Going Green: 4 Ways to Reduce Emissions and Energy Costs
Reducing the amount of energy your home uses does more than lower your electricity bill, it also reduces the amount of emissions your family is responsible for spreading into the environment. In 2012 alone, Australia was able to reduce roughly 4% of the emissions caused by electricity as a result of Carbon Tax implemented by Prime Minister Gillard. Unfortunately, the Carbon Tax was repealed in 2014, and energy companies continue to be one of the most responsible parties of climate pollution, with roughly 22% of Australia’s emissions stemming from energy suppliers such as Energy Australia and AGL Energy. Today, we’ll take a look at how LED technology, solar panels, and simple household habits can reduce your home’s electrical bill and emissions.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR APPLIANCES
It may be surprising to learn that your household appliances continue to pull energy, even when they’re not being used. Televisions, computers, microwaves, and washing machines are all known for continuing to use energy even in stand-by mode; instead of leaving household appliances in standby mode throughout the day, make it a habit to unplug unused devices. To maximize your energy savings, try purchasing Energy star products. Although Energy Star ratings are not regulated by the Australian government, they have grown into a globally recognized standard designed to inform consumers about the environmental impact each product will have throughout its lifetime. You can learn more about energy star products, regulations, and performance standards here.
HEATING AND COOLING
According to a 2015 study conducted by the Australian government, heating and cooling is responsible for roughly 40% of Australia’s household energy use. Thankfully, Australia’s MEPS (minimum energy performance standards) have reduced the impact of heating and cooling on electrical bills and energy emission. Currently, only air conditioners, building chillers, and close control air conditioners are regulated by the E3 program, however homeowners who are interested in long term savings and emissions reduction should consider improving the insulation in their home and switching to solar powered heating systems. For more information about specific energy efficient systems, learn about sustainable heating and cooling practices here.
IMPROVE YOUR LIGHTING
As one of the staples of household functions, our lighting is responsible for about 12% of household energy consumption. Thankfully, reducing the amount of energy we consume with our lights can be as simple as swapping your existing light bulbs with something more energy efficient. Be warned, however! While CFL bulbs are known for their ability to save energy and reduce emissions, they are manufactured with toxic mercury that is detrimental to the environment. To reduce your energy usage without harming the environment, consider switching to bulbs powered by LED technology.
CHANGE YOUR LAUNDRY HABITS
When you think of electricity, your hot water usage is probably one of the last things to come to mind. If your water heating system is powered by electricity, washing your clothes with warm water can increase the amount of energy you use dramatically. To reduce the amount of energy you consume while doing wash, consider switching to cold water cycles. For long-term savings and emissions reduction, installing a solar-powered water heater is the best option.
Reducing your electrical bill doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, many homeowners have successfully reduced their energy consumption by simply unplugging household appliances when they’re not in use, and switching from hot to cold water for most laundry cycles. If, however, you’re willing to spend a little money to create a more energy efficient house, consider upgrading your home’s electrical supply to solar panels, and adapting your lighting to LED technology. Whichever methods you choose, don’t hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions about energy star products and electrical efficiency along the way.
We offer home energy audits: http://www.tamworthelectrician.com/home-energy-audit