How to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your energy bills

January 5, 2023

This article has been created by Dr Mark Diesendorf

For renters and home-owners

  • Block draughts in Winter; ventilate in Summer
  • If it’s very hot during the day, close all windows and doors and draw curtains and blinds; when it’s cooler at night, open them and ventilate your home
  • In Summer use electric fans instead of aircon; note: fans cool people but not rooms
  • Use evaporative coolers instead of aircon to cool rooms; they are portable appliances, much cheaper than aircon and use less energy
  • If you need to use an air conditioner, set it on 22 degrees Celsius for Winter heating (and wear warm clothes) and 24 degrees for Summer cooling
  • In Winter, only heat occupied rooms
  • Use cold water and a suitable detergent for washing clothes
  • Dry clothes in sunshine and wind
  • Turn off unused appliances at the power-point
  • Clean the coils at back of the fridge and make sure they are well ventilated
  • Fit a water-saving shower head – you don’t need a plumber to do this
  • Fit LED or compact fluorescent lights
  • Cook with a microwave where appropriate
  • When buying appliances, choose those with several energy stars; they cost a bit more upfront, but will save you a lot of energy and money over their lifetimes

Additional actions for home-owners

  • Fit insulating curtains and pelmets to windows
  • Insulate the ceiling with batts
  • Plant shrubs or fit outside awnings to shade windows on western side
  • Fit eaves or awnings above windows on north side to exclude Summer sun
  • Ventilate the attic with whirlybirds or solar powered exhaust fan; although the latter is more expensive, it’s much more effective
  • Wrap insulation around your hot water tank and pipes
  • Paint your roof white, or as close to white as permitted
  • If your roof receives a lot of sunlight, install solar electricity & solar hot water