Home energy tips for autumn

| February 28, 2020

As energy bills continue to rise in Australia, the reduction of energy use is becoming more of a necessity than a choice. And it’s not only our household budgets that are affected by the rapid rise in electricity prices. The true cost of increased energy usage is reflected in its negative impact on the environment.

For many homeowners, making their homes more energy efficient is a logical step towards a greener future while also being an effective way of saving money. Here are some of the steps Australians can take to save energy in their homes.

Adjust your day-to-day habits

We’ve all got some bad habits that result in wasted energy, be it leaving our chargers plugged in even after we’ve charged our phones, leaving the TV on when we are not really watching it or forgetting to turn off the lights when we leave the room. While these things may seem insignificant to some, the costs can quickly add up.

This is because of the ‘vampire power’ that many of us aren’t aware of. In fact, this standby power amounts to over $800 million annually in Australia alone, making these changes worth considering. Something as simple as switching off and unplugging your devices and appliances when they are not in use can significantly cut your monthly energy bills and result in hefty savings in the long run.

Harness the power of the sun

When it comes to saving energy in Australian homes, investing in solar technology is always a bright idea. Considering how electricity makes for 50% of energy consumption in Australian households, turning to renewable energy seems like a logical step to lowering that percentage.

Harnessing the power of the sun is not only a great way to eliminate or, at least, reduce the amount of electricity that’s consumed, but it’s also an eco-friendly way to generate energy. This is because naturally produced energy translates to less greenhouse gas emissions are created, as opposed to other electricity-generating energy sources such as fossil fuels.

In addition, as of July 2019, homeowners from places such as Victoria can apply for solar panel rebates as well as solar hot water rebates. Of course, there are a number of state government solar incentives and rebates for different areas in Australia that homeowners who get solar systems can benefit from.

Think about the windows

Many homeowners don’t realise this, but inefficient windows can end up costing them more than upgrading them. Given how air conditioners and heaters are responsible for around two-thirds of a household’s energy consumption, it pays to invest in window upgrades that will prevent both warm and cool air from escaping.

The solution? Investing in insulation, particularly window coverings. Given the harsh Australian climate, thermal insulation is imperative in places such as Sydney, which is why many homeowners choose to install roller shutters in Sydney and make their heating and air conditioning much more efficient.

In doing so, they are also blocking out the UV radiation that tends to be up to 15% higher compared to European regions. With statistics suggesting up to 20% energy savings, insulating your home with roller shutters makes for an energy-efficient upgrade worth considering.

Aside from roller shutters, you can improve the efficiency of your windows by switching to double-glazed window panes and installing window films.

Insulate your home

Other than the windows, there are a number of areas in our homes that could potentially be wasting energy. Walls, floors, and ceilings that are not properly sealed reduce the overall efficiency of a home, leading to energy loss and, consequently, higher energy bills.

Considering how energy-efficient homes can cut their heating costs up to 30%, it’s important that homeowners inspect these areas of their homes and see which improvements can be made. If possible, choose green, eco-friendly options when insulating your home.

Sustainable insulation and the use of green materials are some of the biggest trends in Australian home designs at the moment, and they emphasise the importance of designing homes by relying on eco-friendly, energy-efficient practices. Cellulose, cotton, aerogel, and sheep’s wool all act as perfectly effective insulation alternatives and are generally better for your health as well as the environment.

Make a switch to energy-efficient lighting

Probably one of the easiest ways to make your home more energy-efficient and save money is to switch to energy-efficient lighting. Around 10% of the average Australian household’s electricity bill is lighting.

However, by making a switch to LED lighting, homeowners would be able to cut that percentage in half, if not more. Aside from being a rather inexpensive upgrade that could potentially save you hundreds on electricity bills on an annual basis, LEDs also tend to last longer. In fact, they’re up to ten times more durable compared to standard light bulbs.

This translates to reduced replacement costs as well as fewer bulbs going to landfills. Given how the average number of light bulbs in Australian homes is 40, Aussie homeowners could definitely benefit from making this energy-efficient choice.

Minimising energy use varies from simple everyday tweaks to more effective upgrades. However, regardless of how big of a change we make, switching to energy-efficient alternatives is still a major step towards reducing our ecological footprint. And the fact that we get to save some money while doing so is just an added bonus.