Saving energy at home

Energy efficiency means using less energy for the same result and can be achieved by both changing your everyday habits or upgrading your appliances and fixtures (such as hot water heaters). As the price of electricity increases, saving energy at home is even more important.

Saving energy is also key to reducing pollution from fossil fuels. Use of electricity generated from coal and gas is the largest source of carbon emissions in the Tweed. Installing energy efficient appliances and changing your usage patterns can help you trim your energy bills and reduce your impact on the planet.

Top tips for saving energy Appliances and fixtures Energy calculators Find a rebate

Top tips for saving energy

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  • Set your air conditioning thermostat 21°C or below in winter and 25°C or above in summer.
  • Turn off appliances at the wall when not needed.
  • Shorter showers = less hot water heating.
  • When it’s time to replace appliances and fixtures, choose energy efficient alternatives.
  • Calculate your carbon footprint, or sign up to a program to help you make small lifestyle changes with apps such as:

Appliances and fixtures

Saving money, increasing efficiency and reducing your carbon footprint can be achieved by changing your everyday habits. Increase efficiency in your home by upgrading fixtures and appliances to more efficient alternatives.

Below are some of the priority areas with the potential to save the most money:

Water heating

If you have an electric hot water heater, it’s likely that more than 30% of your electricity consumption goes into making hot water, so this is your biggest opportunity to reduce your energy bills.

Change your habits

  • Save money by using less hot water – take shorter showers and cold wash your clothes.

Reducing your 10-minute shower to 6 minutes could save a family of 4 more than $1,500 per year.*

Water efficient tapware saves the average household $175 per year: 65% from avoided water heating and 35% from reduced water bills.

*Based on flow rate of 12 litres per minute, water heated to 40°C.

Upgrade your fixtures

  • Water-efficient tapware can help you save hot water.
  • Replace your old electric hot water system with an energy efficient system.
  • Solar hot water systems use the sun’s energy to heat water. Save an average of 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
  • Hot water heat pumps use a refrigerant which boils at ambient air temperature to generate heat. Saves power and an average of 2.4 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

Appliances

Change your habits

  • Turn appliances off at the wall, or on the unit themselves. TVs and DVDs can use energy while in standby mode.
  • Turn your computer off instead of hibernating or sleep mode.

Did you know that turning off standby power can cut the average household’s energy bill by up to 10%?

Upgrade your fixtures

  • Choose the most energy efficient models when purchasing or replacing appliances and equipment.
  • Recycle your e-waste –old TVs and computer monitors can be dropped off to Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre for free.

Heating and cooling

Change your habits

  • Set your air conditioning thermostat 25°C or above in summer, or 21°C or below in winter.
  • Use the air conditioner or heater sparingly, where possible.
  • Close internal doors and only heat or cool your most used areas.

Every 1°C increase or decrease in temperature settings on your unit adds 10% to heating or cooling costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Upgrade your fixtures

  • Improve your home's insulation.
  • Use external shading such as trees, eaves, awnings or shutters to reduce heat gain by as much as 80%.

Find out how much energy your heating and cooling appliances use

Lighting

Lighting accounts for approximately 10% of an average household’s electricity budget. LEDs use much less energy to provide the same amount of light as other forms of lighting.

Change your habits

  • Switch off lights when you leave the room.
  • Minimise the use of down lights or use lower wattage bulbs where possible to reduce energy consumption.

Upgrade your fixtures

  • Replace incandescent and halogen lights with LED lighting.
  • Use sensors to turn off lighting when a room is empty or lighting is sufficient.
  • Consider skylights to increase natural light (well insulated).

LED lights may be more expensive to purchase, but last much longer, at a lower cost per year. LEDs use about 75% less energy than halogen lightbulbs and last 5 to 10 times longer.

Lighting buyers guide

The NSW government provides rebates to replace old lights with new LED lights.

Refrigeration

Change your habits

  • Avoid using a second fridge or freezer as these consume lots of additional energy. Consider only using during holiday or celebration periods if necessary.
  • Keep the coils at the back of the fridge clean and well-ventilated to improve efficiency.
  • Don’t over or underfill your fridge.
  • Frozen water bottles in your freezer can prevent excess cold air escaping when you open the door.
  • Find the right temperature settings to save energy and prevent food wastage. 

Upgrade your fixtures

  • When it’s time to replace an appliance, use energy ratings to choose an efficient model.
  • Old fridges can consume twice the energy of a new fridge.

More efficient appliances are usually more expensive to purchase, but often work out cheaper in the long run due to the energy saved.

Choice guide to fridge and freezer temperature settings

Guidance for buying fridges and freezers

Energy calculators

The Energy Rating Calculator allows you to compare estimated running costs and star ratings for common household appliances. Find and compare energy efficient appliances.

Find and compare energy companies and plans on the Energy Made Easy website.

Find out your carbon footprint, emissions, water or waste consumption on the Climate Action Australia website.

Visit Council’s waste, water and transport pages for more ideas to reduce your emissions footprint.

Find a rebate

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The NSW Government offer a range of rebates to support households and businesses in energy bill relief, adopting renewable energy, installing more energy efficient appliances and infrastructure to support electric vehicle use.

Tweed Shire Council offers rebates for water efficient showerhead and tapware, and reusable nappies.