About Energy Efficiency
What is energy efficiency?
Energy efficiency means using less energy to perform the same task. In a residential context, energy efficiency can equate to improved home comfort. By following a few simple tips, you can keep your home at a more comfortable temperature during peak seasons, and save yourself money on your energy bills in the process - not to mention reducing your greenhouse gas emissions!
Steps to making your home energy efficient
The first step in creating an energy efficient home is to look into your energy usage. Is it higher during one particular season? Or time of day? Which appliances are gas, and which are electric? Are you getting the best deal on your energy bills? Do you understand your energy bill? We know it can be overwhelming to start with, but with the right tools, creating a comfortable and energy efficient home is well within the realms of possibility!
Once you have looked into your energy usage and decided which areas you would like to improve upon, it’s time to start thinking about your appliances. Could your fridge be switched to a different temperature and checked for seal leakage? Do your energy bills skyrocket every time you switch on the heating during winter? Perhaps your old hot water system needs replacing? The good news is that there are fixes to all of these problems, and in some cases significant state or federal rebates to help with the cost.
The third step is to examine your home’s thermal efficiency. When you pump the air conditioner in summer, does the cool air stay in, or does it disappear through cracks under the doors? If you touch your big glass windows in winter, does your hand recoil instantly from the chill? These common problems fall under the banner of thermal efficiency, and the most simple solutions are insulation, draught proofing and window/door retrofits.
If you have completed all of the above and are looking for ways to further your environmental impact, it’s time to start considering energy generation and storage. By installing solar, you can move one step closer to becoming self-sufficient!
Electrify your home
A large part of the journey towards energy efficiency - particularly for homeowners - is electrifying the home. There is no environmentally friendly way to have gas connected to the home, so it becomes more sustainable and cheaper to remove the need for gas altogether. Once all appliances are electric, the gas can be disconnected from the home. Different companies may charge different amounts for this service, so it’s worth shopping around and potentially switching gas companies prior to having the metre abolished.
Heating and cooling, hot water systems, stove-tops and ovens can all be switched to electric, which in addition to being cheaper to operate can also have added health benefits.
Common mistakes and pitfalls
The most common pitfall in the home energy efficiency space is giving up because it all feels too hard. The good news is you don’t need to do everything, and you certainly don’t need to do it all at once. In the words of the late Douglas Adams, don’t panic. Have you switched your shower head to a water saving version? Amazing. Do you understand your electricity bill better than you did yesterday? Fantastic! Are you in the process of switching all of your appliances over from gas to electric? INCREDIBLE! No matter what stage of your journey you’re at, rest easy in the knowledge you’re helping make your home, and life on this planet, more sustainable.