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Sky lights and solar panels on the roof of our person-centred housing complex at Grandview.

Energy saving tips

Lighting

  • Make the most out of natural light.
  • Use energy efficient lights: CFLs use 80% less energy and last around 10 times longer. Each CFL can save up to $20 per year and standard halogen globes use 30% less energy and last twice as long.  Each globe can save up to $7 per year.
  • Select the right light for the space.
  • Turn off lights: 26% of people leave lights on all evening in unoccupied rooms.

Water

  • Take shorter showers, 1 minute less can save enough electricity to run a standard TV for 4 hours and 2 minutes less can save up to $100 a year.
  • Shower timers can be helpful.
  • Install a low flow showerhead, prices start at less than $20, to save up to $140 a year.
  • Choose the system with the lowest running costs.
  • For large electric tanks, connect to off peak supply to save up to $300 a year: home owners contact an electrician/accredited service provider; renters seek permission from your landlord. Installation costs apply.
  • Switch to gas, solar or heat pump and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75%.

Washing machine

  • Front-loading washing machines use less water than top-loaders, so if you must wash in warm or hot water, a front-loader is the more energy efficient option.
  • Washing your clothes in cold water can reduce energy use by up to 80% and save you up to $60 per year.

Dishwasher

  • A half-filled dishwasher uses the same amount of energy as a full one, so wait until you have a full load before starting.
  • Use economy or energy saving settings on your dishwasher for maximum efficiency.

Air conditioner and heater

  • Avoid over heating - keep within the recommended temperatures (no warmer than 21°C) to save up to $80 a year.
  • Choose a heater that suits your needs - consider fuel type, size of room, running costs, and use of a thermostat/timer.
  • Use sparingly – dress warmly and only heat the area you are using.
  • Keep the heat in by covering south-facing windows and undercover north, east and west-facing windows to let the sun heat your home; stop draughts by using door snakes or window seals; shut doors particularly for the colder or spare rooms during the day; or consider installing insulation.
  • Choose a reverse cycle air conditioner as it is an efficient way to heat spaces during winter.

Clothes dryer

  • Hang clothes out in the sun or use an indoor drying rack if it is raining or if you get natural sunlight inside.
  • Clean the dryer’s lint filter regularly to maintain full air flow, maximise the drying efficiency and minimise fire risk.
  • Never put dripping wet clothes in your dryer. Spin dry them first in the washing machine.
  • Buy a high star rated model and make sure it has a sensor to minimise drying times.
  • If you have time-based pricing, use your clothes dryer during off peak times to save money (i.e. after 10pm and before 7am).

Source: Ausgrid, Energy efficiency at home: http://www.ausgrid.com.au/Common/Ways-to-save/Energy-efficiency-at-home-tips.aspx