Tips to reduce your energy use

Household appliances that use the most energy might surprise you. Here’s how you can lower your home energy use.

Tips for reducing energy
Where a household uses its energy infographic
    • Space heating accounts for more than half of a household’s annual energy costs. Small adjustments to how and when you use your heater can help you save.
    • Every degree you lower the thermostat will save up to 10% on your heating bill. Aim to keep the temperate set between 18–20°C.
    • Check the auto timers on your heater. By having your heater on an hour less a day, you’ll save up to 90 hours of heating costs over winter.
    • Minimise the space you heat—only heat the rooms you’re using. Close all doors to unused rooms (such as the bathroom, laundry and spare bedrooms) and all windows.
    • Instead of heating your bedroom, consider an electric blanket or hot water bottle.
    • Efficient gas space heaters and reverse-cycle air conditioners are cheaper to run than standard electric heaters.
    • Reduce heat loss by sealing any gaps and cracks around windows and doors and ensure the insulation in your roof and walls is adequate. Ceiling batts should be about 20cm thick or R4.1 (or above).
    • Don't place furniture in front of heaters.

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    • Avoid setting your air conditioner lower than 24°C. Every degree lower will add 10% to your electricity bill.
    • The most effective way to keep your home cool during the day is to prevent the sun’s rays from hitting windows and walls. Blinds, curtains and reflective window tints all help reduce the air conditioning load.
    • At night, place a fan near an open window—it will blow hot air out of the room, replacing it with cold air from outside. Open another window elsewhere to encourage a cross breeze.

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    • Reduce the temperate setting of your hot water system to 60° (instead of 70–80°) to save up to 10% on water heating. If you have an instantaneous system, check that your thermostat is set no higher than 50°.
    • Insulate hot water tanks and pipes to limit heat loss.
    • Make regular checks to ensure there are no leaks in your hot water system.
    • If your hot water system is 10 or more years old you may want to consider a more efficient replacement, like a hot water heat pump.
    • Wash your clothes in cold water. Washing with hot water can increase your energy costs by up to 90%.
    • A typical family uses about 75% of hot water for showers. Switch to a water efficient shower head and make short showers a habit.

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  • Check the star rating when buying appliances to compare energy efficiency. More stars means less running costs.

    Clothes dryers are the fourth-biggest energy users in the home. If you have a smart meter it’s a good idea to time-shift this appliance. 

    • Dry washing outside or under ducted heating vents.
    • Dry washing in quick, consecutive loads to benefit from the warmth from the previous load.
    • Add a small dry towel to your load to reduce drying time by up to 25%.

    Refrigerator/freezer

    • Check the temperature settings are not too low. Fridges should be between 3–5°C and freezers between -15– -18°. Every degree lower uses 5% more energy.
    • Ensure that the fridge seals are tight. You can check this by putting a piece of paper between the door and the fridge, close the door and then pull. If the paper slips out easily, it's time to replace the seals.
    • Getting rid of a second fridge could save around $170 a year in electricity costs. Check out our Fridge Buyback program.

    Dishwasher

    Only run your dishwasher when it’s full and use the economy cycle. If you have a smart meter, it’s a good idea to time-shift this appliance.

    Pool pumps and filters

    These use a lot of energy so set a timer so they only run when needed. If you have a smart meter, it’s a good idea to time-shift this appliance.

    Screens and charging

    • Switch off TVs and gaming consoles at the wall when not in use.
    • Don't leave laptops and phones attached to chargers.
    • Use the ‘sleep’ feature when you’re not using devices.
    • Use a microwave when possible as it uses about 80% less energy than a stove or oven.
    • When simmering on a stove top, you can reduce energy use by up to 70% by putting pot lids on.
    • Use appropriately-sized pots with flat bottoms and tight fitting lids.
    • Make sure oven doors close tightly and seals are in good condition.
    • Replace halogen with LED bulbs, especially where lights are on for long periods. Quality LED bulbs last 5–10 times longer than halogen bulbs and you can save up to 88% off your lighting costs.
    • Choose fluorescent tubes as they use a quarter of the electricity of ordinary bulbs and last around eight times longer.
    • Reduce bulb wattage—choose the lowest wattage bulb for the room’s lighting needs.
    • Install motion detectors to control lighting in frequently unoccupied areas e.g. security or garage lights.
    • Clean lamps and fittings regularly—over time, dirt build up reduces light output.
    • Light switch dimmers save energy and can extend the life of bulbs.
    • Install multiple zones switches in large open plan spaces to cover different areas. This way you can restrict your lighting to only the area you are using.
    • Illuminate garden paths with lamps fitted with batteries that store solar energy.

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