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Spring

Energy and water saving actions

A woman and a child hanging washing on the line to dry in the sun

©iStockphoto.com

As summer approaches, our water and electricity usage can rise along with the temperature as we try to keep cool and keep the garden alive. Here's a handy list of household actions that will help keep your appliances running at their best and reduce bills.

  • Check the filter on your air conditioner and clean to manufacturer's instructions to keep it working more efficiently—it will use less energy and save you money. Dust ceiling fans before turning them on to avoid spreading dust around the house.
  • Check the thermostat on your storage hot water system to ensure it’s set to above 60°C to prevent growth of harmful bacteria. Don't overheat the water as this wastes energy. Set instantaneous hot water systems to no more than 50°C. Insulate pipes to limit heat loss.
  • Take shorter, cooler showers where possible to save on water and energy. You can install a simple timer to act as a handy reminder for your household.
  • Wash clothes in cold water on the eco setting if your washing machine has one. Washing in hot water uses between 50 and 85% more energy depending on whether you have a front loader or top loader.
  • If you're interested in further savings take a fresh look at alternative energy sources and suppliers. Investigate the electricity and gas market offers in your area and consider solar or heat pump hot water systems if you're thinking of upgrading your hot water system.
  • For a simple water-saving action, capture greywater from sources like your shower, bath or washing machine for use on the garden.
  • Switch to drying your clothing on the line or a clothes rack if you've been using a dryer over the cooler months. This can add up to significant savings.
  • Run your fridge efficiently. Clean and defrost your fridge and ensure it is set to the right temperature—between 3 and 4°C for the fridge, and minus 15 to minus 18°C for the freezer. Running your fridge too cold uses excess energy, costs more to run and will mean your fridge may not last as long. Avoid turning on second fridges unless needed and consider getting rid of additional fridges and freezers to save money and energy.

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