Whether you’re renting, or you’ve bought a house, a move means a fresh start and a great opportunity to try some new energy saving methods.
Get your head around the ratings
If you’re buying new appliances for your new home, pay attention to energy rating stickers when you’re shopping. This is a Federal Government initiative which aims to help shoppers understand the energy implications of an appliance. A higher rating means more energy efficiency, which means a high star appliance will use less power than one with a lower star rating and potentially help you to reduce your bills. Look for the sticker on appliances like washing machines and dryers, fridges, televisions and dishwashers.
If you’re planning on packing up and moving two fridges to your new home, take the time to reconsider. As an appliance that’s always running, a fridge can represent a big part of your power bill. Having two of them means you might be doubling the cost of storing your food. One larger, more energy efficient fridge could save you money.
When you’re packing up the kitchen, it’s also a good time to check that your pots and pans are a good match. A properly-fitting lid can create better energy efficiency when you cook. In your new house, make sure you check on the seals on the oven to make sure they are keeping the heat in.
It’s time for timers
When you’re getting set up in your new home, it’s a great idea to install timers on your appliances. Heating and cooling appliances can be big offenders when it comes to creating high power bills. A timer keeps them under control, without sacrificing your comfort.
If you’re on a time of use electricity tariff, adding a timer to your air conditioner can help you to take advantage of off-peak power pricing during summer. Plus, setting a time so it turns on during the day can help to control the temperature, and help to keep things more pleasant for pets and delicate house plants.
Using a timer for your heater as well can help your home feel much cosier by making it easy for you to wake up to a nice warm house on a cold winter morning. Pool pumps, coffee machines and anything which relies on an internal heating element are also prime candidates for a timer and potentially use at off-peak energy price times.
Say no to standby
Appliances left on standby can be a serious drain on your energy supply. When you think things have been turned off they can often continue to draw power if they’re still turned on at the wall. Moving home can create a great opportunity to assess how many appliances and devices in your home are consistently sitting on standby mode and think about whether they really need to be connected to power all the time.
Turning things off and on at the wall can be a bit of a pain, especially if the switch isn’t easy to reach. Instead, consider buying a selection of multi-boards for your new home. Group appliances together and plug them in, and you only have one switch to worry about. You could also investigate the growing range of ‘smart plugs’ or standby power boards available in many homewares stores which can detect when appliances are on standby and shut them off automatically without losing their programming.
Plan to beat the heat
When soaring temperatures hit during summer time, it’s important to have a proactive plan to stay cool while being conscious of the associated costs of running air conditioners. At times when the weather heats up it can feel like there’s really no option but to crank the air-con. But if you do, it’s important to know that 26 degrees Celsius is a good temperature to stick to, as every degree below this could add 10% to your running costs. Don’t forget to add a fan or two to your house – they will help to circulate the cool air and only cost about 2 cents per hour each to run.
Window coverings also play a crucial role in keeping your living space cool in summer. If you’re renting and not thrilled about the state of your curtains, make it a priority to have a conversation with your landlord to see if they’ll consider replacing them. They’re not just part of your interior design, curtains are an important way to keep the temperature in your home moderate.
Get your lighting sorted
When you arrive at a new home there’s a lot of unpacking and rearranging to do to style your fresh interior. This means paying attention to lighting design too. Choosing LED globes to replace any blown bulbs is a great way to make your space more energy efficient. Even better -when you’re deciding where to put your furniture and accessories, consider including lamps and low light options to the room to help you cut down on your use of the brighter ceiling lights which typically use a higher wattage. Next, get into the habit of only lighting the spaces that you’re using, and enjoy the ambience!
Get smart about your energy usage
Keeping on top of your electricity usage is a lot simpler with AGL’s new Energy Insights service. When you’re getting to know a new house, it can be hard to see where your energy is being used. Energy Insights makes it simple by breaking down your electricity usage and estimating what’s been used on heating, cooling, lighting, laundry, standby and more. The service is available to AGL customers with a digital meter (excluding solar customers).
It pays to be with AGL. View electricity and gas plans here