Australia is a vast country with diverse climatic conditions that influence our lifestyle choices. Southern states are prone to Antarctic weather systems and elevated areas are cold most of the time, while Northern Australia barely notices a chill during winter, with t-shirts and swimwear in vogue all year round. However, any home in Australia will benefit from energy saving ideas, and mid/late winter is an ideal time to take stock of successes and celebrate financial rewards.
The winter months are when home comforts are most appreciated. A hot drink, comfy couch and warm room is often all that’s required for a cosy time alone or with loved ones. Unfortunately, pleasure is quickly diminished when household energy is wastefully used or cost-prohibitive. Simply Energy understands that many Australians want to create an energy-efficient home and save on their energy costs. They’ve helped us understand a few ways you can gauge your winter energy saving efforts so far – including tips to reduce energy usage moving forward.
Understanding energy use
It’s easier to plan energy use when you know where it goes. Not all appliances are created equal, and knowing when (and how) to use power efficiently could help you reduce your energy costs over time. Here is a brief overview of typical Australian power use.
- Heating and cooling – 40%
- Household appliances – 23%
- Hot water systems – 21%
- Refrigerators and freezers – 6%
- Household lighting – 6%
- Cooking power sources – 4%
Home heating and cooling is responsible for substantial energy use, so it’s a good place to start investigating the potential for savings. Energy saving begins with simple common sense, such as keeping doors and windows closed on cold days, minimising drafts while using a heater and only heating rooms being used. It’s also worth knowing that approximately 10% more energy is used for each degree the thermostat is turned up above 20°C, so keeping the house close to 20°C, a similar temperature to most shopping centres and public spaces, will result in dramatic savings.
Additional ideas from Simply Energy to reduce your energy usage include maintenance basics such as sealing cracks in walls, doors, floors and windows, plus ensuring all existing insulation is in place and functioning optimally. In some instances, simple solutions such as a door draft stopper make all the difference required for a cosy existence. The cooler months are also a time for comfort eating, so why not expand culinary skills, enjoy restaurant quality meals and heat the house simultaneously. Once your winter energy savings routine is established, it might even be time to celebrate energy savings by cooking a little extra, inviting family or friends over, and allowing the warmth of their companionship to cosy up the house for you even more.