Easy ways that could help you save energy this summer
Summer energy efficiency doesn’t have to be hard work. With these simple tips, you could cool your home in ways which could help you to save you money and help make it easier to manage your next electricity bill.
Summer is a time of year where we usually use a lot of electricity. It’s peak season for your air conditioner, fridge, freezer and your entertainment systems and gaming consoles, especially for those times it’s just too hot to get outside. It’s a fun time of year, but it also can be a time when your electricity consumption can spike above your typical usage levels, which may lead to a higher bill than you might have been expecting.
Here are 7 easy summer energy saving tips that can help you to stay on top of your energy use.
Hot tip #1: Plan ahead for your summer energy saving ideas
Reducing your energy use in summer can be as simple as planning ahead when hot weather is forecast.
When there’s a hot day ahead, keep your blinds and windows closed during the day to keep the sunlight from heating the room. Being in a darker house could be the perfect excuse to stay in and watch a movie, run a bath, build a blanket fort or take a well-deserved nap. When the breeze is in, open your blinds and windows up again to let the naturally cooled air circulate through your home.
Another easy way to plan ahead for summer is to consider setting up regular payments to pay your Synergy bill in small amounts. By setting up a direct debit to make smaller payments more often, you could get on top of your electricity costs and avoid having one larger amount to pay at once.*
* Direct debit service agreement terms and conditions apply.
Hot tip #2: Harness the power of the sun
When it comes to planning your summer, think about where solar power fits into your energy plans for the future. If you don’t have solar panels but have been thinking about the benefits of solar, this summer could be the perfect time to take the next step.
If you already have solar panels, make sure you’re making the most of them. By shifting a few habits – such as switching on your pool pump to run from 10:30am when your solar production is starting to peak for the day. This could help to reduce the amount of electricity you draw from the grid - which means bright sunny days give you a chance to really make the most of your solar power production.
Hot tip #3: Cool your home as an air-con boss
Keeping your home cool without over-working your air-conditioner may be as simple as setting your air-conditioner temperature at 24 degrees throughout summer.
24 degrees might not sound that cool - but when the air temperature reaches the high 30s and 40s outside, 24 degrees can feel more than comfortable inside. Plus, for every degree your thermostat goes under 24 degrees when cooling your home, you could be adding up to 10% to your electricity costs!
When you can, try using a pedestal or ceiling fan instead of your air-con. Fans can be a much more energy efficient way to cool you down.
When you use your air-con, plan ahead so you don’t need to leave it going all day. This applies to your pool pump too, if you have a pool. By leaving your high-energy appliances on all day, you might be using more electricity than you realise, which could lead to a higher bill than you were expecting.
Hot tip #4: Don’t get cranky: Get smart with energy efficiency tech
Cranking up your air-con when you get home on a hot day may create a spike in your electricity use. Instead, consider using a timer to set your air-con to switch on for 15 minutes at 24 degrees before you get home. That way, your system can start the process of cooling your home before you get there and you won’t be asking it to work extra hard when you arrive.
Any timer features or apps you have for your appliances can often help you make the most of their energy efficiency. It might not be the most riveting summer reading, but getting familiar with your appliance manuals could help you to work out what that “eco” mode on your dishwasher really means.
Hot tip #5: Get outside for summer cooking made easy
Hosting a BBQ is a great summer tradition for big gatherings - but you could also think about using your BBQ more at other times too. By cooking your weeknight meals outside, instead of using your oven, can help to avoid heating the inside of your home on a hot day.
You could even skip cooking altogether and plan some hot weather meals around seafood, salads or giant grazing platters. Just remember to grab what you need from the fridge as quickly as you can. It’s tempting to stand in front of an open fridge on a hot day - but it’s much more energy efficient to keep as much cool air inside the fridge as possible.
When it’s just too hot to enjoy the great outdoors, think about where you could go where the air conditioning is running for others too. You might catch a movie, head to your local shopping centre for some retail therapy or even check out events at your local public library or community centre.
Hot tip #6: Sleep easier on hot summer nights
During hot nights, it’s possible to sleep well and stay cool without your air-con. One easy idea is to try popping your pillowcase in the freezer before bedtime. The fabric will cool down, making it a cooler spot to land your weary head when it’s time to fall asleep.
If you’re shopping in the summer sales, keep an eye out for cotton or bamboo sheets and bed linen. These are generally the coolest options for summer nights as these materials are breathable and light, allowing air to flow rather than trapping heat like silk or woollen options.
Hot tip #7: Get your housemates on board: Chat about electricity costs
Whether you live with family, friends or housemates you found through an app, if you share a home, it is likely that you share the load of how you use electricity in your home.
Every member of your household likely has different electricity consumption habits. You might live with a work-from-home professional, an energy-efficient dishwasher-stacking specialist, an up-all-night gamer - or maybe all three rolled into one person!
By chatting about the different ways you use electricity in your household, you can better understand your shared electricity costs and work together to find ways to reduce your electricity use.
Get your household involved and set some collective goals around how each of you can use electricity more efficiently. This could help you do the right thing by the planet, each other and your electricity use.
Take action now and save energy this summer
Taking small steps towards summer energy efficiency could make a big difference – so it’s worth planning ahead. For even more energy-saving ideas and calculators to help you run the figures, try our Energy Tool.