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What can I do as a homeowner to reduce energy use?

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With prices going up, you may already be thinking about how your household could change the way you use energy. Here are seven energy hacks that can help you get a comfortable home and a smaller bill.

Seven ways to take action

1-Heat and cool your home the smart way

Did you know heating and cooling can make up to 40% of your total energy use? Here are some things you can do and still feel comfortable:

  • Only heat and cool the rooms you are using and close all other doors.
  • Try an electric throw for the lounge or home office, or even an old school hot water bottle.
  • Double glazing windows can be effective, but also expensive. For a quick and cheap solution, clear window film for insulation is an easy DIY option. Look online for helpful videos that show you how to apply it.
  • Every degree up or down when it comes to heating or cooling can increase energy use by 5-10%, so if you can:- In winter set the temperature at 18-20 deg-In summer set the temperature at 24-26 deg
  • Have a split system air conditioner? You might also have an efficient electrical heater. Look for the ‘sun’☀️ icon on your remote or check the manual for instructions– most manuals now can also be found online. 
  • Have ceiling fans? Always use these before the air conditioner. In winter check if it has a reverse function and use it with your heater as the fan will help circulate the hot air more evenly.
  • Have floorboards or tiles? Buy or pick up second-hand rugs at online marketplaces – the thicker the better.
  • Insulate your home if you can! If it’s safe to do so, check your roof, you may just need to add to existing insulation. The roof is the biggest bang for your buck and could save up to 20% in heating and cooling.  

2- Stop air leaks

Our homes can be ‘leaky’, to find the gaps look for:

  • Obvious signs, e.g., light under doors and windows
  • Listen for rattles when its windy
  • Feel for moving air
  • Look for movement in curtains, and then Plug them up:
    – Buy doorsnakes for under doors or make your own if on a budget
    – Seal around doors, windows, walls, and floors. Sealing and gap filling equipment can be found at hardware stores or online– along with many helpful DIY videos!

3- Switch off at the wall

Did you know that a mobile phone can continue to use power to ‘charge’ even when fully charged? Up to 10% of your electricity use can come from appliances on ‘standby.’ Save energy and switch off.

4- Lighting

If you haven’t already, switch to LEDs (check for government offers) and only have the lights on that you need. Every bit counts!

5- New or replacement appliances

When replacing appliances like a washing machine or a dishwasher, aim for the highest energy stars that also suits your budget and size.

Check State Government websites for any rebates you may be eligible for.

6- Limiting hot water use

Around 20% of energy use goes to heating water. Shorter showers of 2min – 4min and doing laundry in cold water can really help.

7- Think about renewables

If it works for your circumstances, check out our easy-to-read ‘how to’ guides on solar, batteries and EVs at https://www.energytechguide.com.au/ and start generating and storing your own electricity for your home.

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