Electrical appliances account for around 30% of energy use in the home. Energy rating labels will help you save energy and water. Visit energyrating.gov.au to compare appliances.
Heating and cooling
- Insulating your home saves you money on your power bill and makes your home more comfortable. It also helps the environment by reducing the amount of energy required to heat and cool your home, and reducing the amount of carbon pollution, which is released into the atmosphere. A well-insulated home is up to 10°C warmer in winter and 7°C cooler in summer.
- Close doors to separate air-conditioned areas from other areas of your home to minimise the area you are air-conditioning.
- Heat living areas to less than 21°C and bedroom areas to less than 18°C.
- Turn off air-conditioning overnight and when you are out during the day
- Use smaller appliances, such as portable heaters or fans where possible
- Turn off lights when you leave a room.
- Upgrade lights globes with light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
- Use programmable timers, daylight sensors, or motion sensors to control outdoor and security lighting.
- Regularly clean light fittings, reflectors and lampshades.
- Use the lowest wattage globes to adequately light the area you require.
- Maximise natural light through windows and skylights
- Consider lifetime cost. Choose the light bulb that will cost you the least in the long-run.
Hot water systems
Buying a solar or heat pump water heater will save you money and be less harmful for the environment.
Estimated cost of three types of hot water heaters:
- electric hot water heater $1700 per year
- gas boosted solar hot water $277per year (natural gas)
- heat pump system $342 per year
Over 1 million Australian households have Solar photovoltaic (PV) installed. The decreasing costs of the technology means it is a cost efficient way to save. Solar PV systems are usually mounted on your roof to convert energy from sunlight into direct current (DC) energy. The system comes with an inverter that changes the DC energy into alternating current (AC) electricity. AC electricity is used to power your household appliances. A grid-connected system can feed excess energy into the electricity network (grid), while a standalone system needs a battery to store excess energy.
The GreenPower Program is a government managed scheme that enables Australian households and businesses to displace their electricity usage with certified renewable energy, which is added to the grid on their behalf. This choice means that there is less carbon pollution represented by your bill and the money goes towards further developing the renewable energy supply in Australia. Visit greenpower.gov.au for more information.
- The Federal Government offers some financial incentives to reduce household energy consumption.
- The State Government has information to help reduce your energy use and save on power bills at home, as well as access to rebates and assistance at powertosave.nsw.gov.au.
Find tips on buying energy saving products such as solar panels, solar hot water, batteries and LED lights with Choice buying guides.
Assessing your home
- Give your home energy use a health check. The NABERS Home Energy Explorer is a free, quick and easy to use online “do it yourself” tool that helps you understand how you are currently using energy around the home.
- Take control of your households’ energy usage with a home energy monitoring systems. Discover when and where your home is losing the most energy, providing real time and historic electricity usage information. Find out more at canstarblue.com.au
Save Power Kits
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage have provided most Council library branches with Save Power Kits. The kits provide useful tools and information, which will help you to understand and measure how you use power in your home. The kit includes infrared thermometer, Power-Mate Lite, compass, stopwatch, Save Power thermometer and a user guide.
Visit Lake Macquarie City Library to borrow a free Save Power Kit.
Page last updated: 24 October 2018