Australia is known for its amazing climate, beautiful countryside and possibly the best summer time in the world. However what isn’t considered often is the rise in energy bills when the temperature starts to rise, the aircon gets turned on, the pool pump gets a work out and the bills start to go up.
In this guide we cover 3 easy ways you can reduce your energy consumption this coming summer, save money on your bills and avoid that horrible bill shock.
- Turn things off
Crazy I know but becoming more aware of what is on, will mean you start to turn more things off which will save you money fast. Any appliance that is plugged in even if it isn’t turned on will draw some amount of power. This is known as phantom or vampire power use for obvious reasons. So often a lot of our plugged in appliances only really need to be plugged in when they are being used.
Phantom power use has been estimated to use over 5% of households total energy bill during a year. Appliances in the home contribute to 45% of a home’s greenhouse gas emissions. Get into the habit of turning things off at the PowerPoint to save some electricity and you will be better off instantly.
2. Install Solar
There is so much noise around solar it is hard to know if it really helps your reduce your power bills even when you factor in the cost of the system. The short answer is yes, it does still make sense.
Due to the increase in popularity, continued drive in technology advances plus government rebates (known as STC’s) the pure cost of installing solar is much cheaper than it was only 10 years ago. Then when you factor in Australia’s incredibly high cost of power and it all starts lining up.
When you have a home solar system, your home will use up the energy it creates first then any excess is sent to the grid and you are credited for any kWh’s you send back. It also works in reverse, if you use all of your power your home will just draw what it needs from the grid. To calculate the exact payback period for an investment in solar, you can use a solar savings calculator to help you make the right decision.
3. Retrofit your lights
This is one of the easiest and simplest ways to reduce your energy consumption and you can do it incrementally.
In Australia many lights in our home are still energy chewing halogen and incandescent globes. These are very effective as a light source but are old technology and chew energy. Halogen is actually a heat source before a light source so they also operate at a very high temperature contributing to the problem.
Switching to LED lighting can have a significant impact on your home energy use and ongoing expenses.
LED lighting technology has come leaps and bounds in the last ten to fifteen years. There is nearly an LED alternative for every type of globe on the market and uses a fraction of the energy of a halogen equivalent. For example, a traditional 50 watt halogen can be replaced with a 8 watt LED with the same light output. That is one fifth of the use of the traditional option. Plus, an LED globe will last a long time compared to its counterpart. For example, Osram LED Superstars globes claim to last 25,000 hours when a halogen equivalent will only be around 3000 hours.
Making the switch to LED can be expensive if you do every globe in your house at once. Good practice can be, as your globes blow, replace with LED. You will find you will slowly but surely make the switch and then the globes will last longer. Saving you time on energy and replacements.