Embrace energy efficiency
The cost of energy is rising and the effect of pollution is increasing. With just a bit of effort we can cut our household energy use by more than a quarter and rapidly repay this investment within a year or two with the savings on our energy bill. The energy efficiency of the technology available to us is improving and when combined with our common sense, can create large reductions in energy use.
How to do it now!
Nine easy-to-do actions will save tonnes of CO2 going into the atmosphere and save you a lot of money.
- Conduct a FREE Home Energy Assessment. Residents of Greater Taree now have free access to Power Usage Meters providing the tools to help households conduct a home energy assessment. For more details visit the Greater Taree City Council web page.
- Install insulation in ceiling, floor and walls. The heating and cooling requirements of your house are reduced dramatically if the house is well insulated. By installing high r-value insulation bats, foil and other products you can better maintain a constant temperature in your home and reduce your heating/cooling bills. In addition, sealing up all those leaks around the household will help keep the cool out in winter, heat out in summer and save you too.
Install compact fluorescent globes or LED lights (light emitting diodes). Compact fluorescent globes use approx one fifth the energy of incandescent globes (generating only one-fifth as much greenhouse gas as ordinary globes), produce the same amount of light and can last up to 10 times longer. While compact fluorescent globes cost a little more, you’ll make up the cost and more through their longer lifespan and reductions to your energy bill. They are available wherever conventional light globes are sold.
LED lights are becoming more readily available. LED lights are extremely energy efficient and long lasting. LED lights create less heat than traditional lights which means they last significantly longer; around 50 times longer than incandescent or 5 times longer than compact fluorescents. LED Lights are a relatively new technology and can help you save up to 90% on your lighting costs. There are alternatives for every type of light - incandescent, downlights and outdoor lighting. LEDs are also completely non-toxic containing no mercury. They are significantly more expensive than compact fluorescents but the technology is advancing very quickly and prices are coming down.
Incandescent light globes are currently being phased out and should no longer be sold.
- Shift to double-pane windows. Although it can be expensive, double-pane windows will create big savings on your energy bill especially during the cold and hot months of the year. In addition to double panes, energy efficient features to look for on windows include tinted glass coatings, low-emissivity (low-e) coatings, and multiple layers of glazing.
- Block the summer heat. Install blinds and sun shades or plant deciduous trees to prevent the summer heat from over-heating your house.
- Circulate air. Install ceiling fans for cooling in summer and circulating rising heat in winter, and decommission your air-conditioner.
- Rug up in winter. Turn your heating thermostat down a couple of degrees (say to 20°Celsius) and wear a jumper in winter. Every degree over 22°C adds about 10% to your heating bill!
- Let nature work for you. Use your clothes line rather than the clothes dryer.
- Shut off the power at night. Many hardware stores now sell powerboards which have a remote control on-off switch, so you can now turn off the stand-by-power of systems without having to climb under the TV or sound system to do so.
Check fridge seals. Check and clean seals on your fridge to make sure the door closes securely. You can do this by putting a piece of paper or even a $5 note between the door and the fridge cabinet. Close the door. Try to gently pull the paper out; if it slips out easily with no suction of the paper you may need to take a closer look to see if cool air is escaping. If so replace the seals or adjust the door hinge. If there is some “drag” on the paper the seal is working. Regularly remove any frost build-up in the freezer.
Replace the seals: Go online to find the seals that are right for your brand of fridge and model. You can often order them on line and follow the instructions yourself. For an installation service contact a local fridge seal installer.
Improve energy efficiency and increase your homes sales price. In 2007, the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) commissioned a statistical report, Energy Efficiency Rating and House Price in the ACT, modelling the relationship between the energy efficiency rating (EER) of houses and house prices in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The report found that a statistically significant relationship does exist, meaning if a house has a higher EER than another house, the house with the higher EER will command a higher price.
Check our rebates page for rebates relating to energy efficiency.
Why is this action important?
Science is telling us that we need to live more sustainably; more in tune with nature. In order for humans to establish a sustainable civilisation we must aspire to the efficiencies found in nature. This action is intended to engage people to better understand the effect of their behaviour in terms of future generations. Through our actions, we will understand that living sustainably does not mean living in a cold, dark place, but merely making a few simple changes to our daily lives.