Electricity and water are the two largest expenses of any Australian household, but with a little forward planning, you can drastically reduce your household costs.
Save on electricity
Think about making the switch to LED lightbulbs. LEDs use at least 75 per cent less energy than regular lightbulbs. They last 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent lighting, and about two to five times longer than fluorescent lighting. They also emit very little heat, so you’ll also save on cooling costs.
Consider going solar. By installing solar panels on your roof, you can save on energy bills. Solar panels convert sunlight into energy, generating ‘free power’. The energy is fed back into the power grid and used by multiple homes. The energy you generate is measured and then deducted from your energy bill.
Clothes dryers are some of the most power-hungry appliances in your home. Sunlight kills bacteria like nothing else, so let the washing air-dry outside whenever possible.
When next purchasing a household appliance – such as fridges, clothes dryers, air conditioners, dishwashers and televisions – choose one with a high-star Energy Rating Label (ERL). The ERL is a mandatory label designed to give consumers information about the energy performance of an appliance at the point of sale.
Also, replacing seals around your fridge and windows as soon as you notice them beginning to wear will help you to be more energy efficient.
Save on water
Try to use a water-saving showerhead with a Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) star rating of at least three. A standard showerhead can use up to 25 litres per minute, while a water-efficient one might use as few as seven. If you’re living in Melbourne, Yarra Valley Water runs a free showerhead exchange program.
Twenty-one per cent of energy used in the home is for heating water. To save on power and water, try taking shorter showers and reducing the temperature of your hot water. Energy Australia recommends setting your hot water heater no higher than 50 degrees Celsius.
Also, be sure to replace leaky tap washers quickly. It isn’t just the noise of constant dripping that is annoying, but also the hole it makes in your wallet.
Consider washing your clothes in cold water and handwashing individual items if you don’t have enough washing to justify a full load.