Saving energy

With increasing energy costs and a changing climate, it makes sense to reduce our daily energy use: 

Energy efficiency simply means using less energy to get the same result. You can start by:

  1. Changing your habits - this costs you nothing, but can deliver great savings
  2. Changing your appliances and fixtures - buy energy smart if buying a new appliance 

Energy rebates

For savings on energy use at home and for your business see Energy NSW. 

Video: Trim your energy bills

 

Tips for saving energy around the house

Appliances

Change your behaviour

  • Don’t use the remote to turn off appliances like TVs and DVD players as this only puts them to sleep. Use the power button on the unit instead.
  • Create a ‘recharge station’ for phones, cameras and other hand-held devices. This reduces the chance of accidently leaving the charger on when it's not being used.
  • Turn the computer off instead of leaving it to hibernate all day.

Did you know that cutting out standby power can slash the average household’s energy bill by up to 10%?

Change your appliances

  • Make energy efficiency a top priority when purchasing appliances and equipment.
  • Council has a free electronic waste recycling program. Take your old television, computer monitor and other e-waste to Stotts Resource Recovery Facility and all the parts will be reclaimed, instead of going to landfill.

More information

Calculate your appliance running costs

Search and compare the efficiency of appliances

Heating and cooling

Change your behaviour

  • Every 1°C difference in temperature adds 10% to heating or cooling costs and greenhouse emissions.
  • Use the heater or air-conditioner as a last resort, and use sparingly.
  • Don’t cool below 25°C in summer or heat above 21°C in winter.

Change your fixtures

  • Add extra insulation to walls and ceilings, and keep cooler by using external shading such as eaves, awnings, shutters or trees to reduce heat gain by as much as 80%.

More information

Find out how much energy your heating and cooling appliances use

 

Lighting

Change your behaviour

  • Switch lights off when you're not in the room.

Change your fixtures

  • Install energy saving globes.
  • Minimise the use of down lights. They are energy hungry and hang around in packs. If you already have down lights, reduce the wattage in areas such as hallways and cupboards.

More information

Lighting buyers guide

Refrigeration

Change your behaviour

  • Resist the urge to run a second fridge or freezer. Turn it on for busy holiday periods if necessary.
  • Keep the coils at the back of the fridge clean and well ventilated to improve efficiency.
  • Use water bottles to fill up empty space in your fridge or freezer. More mass in the fridge reduces the amount of cold air escaping when you open the door.

Change your fixtures

  • Consider replacing your old fridge. They can consume twice the energy of a new fridge.

Further information

Search and compare the efficiency of appliances

Check out guidance for buying fridges and freezers

 

Water heating

Change your behaviour

If you have an electric hot water heater, it’s likely that more than 30 per cent of your electricity consumption goes into making hot water. Save money by using less hot water. Installing water-efficient tapware, taking shorter showers and cold washing your clothes are the obvious solutions.

Change your fixtures

  • Replace your old electric hot water system with an energy efficient system that cuts your power bill and your carbon footprint
  • Solar hot water systems use the sun's energy to heat water. Save an average of 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year
  • Hot water heat pumps use a refrigerant which boils at ambient air temperature to generate heat. Saves an average of 2.4 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year

Solar power

  • More than 30% of Tweed households now have solar. 
  • Over 27% of Australia's electricity generation now comes from renewable energy. 

Roof covered with solar panels Benefits of solar panels:

  • lower power bills 
  • better for the environment (cuts up to 60% from the average household's carbon footprint)
  • buy local (helps to keep local people employed)

What you need to know:

The Australian Government's small scale renewable energy scheme can help to reduce your costs - you could get paid for sending power to the grid. 

Video: Solar buyers guide

 

Hybrid or off-grid

  • A hybrid system allows ongoing access to the grid, but ongoing network costs need to be considered.
  • Off-grid systems need to have enough capacity in solar panels and battery storage to provide power during several days of cloud or rain.

Grid connected ‘tariff arbitrage’

This means storing energy from the grid when it's cheap for later use when it's more expensive. This can only be done if you're on a ‘time of use’ electricity tariff, and only with solar and battery storage systems that let you charge your batteries using the grid.

Battery storage

Talk to suppliers with electrical licences and Clean Energy Council accreditations.

See batteries and inverters and battery storage 

Green power

If solar isn't for you, you can switch to green power. Contact your electricity supplier and tell them you want electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind, biomass and hydro.

Electric vehicles

Carbon pollution from fossil fuel use in cars makes up over half of the greenhouse gas emissions from transport. This makes up nearly 19% of NSW's greenhouse gas footprint.

Electric vehicles offer a low pollution solution compared to traditional cars. Despite the extra resources that go into an electric vehicle’s battery, 85% of an electric vehicle’s environmental impact comes from the fuel it uses.

Even grid-powered electric vehicles have a lower carbon footprint than diesel and petrol vehicles. When electric vehicles are powered by GreenPower or solar, they are the best low-impact motorised passenger vehicle available.

Council would like to see more electric vehicle use in the Tweed.

The Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Strategy(PDF, 9MB) outlines opportunities for supporting electric vehicles in the region.