Summer is well and truly underway here in Australia, so we've listed our top 10 tips to avoid a summer energy bill shock.
5 WAYS TO REDUCE THE COST OF ELECTRIC HOT WATER SYSTEMS
Did you know that for households with electric hot water systems, hot water is the largest component of electricity bills? It’s around 30 per cent of your energy use and is the number one thing to look at when you want to increase the energy efficiency of your home. Here’s what you can do:
have shorter hot showers,
install a water efficient shower head,
if you have solar hot water, check that it’s working properly,
only turn on your hot water booster when needed (when you notice that your hot water temperature is starting to drop below acceptable), and
- save energy by asking an electrician to turn the temperature on your hot water thermostat down to 60 – 65 degrees.
AIRCON DOESN'T HAVE TO BLOW OUT YOUR ENERGY BILL
If you use air conditioning, set your thermostat as high as you feel comfortable in summer (24 – 26 degrees Celsius). Each degree lower during the summer months increases energy use by around ten per cent.
A key tip on a hot day: keep your space cool with air con throughout the day, rather than trying to “blast the air con!” and trying to rapidly cool a hot space (walls, furniture, etc) down.
Don’t forget to close your windows and doors to keep the cool air in! Also, prevent drafts around doors and windows and insulate ceilings and subfloor spaces where practical.
Once the outside temperature drops in the early evening, turn your fans on, air con off, and open your windows to allow ventilation flow throughout your home.
DON'T PAY FOR STANDBY POWER
Going away during summer? Turn your appliances off at the wall before you leave and eliminate the cost of standby power.
Use this summer holiday as an opportunity to start making this a habit… you could save $100 per year on your electricity bill by cutting out standby power use and reduce your impact on climate change at the same time.
ROOM COOL? SWITCH TO CEILING FANS TO SAVE
Using ceiling fans instead of air-conditioning in summer makes a big difference to your energy use.
Even if you do use air-conditioning, you can limit its use (and impact on your electricity bill) by using them concurrently and switching to ceiling fans once your room has cooled down.
Ceiling fans cost about five cents an hour to run. Much less than an air conditioner.
CLEVER USE OF SHADE & BLINDS
Close your windows and blinds on hot days, and turn fans on, to keep daytime summer heat out.
A key consideration during the summer months is the afternoon westerly sun heat blast. Letting that sun and heat into your home through open windows will heat up your inside spaces very quickly.
Over time, consider these strategies to help keep temperatures inside down:
- Plant deciduous trees on the westerly side to provide shade in summer and allow the sun in, in winter.
- Install an outside blind or awning to shade westerly facing windows that you can use during summer.
Once the outdoor temperature has dropped in the early evening, open your blinds, windows and doors to allow for cool ventilation. You will want screens on your windows, to keep the mozzies out!
USE THE TIMER ON MAJOR APPLIANCES
Use the timer on your washing machine and dishwasher so the appliances run during off peak times.
Households with solar should try to run everything they possibly can during daylight hours to minimise drawing energy from the grid.
ENCOURAGE AIR FLOW TO KEEP YOUR HOUSE COOL
Consider the air ventilation through your house. Can you open front and back windows during the cooler parts of the day and in the evening, to allow fresh air to flow through and cool your home?
POOL PUMP HACKS
Your pool pump can be a considerable drain on your home energy use. Reduce its impact by considering upgrading to a variable speed drive pump. This newer technology will pay for itself. Set on low speed, your energy use is greatly reduced. High speed setting is only needed if vacuuming the pool (to pick up leaves etc).
Households with solar should run their pool pump while the solar system is generating energy during the day.
If you don’t have solar, try running your pool pump in off peak times to reduce your energy costs.
SWITCH TO ENERGY EFFICIENT LED LIGHTS
If you’ve not switched your household lighting over to LED lights yet, take this summer break to do so!
They are much more energy efficient and last so much longer. If your home currently has halogen downlights, the NSW Government is still offering a rebate to reduce the cost of replacing them (not available in all areas). Register your interest by clicking here.
INSULATE TO STAY COOLER
Improve your home’s insulation wherever you can. This includes ceiling cavities, under wooden floor boards and even retrofitted in walls. Fortifying your home’s ‘thermal barrier’ improves its resilience to hot weather and reduces your need for energy hungry appliances to cool it down.
We hope you found this part one of a two-part summer series useful.
WANT MORE HELP?
Enova’s team of knowledgeable Energy Coaches are on hand to assist you understand your energy use and keep your bills down.
If you'd like some personalised one-on-one assistance from an expert volunteer, please arrange for a free phone or video consultation here.
Enova’s Energy Coaches are part of Enova Community Energy’s commitment to educating people about their energy use. They are trained to give you energy saving advice. An Energy Coach will look at your bill, assess your energy use and provide ideas and strategies for keeping your energy use in check.
BONUS Energy Efficiency resources from our Energy Coaches
We have some excellent resources available to help guide your energy efficiency knowledge and efforts. Check them out here!
We'll be publishing part two of our summer energy series next week. Watch this space!
Wishing you a happy summer and low energy bills.