Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.
Tips to save energy & money over the holidays
18 December 2009
With the holidays here, the weather getting warmer and the cost of Christmas starting to bite, Environment Minister Peter Garrett today posted a new Christmas message at LivingGreener.gov.au and reminded Australian householders that a few simple low or no cost actions at home can help reduce energy use, help the environment and save money.
Mr Garrett said there were a range of zero and low cost actions householders could take to take charge of their energy use over summer. For example:
- Keeping cool. More energy is used for air conditioning than any other use, and consumption is increasing by up to eight per cent a year (ABARE). Consider whether you really need to turn the air conditioner on or whether you could just open the windows for cross-ventilation.
- If you can't go without an air conditioner, use the timer function to turn it off when you're asleep or not at home; and set the thermostat to 25 or 26 degrees – each degree of extra cooling in summer can increase energy consumption by up to 10 per cent.
- Look to the stars. Electrical appliances account for about 30 per cent of household energy use. If you're buying new appliances for yourself or someone else this Christmas or at the summer sales, look for the stars on the energy rating label. The more stars, the more efficient and the more money it can save you. For example, a one-star TV could cost you $150 to run for a year. A four-star TV could cost you about $60. And compared to a one-star TV, a four-star TV will cut your TV's carbon emissions by half.
- Switch it off. Standby energy can account for 10 per cent or more of household electricity use, so choosing more efficient appliances and turning them off at the wall, especially before you leave for holidays, can potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year.
- Install ceiling insulation. Insulation can save up to 40 per cent on your energy bills. Right now, installing ceiling insulation could cost you nothing if you take advantage of the Government's $1,200 rebate.
If you're feeling 'handy' this summer, there's lots of ways to not only reduce energy but to be water and waste wise, too:
- Seal the gaps around your doors, windows and floors to help keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter.
- If you haven't already, switch your light bulbs over to more energy efficient bulbs. It can help you save up to 80 per cent on your lighting costs.
- Check hoses and taps for leaks; consider installing a rainwater tank; install a low-flow showerhead; and think about using a shower timer to get your showers under four minutes.
- Start a compost bin or worm farm and put those holiday leftovers to work. It makes great fertiliser, reduces landfill and cuts greenhouse gases.
- Set yourself a recycling challenge: recycle bottles, cans, cardboard and corks, and see how empty you can keep your bin over the holidays.
The Minister said under the Green Loans program households could also sign up for a for a free home sustainability assessment.
“A trained assessor will come around to your home and show you how you can start saving on energy and water bills. Afterwards, you may be able to get an interest-free 'Green Loan' of up to $10,000 to install some of the bigger items like a hot water system.”
For more information and inspiration on living greener and smarter – and ways to save on your energy bills – see the Minister's Christmas message on www.LivingGreener.gov.au