Tips to reduce your emissions

There are many ways a typical ACT household can save money by being more energy efficient and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Households can mostly achieve this by reducing the energy used for space heating, cooling and hot water. The ACT Government helps us save money, increase our energy efficiency, and switch to renewable energy in many ways, including through Actsmart. This online sustainability hub is packed with practical and free online tools, services, guides, programs and tips that cover what you can do at home.

Here are some top tips on what you can do, with many actions not costing anything to implement and some very little.

Top tips on heating

  1. Seal doors, windows and exhaust fans to keep in the heat and save up to 25% on your heating bills.
  2. Turn it off when not at home or out of the room.
  3. Turn down your thermostat by 1°C to save up to 10% on your heating bills. Set your thermostat to a maximum of 20°C in winter.
  4. Wrap up with an extra layer of clothing, especially on your feet, to keep warm. This will enable you to keep the thermostat down.

Top tips on cooling

  1. Use a fan instead of an air conditioner.
  2. Stop the sun from hitting your windows with awnings, shade cloth, matchstick blinds or deciduous trees.
  3. Close windows, doors and curtains when it starts getting hot outside.
  4. Open windows, doors and curtains it cools down.

Top tips on hot water

  1. Take shorter showers. We spend around 8 minutes on average in the shower. Halving your shower time could save up to $150* a year. This is calculated based on 2013–14 ActewAGL energy rate of 20.13 cents/kWh (GST included).
  2. Use cold water to do your laundry.
  3. Turn down the dial on your hot water storage tank to 60°C (you might need an electrician to do this) to save up to 10% on heating water.
  4. Turn down your instantaneous hot water system to 50°C.
  5. Replace your old showerhead with a water-efficient one to save up to 50% on your shower costs.

Top tips in the kitchen

  1. Use a thermometer to check that your fridge and freezer is not set too cold. Set fridges between 3˚C and 5˚C and freezers between –15˚C and –18˚C. Every extra degree colder uses 5% more energy.
  2. Keep the fridge door closed. Less opening means less cold air escaping which saves energy.
  3. Check the fridge seals with a piece of paper. If the paper stays firm, your seals are in good order. If the seals are worn you should replace them to avoid wasting significant energy.
  4. Keep a lid on it. Simmering with pot lids on reduces energy use by up to 70%.
  5. Use a microwave where possible. This uses around 80% less energy than your stove.
  6. Check the seals of your oven. Significant heat and energy can be lost due to faulty seals.

Top tips for the laundry

  1. Use cold water for washing.
  2. Dry your washing on a clothes line instead of using the dryer.
  3. Wash with a full load.

Top tips on appliances

  1. Turn off all appliances at the wall.
  2. Get a power board that automatically shuts off connected appliances when you turn off your computer or television.
  3. Use a timer on appliances you want to come on and go off at certain times of the day.
  4. Turn off appliances when not in use or when you’re out of the room.

Top tips on lighting

  1. Open curtains and blinds during the day. Using sunlight helps you save on lights that consumer energy.
  2. Change to energy efficient lighting.
  3. Turn off lights when not needed.
  4. De-lamp by removing one or two bulbs, which often does not affect the quality of light but saves significant energy.

More information on improving your household’s energy efficiency and reducing your consumption and costs: Actsmart.