Saving energy in your home and business is easy and has multiple benefits.
Tasmania is in the fortunate and unique position of meeting the majority of its energy needs through renewables in the form of hydro electricity. However, increases in energy consumption has meant that we are becoming increasingly reliant on importing energy from mainland coal-fired power stations - one of the most polluting forms of energy generation.
Improvements in household and business energy efficiency are easy to implement, low cost and are widely acknowledged as being the simplest way to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions overall.
Reducing energy demand has the added bonus of securing more of Tasmania's clean green hydro power to export to the mainland, strengthening our economy.
Windows have a major impact on energy efficiency in the home. A square metre of glass in direct sun can allow as much heat in as a small single bar radiator. Heat loss from a window can be ten times the loss through the same area of insulated wall. There are a number of retrofit options available. They can be implemented on any budget and any level of skill. Each approach needs to be assessed based on the type of window, its uses and your own skill levels.
Find out which form of heating is best for your home and your situation and remember to put on a jumper before turning on a heater. Only heat the areas you are in and shut doors and ensure your windows are covered with heavy curtains or blinds which seal at the top and bottom. Also seal draughts around windows, doors and vents.
Find out more about the various hot water heating options available before you install a new system. Also try taking short (3 min) showers, insulating your tank and pipes, fitting a water efficient showerhead, setting the washing machine to cold water, and setting the hot water thermostats to 60 deg C. These actions can reduce energy consumption dramatically.
Find out more about Home Ventilation Systems in our new guide developed after a survey of Tasmanian households with these systems. Home ventilation systems are intended to control condensation, recover warmth from your roof cavity, transfer warmth around the house and help with summer cooling.
Installing halogen downlights became very popular in recent times, but be careful, these little lights are actually huge energy consumers! Not only does each individual light use about 50 watts, but each also has a transformer that uses an additional 10–15 watts. If you have 6 of these in your kitchen you will be using 390 watts compared to 100 watts from an incandescent or 20 watts for a compact fluorescent (CFL)! If you want to keep your downlights, but switch to a more energy efficient version, both LED and CFL versions are now available.
one of the only appliances that is left on 24 hours a day, everyday of the year, so doing a few simple things can help reduce the energy used by your fridge considerably. First, ensure that the door seals are in good condition. A good way to test this is by placing a 5 dollar note in between the door seals and gently pulling and sliding it down the side of the door. If it falls out or moves very easily, your seals may need replacing. Next, make sure that the coils at the back of the fridge are clean and have good air circulation around them. Ensure that your fridge is running at 3–5°C. Finally, a full fridge actually retains its temperature better, as long as air can still circulate easily. So, if your fridge is sparse, fill some containers with water to fill up big gaps.
Standby power is the power that is used by appliances while they are waiting to be used. Basically, they are constantly drawing a small amount of electricity so if you turn them off at the wall you can reduce your electricity usage by up to 12%! Some of the common culprits of standby power use are televisions, chargers (phone, computer, etc), heat pumps which are not turned off at the fuse box in summer, and anything with lights, clocks or other electronic displays.
DID YOU KNOW?
- We spend around $90 a year just on lighting our homes? You can reduce this by up to a third if you replace all your incandescent globes with fluorescent tubes or compact fluorescent light bulbs and turn off unnecessary lights.
- Every 1°C higher that you set your thermostat adds 10% to your heating costs.
- Aurora Energy offers a 100% green power option in Tasmania. You can opt for anywhere between 10% and 100% of your electricity to be sourced from new renewable energy projects. Customers pay a surcharge based on the percentage of GreenPower chosen. Talk to Aurora today!