Viw Magazine

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Did you know that a single incandescent light bulb can burn up to 10 watts? That's more energy than many appliances, and it's a waste of money.

To save on your household power bill, Gordon Powers Level 2 Electricians have provided detailed tips below.

  1. Replace any old light bulbs with energy-efficient light globes or fluorescent tubes. Since July 2008 all-new households have been given free access to these types of light globes from participating retailers for their living areas or could order their own from the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change website. Also, check out other great tips for replacing old energy-hungry fixtures and fittings at www.saveenergynsw.com. Lighting accounts for 13% of household electricity use so this one simple change can have a big impact.
  2. Get an energy monitor for your home to keep track of electricity usage and help you identify how much certain appliances are costing you. The New South Wales government has partnered with CEX Australia to provide free energy monitors to all NSW householders who sign up for the Home Energy Saver Scheme. In order to get a free monitor, householders must commit to making at least one energy-saving behaviour change that together will save them at least $150 on their electricity bill in a year and pay for themselves within three years (for example: buying efficient appliances or getting rid of standby power).
  3. Turn off all power points and electrical appliances when not in use - it's called phantom load and it can account for up to 10% of your household energy bill.
  4. Get an energy-efficient home appliance such as a refrigerator, washing machine or dishwasher and you could save hundreds on your electricity bill. According to the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, replacing just one old fridge-freezer for a new model that meets 'A' or 'A+' energy rating could save $100 off your annual power bill.

Also, watch out for standby power which uses up around 11% of household electricity bills - unplug appliances when not in use and switch off at the wall when not needed (such as when going on holiday).

  1. Use fans instead of air conditioning whenever possible because air-conditioners can be expensive to run, especially when they are on at night.
  2. Turn the thermostat down - heating and cooling account for more than half of domestic energy use in summer and winter so keeping it just a few degrees lower can save you hundreds of dollars each year. Also, check out the savings achieved by switching to solar water heating.
  3. Try turning off your computer at the wall when you leave home or go to sleep. If possible turn off the monitor too since if left on standby it can still draw power even when not switched on (this is called phantom load). There are also many appliances which you will never switch off such as fridges, freezers, TVs, stereos etc.; instead buy an "off" switch timer that plugs into your power socket and automatically turns off appliances at certain times, usually once a day.
  4. When it comes to home heating, studies show that people tend to overestimate how much energy they are using - why not set up an online account with your supplier so you can monitor your usage and spot any potential problems? Also, check out discounts available for new insulation.
  5. If you have gas as your home's only source of fuel (no electricity), consider switching to solar water heating is cheaper than buying additional gas supplies.
  6. Get an energy-efficient refrigerator - new models use around 40% less energy than older ones, saving you hundreds of dollars on your power bill each year. If you are buying a fridge or freezer for the first time, consider an 'A' or 'A+' model.
  7. Don't get caught out by high peak rates - if air conditioning is essential to your home cooling, then consider shifting into offpeak hours between 5pm and 6pm in summer and 8am to 9am in winter when electricity demand is lower and costs are cheaper! And another tip: sit closer to a cold window in summer because the interior of your house can get hot even if its exterior is cool.
  8. Don't use ovens to heat up the room - they are less efficient than normal electric fan heaters and will make your power bill go through the roof!

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