Do you ever find yourself dealing with outrageous energy bills month after month and wish there was a way to bring them down? Well, as a Sydneysider, we don’t blame you if you do. With NSW’s average quarterly electricity bill of AUD 411.70 (104.41 per month), the need to cut back on energy consumption is strong. Moreover, 42 percent of Australians say they’ve become more energy-conscious post-COVID.
However, you’re not bound to pay a high electricity bill; you can tweak your lifestyle and home to significantly reduce your consumption and what you pay for it. Here are a few things you should know before you get started:
Replace your lightbulbs
One simple thing you can do to reduce energy usage in your home is to replace regular lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. An LED bulb uses 10% of the energy an incandescent lightbulb consumes and lasts much longer. It also gives better quality indoor light that doesn’t hurt your eyes.
In Sydney, replacing ten incandescent lightbulbs with LED bulbs in your home can save an average of AUD 650 over ten years. LED bulbs come in two primary colors warm white and cool white. So, consider your lighting needs before making your purchase. If you’re looking for an electrician Sydney offers a lot of options. Be sure to do your research before ringing one up.
Consider a home energy audit
Unless you know where your home is losing energy, it’s hard to make an impactful change. In Sydney, heating and cooling accounts for around 40% of the average household’s energy bill. That’s a big chunk of money, so if you’re looking to start somewhere, that’s the place.
An energy audit is a practical way to spot areas where you can improve your home’s energy efficiency. An auditing professional will inspect your home and use the latest technology to measure airtightness, insulation, and energy losses through windows and doors.
Like this, you’ll save hundreds of dollars each year on your electricity bill. Plus, reducing your energy usage will reduce your carbon footprint. And trust us, Australia could use some help with that! Data from Scitech indicates that the average Australian has a carbon footprint of about fifteen tonnes of CO2 per year, which is higher than the two tonnes recommended for each Australian if we want to keep global warming under 2 degrees Celsius by 2050.
Unplug unused appliances
Are you an energy vampire? Do you always leave your energy-sucking-demons like microwaves, TV, and the washing machine plugged in without using them? Well, you’re inviting a bill shock.
Most Sydneysiders don’t realize that stand-by energy in Sydney costs households an extra $100 to $200 per year. That’s more than enough money to cover McDonald’s for your whole family (a few times).
If reducing energy consumption is a priority, only plug in appliances when needed and unplug them immediately when you’re done. That’s one of the simplest ways to save energy. You can also invest in a power board with an on/off switch. Plug all your appliances into it. This way, you won’t have to search for all the plugs when unplugging.
Install solar panels
Australia is a leader in the global solar energy market. According to new research from Roy Morgan in June 2022, an impressive 3.2 million households across Australia (32.3% of all households) boast rooftop photovoltaic panels. How can a Sydneysider not join the bandwagon?
Solar energy is one of the most cost-effective ways to manage energy consumption and reduce electricity bills from the grid. It’s a high-performance, low-maintenance energy source that’s friendly to the environment. In addition to being eco-friendly, investing in flexible solar panel is a smart choice for homeowners who want to reduce their environmental impact, save money on electricity bills, and enjoy the benefits of a reliable and low-maintenance energy source.
These are a great investment for homeowners because they can be easily installed on a range of surfaces, including curved or irregular ones, making them highly adaptable to different types of buildings and structures.
Solar panel installation in Sydney comes with several incentives. For instance, the Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) scheme can reduce the cost of your solar power system by a good margin. Plus, Sydney’s average solar panel system can pay for itself in less than four years and last up to 25 years, which is a massive return on investment.
Insulate your home
In summer, insulation keeps cold air from leaving your home; in winter, it’s the opposite. It’s an essential step for energy efficiency that pays off over time.
Insulation can reduce energy costs by around 25%. Since there’s a wide variety of insulation materials to choose from, you can find the right one for your budget. For instance, glass wool is one of the most popular and cost-effective options Australians select. It’s made from recycled glass and provides excellent soundproofing. Other types of insulation include foam board, reflective foil, and spray foam.
The best areas to insulate first are the walls, attic, and crawl spaces. It’s important to note that insulation requires professional installation. So, you’ll want to call in a qualified contractor for the job.
Invest in a smart thermostat
Australians are paving the way in making homes more energy efficient, and smart thermostats are a popular device many homeowners use now. These handy devices allow you to set temperature profiles and help use energy more efficiently. Say goodbye to the days you’d forget to turn off the AC after leaving home.
Smart thermostats are easy to install, and their smart features enable you to control your air conditioning and heating remotely. They can even detect when no one is at home and adjust the temperature accordingly.
There’s one problem, though. Finding a compatible smart thermostat in Australia can be a tricky process. Most smart thermostats are designed for the American market, and Americans use a standard 24v wiring setup. So, you’ll have to do some research to find the best smart thermostat for your home in Australia.
Wash clothes in cold water
Surprised? Washing clothes in cold water is one of the most practical ways to save energy. This is because washing machines use a lot of energy to heat the water. So, if you wash your clothes in cold (or lukewarm) water, you’ll use less energy. Plus, modern washing machines are designed to work with cold water just as efficiently as they do with warm water. So, there’s no need to worry about your clothes not being washed properly.
If you need more reasons, cold water keeps your clothes from shrinking or fading. It also reduces wrinkles, which means you will save some more energy (no ironing)!
Saving energy at home doesn’t have to be complicated. You only have to make a few (and small) changes to your habits and home to see a reduction in energy consumption and cost. But before investing, you must determine your current energy needs and the options available to you. It is essential for making informed decisions. So, do your research before investing in any energy-saving solutions.