If you’re like me, you probably think of the biggest thing you can do to implement change. Then you end up disappointed because it seems out of reach, so you end up doing nothing. Sound familiar? I am guilty of it in most aspects of my life, but I am trying to teach myself that a lot of small steps make a big impact. Your energy saving solutions are no different. Below are 4 low cost investments that will help you save on your energy bill.
If you haven’t already made the switch to LEDs, now is the perfect time! LED bulbs use up to 80% less energy and can last 25 times longer.[i] Lighting accounts for 10% of our energy bill but switching 10 halogen light bulbs to LEDs could save you $65 a year.[ii] If you live in South Australia or Victoria, you could be eligible to have free or discounted LEDs installed. You can contact YESS for more information. If you’re outside of these areas, your local Master Electrician can install them for you. Motion sensors are also a great way to save on lighting costs. Installing motion sensors could save you up to $100 a year.
Appliances can account for up to 30% of our electricity bill but the big energy users are our whitegoods and the television. Being conscious of the energy ratings on your appliances could save you more than you think. The difference between a fridge with a 3-star energy rating and one with a 4.5-star energy rating is around $28.56 a year.[iii] That doesn’t seem like much but when you have two fridges, a washing machine, clothes dryer, dishwasher and three TVs, it adds up. I think that’s a pretty good excuse to upgrade those old appliances. You can compare the running costs of different appliances here.
Heating and cooling
Heating and cooling are one of the biggest contributors to a high energy bill. There are a few things you can do to make sure you’re not spending more than you need to.
Maintenance: To ensure your air conditioner is running at peak efficiency, make sure you are cleaning it at least once a year. If you’re unsure how to clean your AC, you can find out how here. You should also have your units inspected by a professional every 2-3 years to ensure that they are running efficiently.
Upgrade old units: If your air conditioner is more than 12 years old, you could reduce your running costs by 30% by switching to a new Energy Star model. Similarly, switching from box or portable units to split systems could save you up to 40% less energy.[iv]
Smart Thermostats: If you haven’t heard of them, a smart thermostat connects to your Wi-Fi and automatically adjusts the temperature in your home for optimal performance. A smart thermostat could save you up to $180 a year![v] The Google Home Hub works as a Smart Thermostat as well as having the ability to control your lights, appliances, your calendar and much more. You can have a look at prices and specs here.
This one will not only help you save on your energy bill, but it will help you save water too. An energy efficient showerhead uses 3-13 litres per minute less than standard showerheads. Installing an energy-efficient showerhead could also save you up to $200 a year on your energy bill by reducing your hot water usage.[vi] You can purchase a 3 Star showerhead from Bunnings for as low as $30. If you live in SA or VIC, you could be eligible to have your showerhead replaced for free by YESS.
Saving money is something that we are all constantly thinking about. Sometimes we forget about the small changes that we can make to help us save in the long term. With energy efficiency and sustainability becoming more mainstream, money saving products are more accessible and affordable. Making your home more energy efficient doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. Pick one thing that you think costs you the most and commit to changing it. Reassess in six months and see how it’s going. Remember, small changes make a big difference.
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Founder & Manager of Horan & Bird Energy. Director of Master Electricians Australia. John has played a key entrepreneurial role in the transformation of the Energy Landscape in Queensland having founded Horan & Bird in 2004 and building it to a $35 Million Business. The business was then sold, repurchased and merged with Juice Capital in 2020. Juice Capital own one of the largest renewable energy funds in Australia and allow customers to go solar and batteries for no up front capital through Power Purchase Agreements.