How to make your home energy efficient
Making your home more energy efficient isn’t just good for the environment but can reduce on your gas and electricity usage. Smart meters and energy efficient appliances can all make a difference. But what if you are not in a position to buy new appliances, install solar panels or invest in insulation? Here, in partnership with Simply Energy, one of Australia’s leading energy providers, we look at some small steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient.
How to check if your home is energy efficient
Simply Energy has a handy online tool called Energy Check Up, a free 10-minute check-up to assess your home’s energy performance, which will show you what improvements you could make to reduce energy usage.
Five simple energy efficiency tips anyone can try for free
Even if we all just made one change in our energy use at home, we could make a difference to our energy use and – maybe even more importantly – to our environment. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at these daily things we probably could all adopt:
- Adjust your thermostat. By lowering your thermostat just a couple of degrees in winter, and putting it on a higher setting in summer, you can reduce on your energy usage. Chances are that if you start with one degree, you won’t even notice. Or you could adjust the thermostat before leaving home for work, to save heating/cooling your empty home.
- Wash a full load. Did you know that most of the energy usage while doing your laundry is for the energy needed to heat the water in your washing machine? And just washing a few items takes up as much power as a full load. Also, modern laundry detergents can work just as well at lower temperatures, which can also save energy. And – leaving underwear and smelly socks aside – we may also be able to wear some items more than once before putting them in the laundry pile!
- Use your curtains during the day. In many homes, curtains and blinds, especially in rooms other than bedrooms, are often only drawn occasionally. But drawing the curtains or lowering the blinds in summer, particularly in rooms facing north, can lessen the build-up of heat in the room. As an added bonus, it will also protect your fabrics and furnishings from fading. Similarly, if you don’t have double or triple glazed windows, less heat will escape through the glass during cold weather if you leave blinds or curtains in place.
- Switch your energy provider. Too many of us still put off checking our energy tariffs on a regular basis. We are all busy with our lives, but there really is no excuse for not spending a couple of hours, with your recent energy bills to hand, checking if there isn’t a better deal out there. If you get a great deal for a limited time (say one year), set a reminder for yourself on your calendar, phone or desktop to check again before the end of your contract, so you don’t end up getting switched to a more expensive tariff.
For more tips on how to make your home more energy efficient, check out Simply Energy’s helpful hints and tips on saving energy, or enter your postcode on their website to compare your energy plan and see if a better deal is available for you.