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Energy saving tips

Improving your energy efficiency doesn’t have to be difficult. It just takes one simple tip, and once you’ve done that, you can move on to another. 

Which appliances contribute most to your bill? *

Here are WA’s most popular energy saving tips to get you started

Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling your home forms a pretty big part of your overall energy use, so it’s worth looking at ways to optimise your energy efficiency with the following energy saving tips.

  1. Don't crank the air conditioner

    It’s more energy efficient to heat or cool your house slowly over time, instead of turning the air conditioner up for ‘quicker’ results.

    Effort: You’ll get there (3 Stars)

  2. Keep the cold in and the heat out, or vice versa

    Door snakes are inexpensive and can help stop air escaping from the bottom of doors.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  3. Try using a pedestal or ceiling fan instead of the reverse cycle air-con

    Fans are a much more energy efficient way to cool you down.

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars)

  4. Get your heater serviced regularly to keep it running efficiently

    Even cleaning the dust and fluff from the fan can save on your electricity costs in winter.

     

    Effort: You’ll get there (3 Stars)

  5. Pull on your pullover

    Heaters are great, but see if a good old jumper can warm you up first.

     

    Effort: Too easy (1 Star)

  6. Take advantage of the sun

    In winter, open your curtains in the middle of the day to let the warm sun in. In summer, use your blinds to block out the sun’s heat.

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  7. Rug up with extra blankets

    Put on some warm PJs and add a few extra blankets instead of an electric one.


    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  8. Electric blanket on, room heater off

    Once you’re nice and cosy in bed, you probably don’t need to heat the whole room.

     

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars)

Audio visual tips

There's nothing wrong with popping on a DVD, or having a bit of fun with a gaming console. It's what you do when you're not using them that can help you become more energy efficient.

  1. Have a TV-free dinner

    Enjoy your dinner without the TV, instead, use the time to catch up with the family.

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars)

  2. When the kids run off, switch off

    Kids eventually lose interest in TV and computer games, when they do, don’t forget to switch things off.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  3. Dust off the board games

    Have a good old-fashioned board game night once a month

                             

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars)

  4. Switch off at the wall

    It’s true, using standby uses energy. Switch off your TV, set top box and console at the wall.


    Effort: It’s achievable (4 Stars)

  5. Choosing the right TV

    There are many factors when deciding on an energy efficient TV, so it’s a good idea to be guided by the energy star ratings.

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Star)

  6. When your phone or tablet has finished charging, turn off the charger

    Many chargers still use electricity even when they’re not charging anything.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

     

Refrigeration

It's one of the coolest appliances in your home but also one of the easiest ones to improve efficiency. A lot of the tips are quick and simple to implement but can make a big difference to the running costs of your fridge.

  1. Check the seals on your fridge doors

    If you can slip a $5 note between the fridge and the door, you should replace your seals.

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  2. Remove dust from the back of your fridge

    Give the condenser coil a quick vacuum to remove any dust build up.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  3. Keep your fridge and freezer at the optimal temperature

    For fridges it’s between 3 and 5°C, and freezers should be around -18°C.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  4. Defrost your freezer

    If the ice in your freezer is thicker than 5mm, defrosting it can improve energy efficiency.

     

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars)

  5. Don't under or overfill your fridge or freezer

    Find the right balance. Cooling sparse shelves is not energy efficient, but overcrowded shelves will take more energy to cool.

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  6. Switch off the beer fridge

    Having a second fridge can cost as much as $230 a year.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  7. Thaw frozen food in the fridge not the microwave

    It might take a bit longer, but it’s more energy efficient.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  8. Clean your dishwasher filter regularly

    Your dishwasher cleans dishes, not itself, cleaning the filter will make it run better.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  9. Use a cold water connection for your dishwasher

    This will save on water heating costs.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  10. Clean all your dirty dishes at the same time

    Running your dishwasher with a full load is the most energy efficient way to use it.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  11. Choose the right pots and pans

    Use pots and pans with tight fitting lids and flat bases that cover the entire hotplate to minimise energy loss.

    Effort: Too easy (1 Star)

  12. Fire up the barbie once a week

    Give your electric appliances a break and use your barbecue one night a week.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

Laundry and other

Laundries, bathrooms and pools can use about 27% of your household energy usage. This mainly comes through the energy it takes to heat water, but these other tips could help you reduce your energy, and water use.

  1. If the sun's out, get your laundry out

    Clothes dryers use a lot of energy, so when you can, use your clothesline.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  2. Clean out the lint filter of your dryer

    To keep your clothes dryer running efficiently, clean the lint filter after each load.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  3. Wash your clothes in cold water

    The cold water cycle will reduce your heating costs and your clothes will stay brighter for longer. Win win.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  4. Choose a washing machine with a good star rating

    Front loaders are generally more energy efficient than top loaders. Make sure you check the star energy ratings before you decide.

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars)

  5. Wash yourself quicker

    Take shorter showers is a common tip. An average a shower uses 12 litres of water every minute, so it makes sense.

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  6. Put your pool pump on a timer

    Pool pumps use a fair bit of energy, so run them on a timer to reduce energy.

     

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars) 

Lighting tips

Lighting accounts for around 11% of your energy usage. You don’t have to stumble around in the dark to save energy; it’s more about the type of lighting you use, and when you use it that counts.

  1. Don't light empty rooms

    Your furniture is not afraid of the dark, so try and remember to turn lights off if you’re the last to leave the room.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  2. Use energy saving light bulbs

    Incandescent bulbs are not as common anymore, but if you’ve got some, swap them for fluorescent ones.

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  3. Don't light the whole room

    If it’s just you in the room, use a lamp instead of lighting the whole room.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  4. Light your path with solar

    Solar lights look great and they’re easy to install.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  5. Use motion sensor lights outdoors

    With sensor lights, you won’t have to worry about leaving outdoor lights on.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  6. Don't forget your shed light

    Make sure you switch off your shed or garage light when you’re finished.

     

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars)

Computers and general appliance tips

These days we rely a lot on various appliances. The main way to save energy is to switch them off at the wall when you’re not using them.

  1. When charges aren't charging, switch them off

    Chargers slowly leak energy when they are left on, switch them off at the wall to save energy.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star) 

  2. Don't keep appliances on standby

    Appliances still use energy, so switch them off at the wall.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  3. Lets the stars choose your new appliance

    The energy star rating is an easy way to quickly see how energy efficient an appliance is.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  4. Consider upgrading really old appliances

    Old fridges and dishwashers are not generally as energy efficient as newer models. Check energy star ratings before buying new appliances.

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars)

  5. Let your computer's screen saver do its job sooner

    Adjust your computer’s eco-saver power settings so your screen switches off shortly after you stop using it.

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  6. Switch printers, scanners, modems and other peripherals off at the wall when not in use

    Put these devices on a separate power board so you can turn them off without affecting your computer.

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars)

  7. Light your workspace not the entire room

    Using a lamp to light just your workspace is energy efficient and can help you concentrate.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  8. What to look for in a new computer

    Screen size matters. The bigger the screen, the more electricity is consumed, so choose appropriately.

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  9. Clean your dishwasher filter regularly

    Your dishwasher cleans dishes, not itself, cleaning the filter will make it run better.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  10. Use a cold water connection for your dishwasher

    This will save on water heating costs.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  11. Only fill your kettle with the amount of water you need

    The water you don’t use will just get cold and need to be heated again.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

Hot water tips

Hot water alone can be a big player in your energy bill, contributing up to 17% of your household energy usage. This mainly comes through the energy it takes to heat water in your bathroom, laundry and kitchen so these tips could help you reduce your energy, and water use.

  1. Check the temperature of your hot water thermostat

    The most efficient temperature for your hot water system is 60ºC.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  2. Turn your hot water off when you're on holidays

    Check your manual, turning your electric hot water system off is a great way to reduce energy costs.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  3. Use your solar hot water system's timer and thermostat

    You could reduce energy by lowering your hot water temperature at certain times of the day.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

  4. Get your heater serviced regularly to keep it running efficiently

    Even cleaning the dust and fluff from the fan can save on your electricity costs in winter.

     

    Effort: You’ll get there (3 Stars)

  5. Consider a solar hot water system

    Using the sun’s power to heat your water means you’ll use less electricity to heat water.

     

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars) 

  6. Clean all your dirty dishes at the same time

    Running your dishwasher with a full load is the most energy efficient way to use it.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

Cooking tips

From a full Sunday roast, to a simple cheese toasty, kitchen appliances make up around 18% of a household’s energy use. Here are some simple tips towards a more energy efficient kitchen.

  1. Clean your rangehood or exhaust fan

    Removing grease from the vents will keep your rangehood running efficiently.


    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars)

  2. Don't let heat escape through your oven seal

    Check your oven seal is in good condition and replace if needed.

     

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars)

  3. Resist the urge to check on the meatloaf

    Opening the oven door while cooking lowers the oven temperature and uses more energy to heat it back up.

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars)

  4. Where possible use the microwave

    Microwaves use a lot less energy than ovens, so use it when you can.

     

    Effort: Not too hard (2 Stars)

  5. Switch the microwave off at the wall

    When your microwave is on standby, it’s just an expensive clock. Only switch it on when you need it.

     

    Effort: Too easy (1 Star)

  6. Choose the right pots and pans

    Use pots and pans with tight fitting lids and flat bases that cover the entire hotplate to minimise energy loss.

    Effort: Too easy (1 Star)

  7. Fire up the barbie once a week

    Give your electric appliances a break and use your barbecue one night a week.

     

    Effort: Too Easy (1 Star)

Set the fridge just right

Every degree lower a fridge or freezer is set uses 5% more energy. Ideal is to set the fridge between 3 to 4ºC and the freezer between -15 to -18ºC. ^^

Switch to energy saving lightbulbs

Save up to $220 a year by swapping 10 existing incandescent globes with compact fluorescent lamps.

Don't forget the small print
* Source: The Australian Residential Electricity Atlas 2011, Connections Research 2011
^^ Source: Your energy savings - Australian Government, Department of Industry and Science
** Assumes each light is used four hours per day, 365 days per year. Cost savings are based on the running costs of 75W incandescent globes being replaced by 14W compact fluorescent lamps. Savings represented are electricity savings only and do not include the cost of purchasing new lamps. Source: www.energyrating.gov.au