, consider switching these appliances to the electric versions as part of your home energy management.

Try this: Consider which appliances you could electrify in your home before they come to the end of their life. This way, you’ll be ready to make the switch when they need replacing. 

Take the next steps

Once you’ve found some practical ways to take control of your energy consumption, you’re ready to set up a plan for ongoing monitoring and management. 

Check out Part 3: Monitoring progress and managing your Synergy account to complete this blog series.