Energy Saving Tips

Heating and cooling energy saving tips

  • Let your thermostat control your heater. Try adjusting your heat to around 18–21?C.
  • Use the correct size heater for the room. Overheating wastes energy, while small heaters on a maximum setting will struggle to heat your room.
  • Don’t leave your heater running overnight. Use timers on heaters to make sure they turn on and off when you need them.
  • To prevent drafts and heat loss, close windows and doors, and seal gaps with weather stripping.
  • Heat only those rooms that are being used.
  • Make sure the ceilings are insulated.
  • When building a new house, take the opportunity to insulate the floors and walls.
  • Carpet on wooden floors minimises heat loss.
  • Block off any chimneys that are unused or install dampers to stop draughts and prevent heat loss.
  • Place sausage draft stoppers under door cracks.
  • Remember to close your curtains to keep the heat in on cool nights.
  • Install pelmets with full length, thermal lined curtains to prevent heat loss.
  • If you have an internal garage, make sure the door is closed to prevent heat loss.
  • Install ceiling fans in rooms that have high or cathedral ceilings. The ceiling fan should be running at its lowest speed to slowly push the warm air where it is needed.
  • Fit automatic door closers to ensure back and front doors are closed after use.
  • Double glaze windows to prevent excess heat loss.
 

Cooking energy saving tips

  • Use small appliances wherever possible.
  • Don’t over-fill pots with water when cooking vegetables.
  • Limit the times the oven door is opened, as this can cause up to 15% loss of hot air each time the door is opened.
  • Inspect the seal around the oven. If it is damaged or perished replace it.
  • Turn the oven off several minutes before you remove the food and leave the door open to allow the remaining heat to enter the room.
  • Simmer food, never boil furiously.
  • Save energy when cooking vegetables by using stacking steamers, thereby using only one hotplate.
  • When steaming, use the minimum of water needed and keep the lid on.
  • Thaw foods before cooking.
  • Clean hotplate reflectors so that the heat is diverted upwards and works more efficiently.
  • Use the correct size saucepan to fit the stove plate.
  • Use flat bottom pots and saucepans.
  • Use the correct size lids on pots and saucepans.
  • Cook toast in a toaster, not under the grill.
  • Don’t use your stove as a room heater.
  • Use an electric frypan instead of using a large oven.
  • Cook two or more dishes in the oven at once.
  • Have a baking day, or bake biscuits and cakes before and after using oven for a roast.
  • Use microwave ovens where possible. Microwave ovens, because of their smaller wattage and faster cooking times, use up to 70% less electricity than convectional cooking methods.
  • Keep your microwave clean to reduce cooking times to a minimum.
  • An oven rangehood that is free of grease and baked in residue will work more efficiently.
  • When preparing small meals use a toaster oven instead of using a large oven.
  • Use a jug/kettle, not the stove, to boil water. Not only will it heat water quickly, it is also 50% more efficient.
  • Try not to overfill your electric jug, especially if it has been designed so that it can boil one cup of water.
  • Fill the kettle from the cold water tap.
 

Hot water energy saving tips

  • Set the cylinder to 60?C, which is the minimum recommended storage temperature.
  • Locate the hot water cylinder near hot water taps used the most, for example bathroom and kitchen.
  • Insulate the pipes for the first couple of meters from the hot water system. You can get piping insulation from your local hardware store.
  • Shower rather than bath, as a short shower will use less water.
  • Wash clothes in cold water, using cold water specific laundry powders.
  • Never rinse dirty dishes or utensils under the running hot water tap – always wash up by plugging the sink.
  • Don’t allow hot water to run down the sink as you wash or shave.
  • Avoid using small amounts of hot water if cold water will do. Each time you run the hot tap a litre or more of water that was heated goes cold.
  • Switch off your hot water system when on holidays or if you’re going away for a week or more.
  • Use flow restrictors or AAA water saving shower heads.
  • If the hot water cylinder is outside, insulate it to cut down on heat loss.
  • Renew seals and washers on dripping taps. A hot water tap dripping once a second for a day can waste enough hot water for an extra person.
 

Fridge and freezer energy saving tips

    • Choose an energy efficient model by comparing the star ratings.
    • Newer, high efficiency refrigerators use half as much energy as older models, so they cost half as much to run.
    • Fridge/freezer combinations with the freezer on the bottom are typically more energy efficient than freezer on top.
    • If you’re not keeping a fridge at least two-thirds full or a freezer at least three quarters full, it’s too big and therefore costing you more money to run.
    • Keep your refrigerator at constant temperatures, and use a thermometer to help you accurately set temperatures:» fridges = 3 to 4°C

» freezers = -15 to -18°C

  • Defrost your freezer every six months or when there is a one-centimetre frost build up.
  • A refrigerator that is not level may cause the door gasket to seal improperly, letting cold air leak out. Adjust the legs until the refrigerator is level.
  • Make sure the door seal is tight and free from gaps. Replace door seals if they are not sealing properly, cracked, or you feel cold air leaking out. To test for tightness, close the door on a piece of paper and try to pull it out. If it slides out easily, so does air.
  • Freezers operate most efficiently when they are full. To help retain the cold temperature when the freezer is less full, freeze jugs of water. Also, more cold air spills out when you open the door if the freezer is nearly empty.
  • In freezers, food packages should be scattered and should never be grouped or stacked together until they are completely frozen.
  • The more air space in a fridge, the more power it will use to keep that air space cool. Refrigerators operate efficiently when full. Also, more cold air spills out when you open the door if the refrigerator is nearly empty. A good idea is to fill air spaces with containers of water, but not overloaded, overloading prevents cold air from circulating properly.
  • To ensure proper cooling, don’t crowd food items. Too many things may obstruct air circulation.
  • Don’t put hot foods into fridge/freezer, allow food to cool down.
  • Choose a cool position, place refrigerator/freezer away from direct sunlight or an oven.
  • Leave an area around and above the fridge and freezer for ventilation.
  • Keep the fridge and freezer condenser coils at rear free from fluff.
  • Do not open the deep freezer or refrigerator door too often, think ahead and plan what you need to take out.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer organised so that the door isn’t kept open while searching for items.
  • Paper is an insulator – replace paper wrappings on food items with aluminium foil or plastic wrap.
  • If you have two fridges/freezers, fill one of them up and turn the other off if possible.
  • If you will be gone for an extended period of time, consider cleaning out your refrigerator, unplugging it and leaving the doors open.
  • Upright freezers cost more to run than chest models because more cold air escapes.
  • Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
  • Automatic ice-makers and through-the-door dispensers will increase both the energy use and the purchase price.
  • Self-defrost models use much more energy than non-defrost models.
 

Dishwasher energy saving tips

  • Choose an energy efficient model by comparing the star ratings.
  • Dishwashers use between 25 and 80 litres of water per full cycle, which can often be less water than washing up in a sink 3 times a day.
  • Run the machine only when it’s full.
  • Don’t rinse dishes in hot running water before you put them in dishwasher.
  • Use the setting with the lowest temperature or the shortest running time – if it gives you a satisfactory result.
 

Washing machine and dryer energy saving tips

  • Choose an energy efficient model by comparing the star ratings.
  • Use the sun to dry clothes whenever you can.
  • Wash clothes in cold water with coldwater laundry detergent.
  • Load your washer fully each time. If you do an extra wash you’ll be using more power.
  • Adjust the water level of your machine when you only have a small load.
  • Don’t put soaking wet clothes in the dryer.
  • Don’t over dry clothes.
  • Clean clothes dryers filter regularly – it speeds up the drying time, as well as being safer.
  • Don’t overfill the dryer.
  • Choose a clothes dryer that turns off automatically as soon as the clothes are dry.
  • Dry consecutive loads as the residual heat will help dry the next load.
  • Front-loading washing machines are up to 15% more energy efficient than top loading machines
 

Lighting energy saving tips

  • Turn off lights in areas not being used.
  • Open curtains in the morning, rather than turning on the light.
  • Paint rooms in light colours, as this aids reflection of available light.
  • Use desk or standard lamps where most light is needed, so less lighting is required in the rest of the room.
  • Clean lamps and fittings – over time, dirt build up reduces light output.
  • Use fluorescent tubes, they use a quarter of the electricity consumed by ordinary bulbs and last around eight times longer.
  • Light dimmers save you money and can extend the life of incandescent lamps.
  • For security lighting, install time, motion or light sensing switches.
 

General energy saving tips

  • To minimise heat loss, don’t leave waterbeds unmade
  • Turn the TV off if you are not watching it.
  • Use energy efficient appliances
  • Switch off electric blankets during the day.
  • Save on cooling costs in summer by drawing curtains early in the day when a hot day is forecast.
  • Make sure that skylights have been installed properly with a diffuser at the bottom to ensure light is evenly spread.
  • Invest in a pool cover. You can save up to 90% of the energy your swimming pool uses in summer by using a cover.
  • Ask the pool manufacturer if you can use a timer to reduce the pump run time.
  • Use gap-filler to fill any draughty gaps around the house, especially between polished floorboards and skirtings.
  • If you’re buying an exhaust fan for the kitchen or bathroom choose one with automatic shutter doors. This will help prevent heat loss.
  • Consider using timers for aquarium lights and pumps, in order to cut down on energy consumption without affecting the health of the fish.
  • Use the energy saving standby mode on your computer.
  • Iron large batches of clothing at one time to avoid wasting energy reheating the iron.
  • Leave delicate items last when ironing and do them after turning iron off as residual heat can be used.