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How to Reduce Your Electricity Bills

How to reduce your electrical bills 


1) Switch off unused lights
2) Switch off appliances on standby
3) Change to energy efficient light globes
4) Take shorter showers
5) Fix dripping taps

6) Install a solar hot water system

7) Insulate your home

8) Buy energy efficient appliances

9) Install solar panels and generate your own electricity


1) Switch off unused lights
Did you know that an average Australian home spends about $100 on lighting per year which emits about three quarters of a tonne of greenhouse gases annually? This is the equivalent to the amount of gas it would take to fill around 1500 wheelie bins.


2) Switch off appliances on standby
Did you know that appliances on standby can easily use up to 10 per cent of your electricity when they are doing little or even nothing? When they are turned off at the wall they use NO electricity. Most appliances use about 5 watts on standby. If you switch off just one appliance at the wall you could prevent 45 kilograms of greenhouse gas being released into the atmosphere a year. This is equivalent to the amount of greenhouse gas it would take to fill almost 100 wheelie bins.


3) Change to energy efficient light globes
Did you know that by exchanging your incandescent light globes with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) you could cut your lighting emissions by 75 per cent? A typical CFL saves around a third of a tonne of greenhouse gas and $45 over its life. It avoids the cost of 6 more incandescent globes and you don't have to change the bulbs as often. A third of a tonne of greenhouse gas is the equivalent to the amount needed to fill 700 wheelie bins .


4) Take shorter showers
Showers consume the largest quantity of your household's hot water. If you shortened your average shower time by 1 minute, you could save half a kilogram of greenhouse gas per shower, reducing your household emissions by almost 3 per cent.


5) Fix dripping taps
Dripping taps can waste about 10 bathtubs of water a month (AGO). They are easily fixed all you have to do is call the plumber! By fixing your dripping hot water taps you can save up to 100 kilograms of greenhouse gas each year and save 1 per cent of household emissions.


Switch to Greenpower
If you switch to 100 per cent accredited Greenpower you would cut your carbon footprint by about 70 per cent. If you choose a government accredited GreenPower product, your energy supplier agrees that the equivalent amount of energy you nominate is purchased from renewable sources, avoiding the use of coal-derived power.  To make it easier for you, Green Electricity Watch 2007 has done an independent ranking of Green Power electricity products offered by Australian electricity retailers, providing consumers with a simple guide to all the Green Power products available and which ones make a real difference in reducing global warming.


6) Install a solar hot water system
Heating water is very energy intensive and accounts for approximately 16 per cent of your carbon footprint, second only to emissions from transport.

By installing a solar hot water system you can reduce your emissions significantly and reduce your energy bill.

The Australian Government is helping Australian households install greenhouse friendly hot water technologies. Rebates are available in eligible circumstances to install solar and heat pump hot water systems. There are also some State schemes which offer financial assistance when buying a solar hot water heater. Check out state government incentives and rebates.

Further tips to reduce your emissions from hot water:

a. Wash you cloths in cold water. This can use up to 15 times less energy than a hot wash.

b. Avoid using hot water if cold water will do.

c. If you are going away, turn off your hot water system.

d. Make sure that your water storage tank and pipes are insulated.

e. Position mixer taps as far right as possible if you don't need hot water. They start mixing hot water as soon as they are moved from this position.

f. Install tap aerators and flow restrictors.

g. Avoid rinsing hot dishes under running hot water.

7) Insulate your home


Keep heat in during winter and out during summer by installing insulation in the ceiling and walls. A well designed and insulated home can cut your heating and cooling bill by up to half as you need to heat less in winter and use the air conditioner less in summer. Making energy efficient improvements to your home (e.g. installing ceiling insulation) will incur an upfront cost, but in the long term can assist you reap the benefits through reduced electricity bills.

Tips to reduce your emissions from heating and cooling

a. Keep windows shaded with awnings or blinds.

b. Draught proof your home. By sealing gaps and cracks you can save up to 15 per cent of your energy bill (SA-gov).

c. Keep doors shut so that you are only cooling the area that you're using.

d. Fans are much more efficient than air conditioners to keep your home cool.

e. Gas heaters or reverse-cycle air conditioners will generally be more energy efficient when heat large spaces (DEUS). Look for the energy star rating.

f. Insulated homes retain more heat and simply keeping the doors and windows shut when heating can halve your heating costs (DEUS).

g. Using the right size heater for the space will reduce the amount of energy that you waste.

8) Buy energy efficient appliances

Most appliances including fridges, air- conditioners, washing machines and dishwashers have an energy rating. The more stars the more efficient and not necessarily more expensive!

a) The most energy efficient air conditioners have a 6 star rating.

b)The most energy efficient cloths dryers have a 3.5 star rating or even better yet try not using a cloths dryer.

c)The most energy efficient washing machine has a 5 star rating.

d)The most energy efficient dishwasher has a 4 star rating.

e)The most energy efficient fridges and freezers have a 6 star rating.

Purchasing energy efficient products (e.g. products with a higher star rating) may cost more up front, but in the long term will cost less to run so you make savings on your electricity bill.

Further tips to reduce your emissions from electrical appliances

a) Set your thermostat 1 degree warmer in summer and 1 degree cooler in winter. It should never be set below 24 degrees. Air conditioning is a big contributor to your electricity bill. You could save up to 10 per cent on your bill by simply adjusting your thermostat.

b) Energy Star labelled equipment uses less energy in standby mode- look out for it when buying DVD players, TVs, VCRs, computers and stereos. Look for the EnergyStar symbol and remember:

Energy Star logo - Laptops are up to 5 times more energy efficient than desktop computers (AGO)
Screensavers don't save energy. By enabling the Energy Star feature, your computer or monitor will go into low energy sleep mode.


c) Only run your dishwasher when it's full.

d) Use the short program - it will probably do just as good a job as the long program.

e) Clean the filter regularly so that the performance is maintained and you don't have to wash your dishes again.

f) Making sure that your fridge or freezer is placed in a cool spot.

g) Making sure that the coils have plenty of air circulation.

h) Making sure your fridge seals are effective - a piece of paper should be held firmly in a closed fridge door. If not, replace the seals.

i) All appliances use electricity - some more some less - but do you really need all of them? If you don't want to compromise electricity use, then fit an electric timer so that they only run when you need them. (e.g: electric towel rail, bed heater, pool filter pump etc).


9) Install solar panels and generate your own electricity

The Australian Government's Photovoltaic Rebate Program provides cash rebates for the installation of solar photovoltaic systems on homes, schools and community-use buildings. Electricians Plus can design, supply and install solar energy systems to help you save money over a predetermined time period


If you need further information on energy savings then Contact Electricians Plus your Gold Coast Electrician


With thanks to earthhour.smh.com.au