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Heating and cooling
Did you know? Heating and cooling account for around 40% of your household energy use.
Choose the fan over the air conditioner
Ceiling and pedestal fans cost around one cent per hour of operation and produce far fewer greenhouse gases than air conditioners. Fans help to circulate air and can be used to improve the effectiveness of air cooling systems as well as to circulate hot air and improve your heating efficiency in winter.
Harness the breeze
In summer, open up your home in the cooler times of the morning or evening to let the breeze in. Make the most of natural airflow by opening low-positioned windows to bring in the breeze and opening high windows to let the hot air out.
Be window wise
Improve window efficiency and prevent heat loss with snug-fitting curtains and blinds. You can also open curtains in winter to let the sun in during the day and close them before it gets dark. Similarly, it's a good idea to close curtains during the hottest part of the day in summer.
Seal gaps and cracks
Draught-proof your home and stop heated and cooled air leaking out through gaps and cracks. This could cut your energy bill by up to 25%. Try a draught 'snake' to stop air escaping under doors and use weather seals for windows, floorboards, skirting boards, skylights and cornices.
You can also stop heat rising into your ceiling by fitting covers over downlights and vents. Check with your landlord before fitting any weather seals or covers.
In winter, consider setting your heating thermostats to 18–20 degrees Celsius. In summer, try setting your cooling thermostats to 25–27 degrees Celsius. For every degree you increase your heating and cooling you increase your energy use by around 5 to 10%.
When you've got the air conditioner or heater on, close off the rooms you're not using by shutting internal doors. Once you've found the temperature that you're comfortable with, dress for the season. Perhaps grabbing a warmer jumper or using a throw rug is all you need to avoid turning the thermostat up a degree or two.
Did you know? Lighting accounts for around 7% of your household energy use.
Minimise artificial lighting
Open the curtains or blinds to let natural light in rather than switching on an artificial light. Switching lights off when you leave the room will also save energy. Consider how much artificial lighting you need. A desk or standard lamp will provide more focused reading light and be cheaper to run than lighting the whole room.
Switch to energy-efficient lighting
Replace old-style incandescent globes with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs). CFLs use around 20% of the energy of an incandescent light globe and can last between 4 and 10 times longer.
Use light-coloured furnishings and reflective surfaces
You can reduce your need for artificial lighting by decorating with light-coloured furnishings and by placing mirrors across from windows.
Did you know? Hot water accounts for about 25% of your household energy use.
Choose energy-efficient systems
Save energy and money by replacing your hot water system with an energy-efficient system and become eligible for rebates.
Appliances can account for up to 30 per cent of your home energy use. As our reliance on appliances increases and energy prices are also on the rise, choosing energy-efficient appliances becomes more important.
Buying energy-efficient appliances
When you replace an existing product, think about buying an energy-efficient appliance that's right for your needs.
Considering energy use in addition to purchase price and product features will save you money and energy as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the product. A lot of new appliances and some electronic equipment have Energy Rating Labels to help you with this.
Depending on your circumstances and where you live, there may be rebates to help you buy more energy-efficient appliances like fridges and washing machines.
The NSW government has recently launched a free smartphone app which enables consumers to estimate the cost of running an appliance in the long term. This will provide the true cost of running the appliances over its lifetime which can often amount to more than the purchase price. More information can be obtained from the 'Running cost calculator' webpage.
Switch off at the wall
Did you know? Standby power can account for 10% of your household electricity use.
By switching appliances and gadgets off at the wall when you're finished with them you will cut both your energy use and your bills.
Get rid of your second fridge
If you've got a second fridge, getting rid of it could save around $155 a year. The fridge can be collected, professionally degassed and the metals recycled through the Fridge Buyback program.
We encourage residents to go solar
Sydney's climate is ideally suited to harnessing energy from the sun and solar technology is becoming increasingly attractive to people because its saves energy and greenhouse gases.
A 2.5 kilowatt solar panel system is considered to power around half of an average householder's energy needs (based on an average household of four people).
Council continues to encourage residents to look at solar energy and in many cases Development Application is not required to install solar panels. Further information on how to install a solar panels in your homes can be found on the Clean Energy Council website.
Links to more energy saving tips
- Your Energy Savings - This federal government website provides residents with information about energy saving, saving money and available government assistance.
- Energy use in your home - This website provides residents with simple energy saving actions, and using power efficiently to save money and protect our environment.
- Reduce your footprint - The website provides a platform for residents to share and explore energy saving actions in your home.