ACTSmart Energy Saving Guide. A guide to improving your household s energy efficiency and reducing consumption and costs

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1 ACTSmart Energy Saving Guide A guide to improving your household s energy efficiency and reducing consumption and costs

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3 Contents Introduction... 3 Understanding your energy use... 5 Keeping warm in winter... 8 Staying cool in summer Hot water Saving in the kitchen In the laundry Saving on appliances Lighting My Energy Action Plan Find out more

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5 Introduction This booklet is designed to help you make simple changes that will reduce your energy use and save you money, reduce greenhouse gases, help the environment and improve the comfort of your home. Save money In recent years there has been a marked increase in Australian household electricity prices. The prices are predicted to continue to rise by a further 10% each year over the next few years. 1 This is largely due to the cost of replacing ageing infrastructure ( poles and wires ) which delivers electricity to our homes, and building new infrastructure to meet rising demand. These costs are the greatest factor in rising electricity prices, accounting for approximately 68% of recent price rises. By conserving energy, households can minimise the effect of these rising energy prices. The average Canberra home spends $1600 every year on electricity consumption alone. 2 Reduce greenhouse gases and reduce the impact on the environment In November 2010 the ACT Government established a greenhouse gas reduction target of 40% 2 below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80% below 1990 levels by These targets set us on the path to becoming a more sustainable and carbon neutral community. The targets are driven by our commitment as a community to address climate change, and an understanding that we can make a positive contribution to the global effort to stop climate change. Residential electricity accounts for 26% of ACT greenhouse gas emissions 4, with residential natural gas accounting for 5% of overall emissions. By reducing energy used in homes, Canberra households can play a significant role in reducing Canberra s greenhouse gas emissions. Improve the comfort of your home Canberra s cool climate means that our household energy use differs significantly from the Australian average. The pie chart on page 4 shows that 75% of an average Canberra household s energy use goes towards space heating and water heating. By making modifications to your home, and choosing different actions, you can improve the comfort of your home to feel warmer in winter (and cooler in summer) while reducing energy use. 1 Update Paper 8: Transforming the electricity sector, Garnaut Climate Change Review accessed 1 April Based on ActewAGL kwh ( at cents per kwh (ActewAGL Schedule of charges from 1 July 2013) less service charges. 3 Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act ACT Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report , September 2012, Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission 5

6 Most of the tips in this booklet apply to both renters and homeowners. It is important to get your landlord s (or their agent s) approval before making any modifications if you are renting your home. Average energy use of a Canberra household 5 Water heating 17% Cooking 3% Space cooling 1% Electrical appliances 21% Space heating 58% *Electrical appliances include lighting, refrigerators, standby and all other household appliances. Action planning and goal setting This booklet has lots of information and tips to help you reduce your energy use. Setting goals and creating an action plan to put some of these tips in place, can really help too. Throughout the booklet there is space for you to write down the actions you can take to save energy. At the end, there is an action plan, here you can write all the actions your household will take. You can tear it out and put it in a prominent location, such as on the fridge door, to help your household stick to the plan. This action plan can be changed at any time to suit changing circumstances. When setting goals, remember, it helps to make them SMART: Specific clearly outline what you are working towards. Measurable how will you know when you reach your goal? It can be measured in quantity or time; for example, I will reduce my energy use by 25%. Attainable make sure your goal is challenging, but possible to achieve. Realistic making your goal realistic and flexible will help you stick to your goal and allow for unforeseen circumstances. Timed write down when you hope to achieve your goal. Make your goal positive to reinforce good practices, and focus on what you want to achieve. 5 Adapted from Energy Use in the Australian Residential Sector

7 Understanding your energy use There are several things you can do to help you understand your energy use. You can get to know your energy bill and learn what that tells you about your energy use, or for more immediate feedback you can install a home energy monitor or read your electricity or gas meters. Get to know your bill Getting to know your bill can help you identify how to save energy in your home. Energy bills can tell you a lot more than just the amount you need to pay. Because they are sent out every three months, it can be hard to remember why you may have used more or less energy. But there are a few things the bill can tell you to help you understand your own use better. 1. How you compare: There is a graph on your bill that shows your average daily energy usage. Electricity bills now include the average electricity use of other households in your area. You can compare your usage to find out how your home tracks against the average. (If you have gas space or water heating, your electricity bill will probably be lower than a household that only has electricity.) 2. Your pattern of use: Look at your energy use pattern between summer and winter. If there is a large spike in winter, you are likely to be using a significant amount of electricity on heating. If it is consistent all year round, your energy consumption may be concentrated on hot water, refrigeration, appliances or cooking. This can help identify where you should focus your efforts to save energy. If you have gas heating, your electricity bill is less likely to spike in winter than a household with only electricity. Compare your usage to other households in your area * Does not include pool usage kwh Average daily consumption Your People per household Usage To find out more visit energymadeeasy.gov.au Your electricity usage * Does not include solar-generated energy kwh Average daily consumption Jan 2012 Apr 2012 Jul 2012 Oct 2012 Jan 2013 For energy saving tips, go to 7

8 3. Your peak and off-peak use: Off-peak electricity is usually used for hot water storage systems or in-slab heating. Your use of off-peak electricity can help you understand what proportion of your electricity is used for hot water or in-slab heating. This can be a big proportion for some homes with large, inefficient hot water storage systems but efficient space heating. Electricity consumption charges 17/10/2012 to 14/01/2013 Meter readings Meter number Previous Present kwh peak Charges Amount GST Total EN* :1 32,778 33, kWh x $ per kwh $ $12.53 $ P3* :2 20,477 21, kWh x $ per kwh $72.35 $7.24 $79.59 off-peak Total 1,346 $ $19.77 $ Other amounts Charges Amount GST Total Direct debit discount 89 days x $ per day $4.45 CR $0.45 CR $4.90 CR Continued on following page * EN means energy * P3 means off peak saver You can find out more about your energy use by visiting Energy monitors Installing an energy monitor in your home can be a very useful tool to check exactly how much energy you are using at any given time. Energy monitors have been shown to help reduce energy use. 6 There are a range of monitors available, including power meters, appliance-specific monitors and all of home monitors. All of home monitors allow you to compare last week s or last month s energy use so that you can see when you are saving money and energy. Many monitors have a built-in budget system where you can set how much money you want to spend, and an alarm will tell you if you go over budget. Monitoring your energy use helps you to detect those appliances that are working away in the background, but are not necessarily doing anything useful, like a video game on standby or a light that has been left on in the garage. It can also show you how much one appliance can make the energy spike, for example an oven, a kettle or an electric wall heater. Monitors are a great way to get the whole family involved in energy saving, and many children especially enjoy seeing the monitor numbers going down as you save on energy use! Meter reading Another way of getting more immediate feedback on your electricity use is to read your electricity and gas meters. You can choose how often you read the meters, and track the readings in a table to see what your daily or weekly energy use is. To learn how to read energy meters, visit 6 There are several studies showing that energy monitor display units can cut average energy bills by around 10%. To find out more about energy monitors, visit 8

9 The table below lists the annual running cost of many common household appliances. This is a guide only. Exact costs will vary depending on the energy efficiency and use of the appliance and the behaviour of the user. What do appliances cost to run per year? Kitchen Annual Cost* Oven $82 Cooktop $73 Dishwasher 3 Star $53 Fridge/Freezer 400 litre 3 Star $82 Chest Freezer 200 litre 3 Star $57 Microwave (1000W) $36 Toaster (1000W) $12 Electric Kettle (1500W) $27 Living Room TV - LCD (LED) (90-110cm) 7 star 1.5 star TV - LCD (90-110cm) 5 star 1.5 star TV - Plasma (90-110cm) 4.5 star 0.5 star TV - CRT (51cm) 1.5 star 0.5 star $22 (7 star) $91 (1.5 star) $58 (5 star) $130 (1.5 star) $65 (4.5 star) $183 (0.5 star) $47 (1.5 star) $61 (0.5 star) DVD player (includes standby) $11 Digital Set Top Box (includes standby) $25 Desktop Computer $65 Laptop Computer $26 Bathroom Exhaust Fan $7 Hair dryer $13 Laundry Washing machine (front loader) - cold wash 7kg/3.5 star $15 Washing machine (front loader) - warm wash** 7kg/3.5 star $63 Washing machine (top loader) - cold wash 8kg/2.5 star $21 Washing machine (top loader) - warm wash** 8kg/2.5 star $117 Clothes dryer (2000W) $83 Lighting Annual Cost Per Globe* Incandescent (60W-100W) $18 $29 CFL (13W-20W) $4 $6 Halogen downlights (20W-50W) $6 $15 LED downlights (10W) $3 CFL downlights (15W) $4 *This is a guide only. Exact costs will vary depending on the energy efficiency and use of the appliance and the behaviour of the user. Costs have been calculated using the 2013/14 ActewAGL energy rate of cents per kwh (GST inclusive). **Warm wash - minimum wash temperature of 35 degrees C at the start of the wash cycle. 9

10 Keeping warm in winter Canberra has cold winters, and space heating is usually the biggest energy user in the home. A lot of this heat is lost through uninsulated walls, ceilings and windows, and through gaps and cracks. This means that you have to keep re-heating the air inside your home, which costs you money. Most of us heat our homes with electric or gas space heaters (room heaters), gas central heating, reverse cycle air conditioners or radiant panel heaters. All of these heating appliances either heat the air or heat the objects in front of them. The amount of money you spend on heating depends on what type of heating you have and how fast your home loses heat. Heat loss in winter Ceiling 25% to 35% Windows 11% to 20% Walls 10% to 20% Air Leakage 15% to 25% Heat gain in summer Floor 10% to 20% Ceiling 25% to 35% Windows 25% to 35% Walls 10% to 20% Air Leakage 5% to 15% Floor 10% to 20% 10

11 Insulate Check that you have adequate insulation, at least in your roof but also in your walls. Ceiling batts should be around 20 cm thick or R4.1. If not, consider having your insulation topped up. Seal it up Seal up gaps and stop draughts. Precious warm air can escape through gaps and cracks, and around windows and doors. Also, draughts can make you feel cold even when the air is warm. Use door snakes and door and window seals to stop cold air coming in and warm air leaking out. Fill the gaps with sealant using a caulking gun, and make sure that exhaust fans have draught stoppers installed. Get free heat Heat your house for free with the sun. Open your curtains and blinds during the day to let the winter sun in, and close them as the sun goes down to keep in the warmth at night. The sun s rays shining on your window is like having a one-bar radiant heater running for every 2 square metres of window exposed. Cover your windows Install double glazing or fit your windows with block-out curtains or energy-efficient blinds (such as honeycomb or roman blinds). This creates a barrier to stop warm air circulating against a cold window. Pelmets installed with insulation-backed curtains will help to keep the air warm by further stopping air movement around the window. This can stop up to 20% of the heat escaping. Take control Turn down the thermostat setting on your heater by 1 C and reduce the energy used for heating by about 10%. Set the thermostat to between 17 C and 19 C. Wear extra layers to stay warm. We usually feel the cold when we stop moving around the house, so when you sit down make sure that your feet are well covered, wear layers, or use a blanket to stay warm and snug. Only use heaters when you are in the room with them. Set a timer rather than having a heater run all day and night. Turn it on 30 minutes before you get up or get home. Turn off heaters when you are out and save money! 11

12 Contain it Only heat the space you live in. The smaller the space, the easier and cheaper it is to heat. Close doors to unused rooms to contain the heat in the area you are using. Use heaters that do not generate excessive draughts as air movement across your skin can make you feel cold. If the room is not easily closed off (zoned) or the house is draughty and cannot be effectively sealed, use radiant heaters rather than fan heaters. This saves heat escaping because radiant heaters heat objects (you) rather than the air. Keep all windows closed when you are using a heater, to keep the heat in. Unflued gas heaters are the only exception to this, where a slightly open window is needed for extra ventilation. A small electric heater (1.2 kw) on for 10 hours a day costs around $72 per month. 7 This same heater on for 24 hours a day will cost around $173 per month. 7 Make informed choices 7 Electric heaters are generally the most expensive heaters to operate, with the exception of reverse cycle air conditioners, also known as reverse cycle heat pumps. Efficient gas space heaters and reverse cycle air conditioners are cheaper to run than standard electric heaters. Portable electric heaters can be cheap to buy but very expensive to run. Many are not as effective as other methods of heating. Radiant heaters work by heating objects (you), not the air, so they allow you to keep warm without having to heat the entire room. Radiant heaters use a lot of electricity, so make sure they are switched off when no one is in the room. Heated throw rugs are a great option if you are sitting still for long periods of time, such as watching television, or when you work or study. A heated throw rug will cost you less than five cents an hour to run. An electric blanket or hot water bottle is a great way to heat your bed. They use much less energy than trying to heat your whole bedroom. Ducted central heating systems can use either gas or electricity as the energy source. Because they heat a larger area of your home, the energy use and running cost will be higher than for space heaters. A zoned system allows you to maximise energy efficiency and heat only those areas of your home that are in use. 7 Cost of electricity has been calculated using the 2013/14 ActewAGL energy rate of cents per kwh (GST inclusive). 12

13 Hydronic central heating systems heat water and distribute the heat through the house by using hot water flowing through radiators or pipes in the floor. Hydronic systems can be zoned allowing you to send heat only to where it is needed thereby avoiding the need to heat unused areas of your home. Hydronic central heating systems are usually gas-fired but may use a wood-fired heater, solar system or heat pump. Electric in-slab floor heating often has the highest greenhouse gas emissions of any heating system and may be the most expensive to run. Top tips on heating 1. Seal it up seal doors, windows and exhaust fans and keep in the heat. Save up to 25% on your heating bills. 2. Turn it off when you are not at home or when you are out of the room. 3. Turn it down by turning down the thermostat by 1 C you can save up to 10% on your heating bills. Set your thermostat to a maximum of 20 C in winter. 4. Wrap up warmly with an extra layer of clothing, especially on your feet. Three actions our household can take to save on heating Action 1. When we ll do it by Notes

14 Staying cool in summer While the average Canberra household does not spend a lot on cooling, having a hot home in summer can be really uncomfortable. Here are some easy ways to help keep your home cooler. Shade your home The best solution to keeping cool is to not let the sun s rays hit the windows and walls. Blinds and curtains on the inside of windows are good, but only about half as effective as keeping the sun off the windows in the first place. Use exterior shading on the eastern and western windows of your home. This will make a big difference on how cool your home will be in summer. Use shade cloth, awnings or matchstick blinds to shade the house. It s just like parking your car in the shade on a hot summer s day. Create shade with deciduous trees and plants. Deciduous trees will shade your home in summer, and allow the sun to heat it in winter. Cool down your concrete driveway and patio in summer by shading them with pot plants. In winter, move the pot plants out onto the garden so that you can benefit from the winter sun warming up the concrete and emitting heat back into your home. Two square metres of glass facing the sun on a warm day lets in more heat than running a standard one-bar radiator free heat in winter, but uncomfortable in summer. Ventilate Close your windows during the day and open them at night. While a breeze might help you feel cooler, opening a window to let in the breeze on a hot afternoon is actually heating up your home. Close your windows, doors and curtains when it starts to get hot outside, and open them at night to let in the cool evening air. Use a fan to keep cool during the day, and place it near an open window at night to draw cool air into your home. Remember, fans cool you, not the room, so turn fans off when you are not in the room. 14

15 A pedestal or ceiling fan used for 10 hours a day for ten days costs around $1. 7 An air conditioner used for the same time can cost around $18. 7 You can also face the fan toward a window and open a door or window at the opposite side of your home to quickly replace the hot air inside your home with cooler air outside your home. Use fans and evaporative coolers rather than air conditioning. If you do use air conditioning, C is a comfortable summertime setting. For every 1 C colder, you are using 10% more energy. Turn off the hot stuff Reduce the amount of time you spend using things that heat up your home, such as your oven, halogen lights, clothes dryer, plasma television and computers. Cook outside on the barbecue on hot days or create a meal that doesn t require cooking. Put off jobs that create heat, like ironing and cooking, until a cooler time of day. 1. Use a fan instead of an air conditioner. Top tips on cooling 2. Stop the sun from hitting your windows with awnings, shade cloth, matchstick blinds or deciduous trees. 3. Keep your house cool by closing your windows, doors and curtains when it starts to get hot outside and opening them again when it cools down. Three actions our household can take to save on cooling Action 1. When we ll do it by Notes

16 Hot water Hot water is the second biggest energy category after household heating in Canberra, especially if you have an electric hot water storage system. Hot water accounts for around 17% of all household energy use. Finding ways to use less hot water will save you money and reduce your impact on the environment. For more information about products that can help you save water, visit The biggest hot water user by far is the shower Take shorter showers. Up to 70% of your hot water is used under the shower. It is especially tempting in winter to use the shower to warm up, but this will increase both your energy and water costs. Use a shower timer and save energy, water and money. Try spending no more than 3 to 5 minutes in the shower. Replace inefficient showerheads. A standard showerhead uses about 15 to 25 litres of water per minute, whereas a three star rated water-efficient showerhead uses as little as 7 to 9 litres per minute. Showerheads are available at hardware shops and plumbing suppliers, or ask a trusted contractor. In Canberra, replacing a showerhead requires a licensed plumber. Reduce tap use Use built-in water-saving features such as tap aerators and flow restrictors. Turn your taps off. If you need warm water for an activity such as shaving or washing your face, fill the sink with a small amount of warm water rather than leave the tap running. Only turn the hot water tap on if you really need warm or hot water. Turn mixer taps all the way to the cold side so you don t use unnecessary hot water. Avoid leaving the water running while brushing your teeth or washing your car. Repair any leaking taps. Leaking taps or damaged water pipes can waste a large amount of hot water and cost you money. In one week, a dripping tap can waste enough water to half fill a bath. Wash clothes in cold water Use cold water to wash your clothes. When you use hot water, 90% of your energy costs will be to heat the water and 10% to wash your clothes. 16

17 Only turn on the hot tap if you really need it. If your clothes are very dirty, soak them in detergent in a bucket before you wash them. Reduce the temperature of your hot water system Many hot water thermostats are set at the highest temperature setting. This can increase the cost of heating your hot water. Reduce your hot water storage tank to 60 C (an electrician may be required to do this) and save up to 10% on heating water. Hot water storage systems need to be at least 60 C to ensure no bacteria can grow in the tank. If you have an instantaneous hot water system, check that your thermostat is no higher than 50 C. Get the whole household involved Educate and encourage others in your household to help reduce hot water use. Top tips on hot water 1. Take shorter showers. We spend around 8 minutes on average in the shower. By halving your shower time you could save up to $150 7 a year. 2. Use cold water to do your laundry. 3. Turn down the dial of your hot water storage tank to 60 C (an electrician may be required to do this) and save up to 10% on heating water. Turn down your instantaneous hot water system to 50 C. 4. Replace your old showerhead with a water-efficient one and save up to 50% on your shower costs. Three actions our household can take to save on hot water Action 1. When we ll do it by Notes

18 Saving in the kitchen Refrigeration After heating and hot water, your fridge is probably the next most expensive appliance to run. The most important thing to do is check that your fridge is working properly, and keep it well maintained. Here is a checklist that will help your fridge run more efficiently and save you money. When buying a new fridge or freezer, check the energy rating and purchase an energy-efficient model. Although the purchase cost may be higher, the running costs over the lifetime of the appliance will be a lot less expensive. Find out more about energy ratings and use the cost calculator at Keep it cool Locate your fridge and freezer in a cool spot, out of direct sunlight and away from heat-producing appliances such as cookers and dishwashers. Ensure your fridge and freezer are not too cold. Fridges should be between 3 C and 5 C, and freezers between 15 C and 18 C. Every extra degree colder uses 5% more energy. Please be aware, if the fridge is above 5 C it increases the risk of bacteria growth. Use a thermometer to check the temperature of your fridge and freezer. Keep the fridge door shut as much as possible to keep the cold in. Keep the fridge around 90% full but leave free space for air circulation. Solid objects will help to retain the fridge temperature when you open the fridge door. If necessary, put some bottles of water in the fridge just to keep it full. Thaw frozen food in the fridge to help keep your fridge cool, thus reducing electricity use. Keep it well maintained Check the fridge seal regularly to make sure it s tight. To test the seal, open the fridge door, place a piece of paper between the fridge and the door, and shut the door. If the paper doesn t move easily when you pull it, it s a good seal. Make sure there s a gap of at least 80 mm at the back of your fridge, and space above it too. Inadequate ventilation can add 15% to a fridge s energy consumption. If your fridge has exposed condenser coils, clean them once a year and ensure there is enough room for air to circulate behind the fridge. (Accumulation of dust on condenser coils can increase energy consumption by up to 30%.) 18

19 Defrost freezers (and freezer compartments) if your fridge/freezer isn t frost-free according to the instructions, usually when the frost gets to about 5 mm thick. Turn it off when not needed Turn off the second fridge if you have one and only use it when you need it. Empty your fridge/freezer and turn it off when you go away on holiday. (Clean it and leave the door ajar or place dry tea bags in it to stop it smelling stale.) If you have an extra freezer, where possible store everything in the freezer compartment of the main fridge and only use the extra freezer when you really need it. A typical household fridge costs about $120 7 per year to run. A third of ACT houses have more than one fridge. Second fridges usually cost more to run because they are often older and placed in warmer environments, such as a garage or outside. These fridges are exposed to the elements and they work overtime to maintain their temperature. If you have a second fridge, turn it off and only use it when you really need it. Avoid keeping it on to chill drinks or for one can of pet food as it will cost more than you expect. Cooking There are a variety of ways that we cook and savings can be made by following some easy, and mostly free, practical tips. Match your pot size to your stove element. That way, you re not wasting energy by heating a larger element. Simmer food with the pot lid on. This reduces the energy used in cooking by up to 70%. Use the heat of the hot plate to finish cooking the food. With some dishes, for example vegetables, it is possible to bring the water to the boil and then turn the hot plate off altogether and let the food finish cooking with the lid on. Use a microwave where possible. Microwave cooking is very efficient. It can use up to 80% less energy than your stove because most of the microwave s energy goes directly into cooking the food (rather than heating the pot). Defrost large items from the freezer before cooking or re-heating, by taking them out of the freezer the night before and putting them in the fridge. Reduce the amount of water you cook with, as water uses a lot of energy to heat up. Steam vegetables either in the microwave or on the stove stop with a small amount of water. Not only do you save energy, you also retain more of the food s nutrients. Check the seals on your oven door to see if you are losing heat from the sides. If so, replace the seals, or call in a trusted contractor to do it. Leaky ovens cost more to operate. Pressure cookers and rice cookers are generally more efficient than conventional pots. 19

20 Other kitchen hints When using a dishwasher, only run it when it s full. Ensure that it is on economy cycle. Toast your bread in a toaster rather than under the grill. Fill the kettle with only the amount of water you need, and only boil it when you need it. Top tips in the kitchen 1. Check that the temperature of your fridge and freezer is not set too cold. Fridges should be between 3 C and 5 C and freezers between 15 C and 18 C. Every extra degree colder uses 5% more energy. Use a thermometer to check the temperature of your fridge and freezer. 2. Keep the fridge door closed. Less opening means less cold air escaping which saves energy. 3. Check the fridge seals with a piece of paper. If the paper stays firm, your seals are in good order; if the seals are worn you may be wasting significant energy. Replace seals and save. 4. Keep a lid on it. Simmering with pot lids on reduces energy use by up to 70%. 5. Use a microwave where possible. This will use around 80% less energy than your stove. 6. Check the seals of your oven. Significant heat and energy can be lost due to faulty seals. Three actions our household can take to save in the kitchen Action 1. When we ll do it by Notes

21 In the laundry Washing machines Check the star rating on your washing machine. The more stars, the more energy efficient and cost effective your machine will be. Front loaders are generally more energy and water efficient than top loaders, however the latest top loaders can be very efficient. For more information on star ratings and to use a cost calculator, see Use cold water. If using hot water 90% of your energy costs will be to heat the water and 10% to wash your clothes. Clothes last longer when washed in cold water and modern detergents are made for use in cold water. Only use hot water if you really need to. Wash with a full load. Save energy by soaking heavily soiled clothes in a bucket before you wash them. This can reduce washing time and the need to use hot water. Drying Use the sun s free energy to dry your washing it s the most energy-efficient dryer around! Drying washing in the sun also naturally disinfects clothes, whitens whites and saves you money. Use an outside clothes line where possible to dry washing, or use a clothes rack on wet days. Avoid using electric clothes dryers as they are energy-hungry and they shorten the life of your clothes. If it looks like rain, only wash the things you really need and avoid washing large loads in case you have to use the dryer. Electric dryers are around the fourth biggest energy users in the home. If you have to use a dryer, throw a small dry towel into your dryer to reduce the drying time by up to 25%. Dry heavy items separately from light ones. Combining them will cause over-drying of some items and under-drying of others. Avoid overloading your dryer as this means a longer drying time and using more electricity. Use the correct temperature setting for the type of clothes in the dryer. Clean the lint filter after use. A clogged filter consumes more energy and may become a fire hazard. Remove as much excess water as possible before drying your clothes in the dryer. Try running an extra spin cycle in your washing machine first. Dry your washing in consecutive loads to use the warmth from the last load. 21

22 Top tips for the laundry 1. Use cold water for washing. 2. Dry your washing on a clothes line instead of using the dryer. 3. Wash with a full load. Action 1. Three actions our household can take to save energy in the laundry When we ll do it by Notes

23 Saving on appliances Electricity use from appliances is becoming a larger proportion of the energy used within Australian homes. This is mainly because of the increasing number of electrical appliances per household and the types of appliances becoming readily available. One way to reduce energy use is to purchase energy-efficient appliances. You can compare the energy efficiency of appliances by using the energy rating label. The label shows the number of stars and the consumption of the appliance. The more stars and the lower the consumption figure, the more energy efficient the appliance is. It s important to remember that the consumption figure is based on average use, so the way you use an appliance means your household s consumption might differ from what s listed on the label. In some cases there might be two different consumption numbers on the label. This happens if the product can be used in different ways, such as a washing machine, which can be used for a cold water wash or a hot water wash. Many appliances now carry the energy rating label, including televisions and computers. You can learn more or compare products at Buy energy-efficient appliances when buying new appliances. Often cheaper appliances will cost more to run over the life of that appliance. A plasma screen television can use more than double the electricity of other, similar-sized televisions. Borrow the Home Energy Action Kit from ACT libraries and do an audit of your appliances. This will help you understand how much energy your appliances use and where you can save energy. Turn appliances off at the power point when not in use. Most electronic equipment uses a small amount of power even when switched off. Standby power is the power used to keep a device on so that it takes less time to fully turn on. It is sometimes referred to as vampire power because it sucks energy even when you are not using the appliance. Install a standby power controller or an energy-saving power board to use with televisions and computers. Depending on the type of energy-saving power board you buy, they can either automatically switch off the secondary appliances when you switch off the main appliance, or you can manually turn off all the appliances with a remote control for the power board. Only turn on appliances when you are using them. A television can cost over $200 7 per year to run so make sure you switch it off when no one is watching it. Use power-saver options on computers, smart televisions and game consoles. Turn down the brightness on your computer monitor, and set it to turn off after 5 minutes of being idle. Don t overcharge appliances such as mobile phones and rechargeable batteries. Plug all appliances that need turning off into the same power board. That way, you ll only have to turn off one switch. Use timer switches for heaters and appliances to automatically turn on and off at a prescribed time. Set and forget! 23

24 Standby power can account for up to 10% of power used in a typical Canberra home, just for the convenience of a few seconds less to start things up. Turning off appliances at the power point can save: $21 7 a year on the average TV $8 7 a year on the average DVD player $8 7 a year on a desktop computer $21 7 a year on a washing machine. That s $58 a year! Now what other appliances can you turn off? Top tips on appliances 1. Turn off all appliances at the wall. 2. Get a power board which automatically shuts off all connected appliances when you turn off your computer or television. 3. Use a timer on appliances that you want to come on and go off at certain times of the day. 4. Turn off appliances when you are out of the room or they are not in use. Three actions our household can take to save energy on appliances Action 1. When we ll do it by Notes

25 Lighting Each light bulb might not use a lot of energy, but over time their energy use adds up. By following these tips you could reduce your energy bill by up to $50 7 per year. Use natural lighting during the day. Open your curtains in the daytime to let the light shine in! Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). CFL light bulbs use less than one quarter of the energy of standard light bulbs and last 10 times longer. You quickly get back the extra cost of the CFL bulb. Minimise the use of halogen down lights. These lights use a lot of energy per light globe and are a very expensive way to light your home. They also introduce holes in your ceiling that can let out valuable heat in winter and create heat in summer. If you really want down lights, consider CFL or LED (Light Emitting Diode) down lights. Remove extra bulbs from a set of lights. This often makes no real difference to the quality of light but can save a lot of energy. Change to LED lights. LEDs are coming down in price and they can last up to 50 times longer than incandescent or halogen bulbs. Turn off lights when you leave the room! It s an oldie but a goodie, and even applies to fluorescent lights. Even if you re only out of the room for 5 or 10 minutes, turn off the lights it will save you money! Turn off outdoor lights, or consider using motion sensors if you have security lighting. Outdoor lights can use more energy than all the lighting in your home, so it is important to turn them off when you are not using them. Avoid using bathroom radiant heat lamps as lights. Heat lamps are a type of heater and use as much energy as portable heaters. If you really need warmth, only use them while you are in the room, as they heat objects (you) rather than the air. Ensure that your new lights work with any dimmer switches you may have. 25

26 Top tips on lighting 1. Open the curtains and blinds during the day. The sun is our brightest light and if we uncover the windows we can often save on daytime lighting use. 2. Change to energy-efficient lighting. 3. Turn off and de-lamp. Turning lights off and taking out one or two bulbs from a set of lights often makes no real difference to the quality of the light but makes a significant energy saving. Three actions our household can take to save on lighting Action 1. When we ll do it by Notes

27 " My Energy Action Plan By putting the tips in this booklet into action, you will reduce your energy consumption and save money. You will also be helping to secure a better environment for future generations. My/our overall energy goal is: I/we want to achieve this goal because: I/we will achieve this goal by taking the following actions: Heating: 1. When we ll do it by Cooling: 1. When we ll do it by Hot water: 1. When we ll do it by

28 " Kitchen: 1. When we ll do it by Laundry: 1. When we ll do it by Appliances: 1. When we ll do it by Lighting: 1. When we ll do it by Once you have filled out your 'Energy Action Plan' it can be removed from this booklet and placed in a prominent place, such as the refrigerator, as a reminder of your goal and the actions you and your household can take to achieve this goal. 28

29 Find out more ACT Government ActewAGL Canberra Environment Centre Canberra Loves 40 Carbon offsets Change Canberra Conservation Council ACT Region conservationcouncil.org.au Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme Green It Yourself Green renting GreenPower Living Greener More ideas on saving water Renewable energy and sustainable building Star ratings and energy efficiency Sustainability information and research Technical information on home design Understand your bills 29

30 ACCESSIBILITY The ACT Government is committed to making its information as accessible as possible. If you have difficulty reading a standard printed document and would like to receive this publication in an alternative format, such as large print, please phone Canberra Connect on or the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate at If English is not your first language and you require a translating and interpreting service, please phone For speak and listen users, please phone and ask for Canberra Connect on For more information on these services visit DISCLAIMER This guide has been prepared in good faith exercising due care and attention. It is to help you make simple changes that will reduce your energy use and improve the comfort of your home. This material is general in nature. It is made available on the understanding that the Australian Capital Territory (the Territory) is not thereby engaged in rendering professional advice. Users of this guide should satisfy themselves concerning its application to, and where necessary, seek expert advice relevant to their particular circumstances. In some cases the material may incorporate or summarise views, guidelines or recommendations of third parties. Such material is assembled in good faith, but does not necessarily reflect the considered views of the Territory, or indicate a commitment to a particular course of action. Links to other websites are provided for convenience and do not constitute endorsement of material at those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service. Australian Capital Territory, Canberra,

31 The ACT climate change strategy and action plan AP2 Have you heard? The ACT has Australia s most ambitious emissions reduction targets. In October 2010, the ACT Legislative Assembly passed the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act This legislation establishes targets for the ACT of: zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2060; peaking per capita emissions by 2013; 40% reduction of 1990 levels by 2020; and 80% reduction of 1990 levels by The ACT climate change strategy, AP2, sets out a pathway for the Territory to meet our 2020 emissions reduction targets and puts us on the path to becoming a sustainable and carbon neutral community. It is driven by our commitment to address climate change and an understanding that we, as a community working together, can make a positive contribution to the global climate change mitigation effort. AP2 is based on a sectoral approach to identifying and targeting emission reductions across the ACT community. These sectors relate to the major sources of emissions from our community: residential sector energy use non-residential sector energy use transport sector emissions waste sector emissions and energy supply sector emissions. gas emissions, the proposed target is 40% by The Canberra public have endorsed AP2 and are already contributing to carbon neutrality through rooftop solar panels and by taking small but significant steps to reduce their energy use and, at the same time, save money on electricity bills. You can view the ACT climate change strategy, along with updates on progress at: environment.act.gov.au/climate_change/ap2 targets emissions trajectory business-as-usual ACT emissions (kt CO2 -e) % reduction carbon neutrality 80% reduction ACT emissions trajectory, business as usual and targets

32 FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit or call Canberra Connect on

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