Energy Saving Tips
Five Simple Steps to Save 10% of Your Home Electricity Use
· The air-conditioner uses the bulk of the electricity in a home. A fan uses less than 1/10th the electricity used by an air-conditioner! Use a fan instead of an air-conditioner to keep cool. Save about $55 a month or about $665 a year.
· The lower the temperature setting, the more energy used by your air-conditioner. If you use an air-conditioner, set the temperature at about 25oC. For every degree raised, save about $20 a year*.
· Switch off home appliances at the power socket. Standby power can account for up to 10% of your home electricity use. Do not leave them on standby. Save about $55 a year*.
· Choose energy efficient light bulbs (e.g. compact fluorescent lamps). Using a compact fluorescent lamp (9W) instead of an incandescent bulb (40W) can save about $15 per bulb per year*.
· Choose an energy-efficient appliance (e.g. air-conditioner. refrigerator) by checking the energy labels. A 4-tick air-conditioner saves you about $355 in electricity bills a year compared to a 1-tick model, and a 4-tick refrigerator saves you about $100 a year over a 1-tick model*. To find energy labeled appliances, check out the database of registered goods.
More Energy Saving Tips
· Close curtains or blinds over windows during the hottest part of the day, or use solar window film, especially for west-facing windows, to keep the house cool.
· Consider putting dividers or partitions so that you cool a smaller, more targeted space. The larger the space to be air-conditioned, the more energy needed to cool it.
· Run the air-conditioner about an hour before bed and switch to a fan after that. Save about $555 a year.
· Turn off the air-conditioner half an hour earlier using a timer. Save about $45 a year.
· Check the air-conditioner air filter once a month and clean or replace it as necessary so that it runs efficiently. Dirty air filters impede airflow.
· Service your air-conditioning units regularly. Besides the air filters, the condition of other components of an air-conditioning unit (such as the refrigerant, pipes and motors) also affects its efficiency.
· Avoid using appliances that expel heat (e.g. bar fridge) in an air-conditioned room.
· Adjust the thermostat in the refrigerator to the recommended setting. Overcooling your refrigerator wastes electricity.
· Allow hot food to cool before putting it in the fridge.
· Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator.Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
· Do not overload the refrigerator to ensure the cold air can circulate freely. Too many items block air circulation and reduce cooling capabilities.
· Do not leave refrigerator door open longer than necessary. Decide what you want before opening the refrigerator door.
· Make sure the door shuts tightly. Test by closing the door over a piece of paper so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper out easily, the hinge may need adjustment or the seal may need replacing.
· Place the refrigerator away from heat sources such as direct sunlight, cookers and the oven.
· Allow some space around the fridge (e.g. 5 centimetres or as recommended by the manufacturer) to allow heat to escape from the compressor and condensing coil.
· Switch off the refrigerator when cleaning it to save electricity.
· Make the most of the natural light available. Use light-colored, loose-weave curtains on your windows to allow daylight to penetrate the room while preserving privacy.
· Use lighter colours in areas where you want to be bright, as lighter colours reflect light.
· Use light dimmers whenever possible.
· Switch the lights off when you leave the room.
· Keep the room's light low when watching television. This saves electricity and also cuts annoying glare from your TV screen.
· Dust or clean lamps and fixtures regularly. Dust on lamps and reflectors mean less light and less energy efficiency.
· Switch off the computer completely when not in use for long periods e.g. more than 30 minutes). Leaving a desktop (300W) on every day for 8 hours (e.g. overnight) will cost about $15 a month.
· Enable your computer's energy-saving features, such as switching to hibernation mode after a certain amount of time. Here is a guide to enabling the energy-saving features on your computer.
· Switch off the TV set when no one is watching.
· If you have an instantaneous water heater, switch it on before you shower and turn it off after use.
· If you have a storage water heater, switch it on about 20 minutes before taking a bath, and switch it off after use. Leaving it on for too much time wastes energy.
· Wash with a full load.
· Wash clothes in cold water. It is not really necessary to use the water heater function in our washing machines as our water is warm enough for the wash to be effective.
· Fabric conditioner reduces creases which means less ironing time.
· Air-dry your clothes rather than use a clothes dryer.
· Start with items which need lower temperatures and avoid heating and re-heating the iron.
· Turn off iron and use residual heat for delicate items.
· Boil water only when needed or consider using a thermo-flask to keep hot water.
· Do not boil more water than you need.
· Cover your pots while cooking. Covered food cooks faster.
· Match the size of the pot with the size of the burner as the energy is lost when the heating element is larger than the pot you are using.
· Turn electric hotplates off before the food is fully cooked, as the remaining heat can complete the cooking.
· Avoid opening the oven door while cooking.
· Thermal cooking pots significantly cut down energy used for cooking. The ingredients need only be brought to a boil (up to ten minutes) before being placed in the insulated thermal pot. The retained heat will cook the food without additional heat input from the stove. A meal normally requiring an hour’s worth of cooking can use 80% less energy.
· Pressure cookers consume less energy and cook much faster. By cooking food at a higher temperature and pressure, a pressure cooker can save up to two-thirds in cooking time and energy use can be cut by 50-75% compared to conventional methods.