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How to save on your energy bills
Saving energy in the home can be so easy. This booklet shows you how. At a glance, you will see typical running costs for hot water, heating and household appliances. There are lots of handy hints which will make a big difference to your household energy costs. Using less energy also means less pollution and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. So start now and save energy, the environment and hundreds of dollars on energy bills.
The information provided in this publication relates to a ‘typical’ household. Each individual household will vary. The information is intended only to provide guidance to the householder. All costs refer to winter costs, and all costs are quarterly. Bear in mind that winter energy bills are usually higher than summer bills.
• Check Other Fuels and Appliances on page 8 for information on the costs of other heaters and fuels.The living room Costs about $128 per winter quarter (It could cost you over $360 or as little as $52) Space heater* costs $80 a quarter Three 60 watt lamps. • Insulation. sealing out draughts and effective window coverings improve comfort as well as energy efficiency. each energy saving measure will result in bigger energy and money savings.90 a quarter Heated aquarium costs $11 a quarter Video recorder 5 hrs/day costs $7 a quarter Colour TV 8 hrs/day costs $16 a quarter Cat’s heat output worth 60c a quarter * Natural gas. 5 hrs/day costs $8 a quarter Ceiling fan 4hrs/day costs $3 a quarter Stereo 3 hrs/day costs $2. save $7.g. numerous downlights or spotlights) Save up to $40 Save up to $60 $72 $40 $80 $12 $2 $122 $23 And remember: • If your heating bills are higher than those shown here.00 2 . off-peak electric or reverse cycle air conditioning Approximate maximum savings per quarter Approximate extra costs per quarter You could save on these costs if you: Put in ceiling insulation Block off the open fireplace to stop warm air going up the chimney Seal gaps around external doors and windows to stop draughts Prevent heat loss through windows by using heavy drapes fitted with pelmets Keep all doors to unheated areas closed Use the heater on a lower thermostat setting Choose an energy efficient model if installing a gas heater or reverse cycle air conditioner— one that has a 5 or 6 star rating (some are up to 40% cheaper to run) Use a ceiling fan to help distribute heat Regularly maintain the heater Change to more efficient lighting by: • replacing 60 watt globes with compact fluorescent globes You would spend more if you: Leave the heater on 24 hours a day Leave windows open while the heater is on Heat an area twice as large for 8 hours a day Raise the thermostat setting by 1°C Leave curtains open at night Use central heating 8 hours a day (to heat the entire house) Use more lighting (e.
The kitchen Costs about $75 per winter quarter (It could cost you over $140 or as little as $40) Electric kettle 5 times/day costs $6 a quarter Automatic toaster costs $1. such as: $5.00 And remember: • When purchasing a refrigerator.00 $5.00 Are careless about refrigerator use and maintenance.00 $6. washing machine or air conditioner. dryer. The more stars. $2.00 3 3 . • Costs of other kitchen appliances are included in Other fuels and appliances on page 10. dishwasher.00 Install a freezer (however bulk buying of food could save you more than the extra cost of running the freezer) $22.00 You would spend more if you: Use a non energy-efficient 1 star rating refrigerator $5.50 a quarter Fan and light in rangehood costs $3 a quarter Three 75 watt lights for 3 hrs/day costs $6 a quarter Each sink of hot water costs about 4c Regular washing up costs $8 a quarter Microwave oven used for 10% of cooking needs costs $2 a quarter Two-door cyclic-defrost refrigerator costs $18 a quarter Gas cooker costs $20 a quarter Dishwasher with hot water connection costs $9 a quarter Radiator 1 hr/day costs $9 a quarter Approximate maximum savings per quarter Approximate extra costs per quarter You could save on these costs if you: Use an energy-efficient 5 star rating refrigerator Replace spot lights with compact fluorescent globes Use energy efficient cooking methods: • minimum grilling • minimum water in pots • lids on pots • simmer instead of boil Use the microwave whenever possible $6.00 $5. check the energy rating label and save yourself hundreds of dollars on energy costs over the lifetime of the appliance. freezer.00 $3.00 • restricting ventilation around refrigerator coils • poorly fitting door seals • leaving door open unnecessarily Have an older model gas cooker with a pilot light Use an electric cooker (non-microwave) Allow the hot tap to drip (at 30 drips a minute) Leave lights on for an extra 3 hours a day Rinse dishes under running hot water and frequently use small amounts of hot water from the tap $8.00 $5.00 $20. the more energy efficient.
50 Replace conventional globes with compact fluorescent globes $0.00 $2.70 Run the dryer on medium instead of high $2.00/person $5.50 $6.50 Use a heated towel rail $29.00 Use an energy efficient 5 star rating clothes dryer $2.00 $2.00/person Use more bath water $4.00 Use an energy efficient 5 star rating washing machine $2.50/person Leave hot water running while washing $2.50/person Approximate extra costs per quarter You would spend more if you: Take long showers $12.60 a quarter Hair dryer.60 Approximate extra costs per quarter You could save on these costs if you: Fit an AAA rated shower head Take 3 minute showers instead of baths $3.00 (depends on wattage) Use a spa or sauna $49.00 .00 You would spend more if you: Use hot water for machine washing all the time Use a lot of hot water in the trough Use the washer when it’s not fully loaded Use a non-energy efficient 1 star rating washing machine Use a non-energy efficient 1 star rating clothes dryer 4 $3.00 Use a clothes line or drying racks instead of a dryer $18.50 a quarter Washing machine used daily on warm cycle costs $7 a quarter Iron daily use costs $3 a quarter Approximate maximum savings per quarter Approximate maximum savings per quarter You could save on these costs if you: Use cold water for machine washing $2.00 Leave a hot water tap dripping $2.The laundry and bathroom Costs about $68 per winter quarter (Could cost you over $212 or as little as $28) Open window when the dryer is running to get rid of moisture One light 1 hour a day costs 75c a quarter Hot water trough costs $5 per quarter Exhaust fan (good at getting rid of moisture) costs 20c a quarter One light 1 hr/day costs 70c a quarter Electric strip heater 1/2 hour/day costs $4.50 Use ‘suds save’ to reuse washing water $0.00 $2. electric shaver cost $4 a quarter Clothes dryer used 3 times a week at 25c a load Costs $18 a quarter Hot water (basin) costs $2 a quarter Three 3 minute showers a day costs $15 a quarter One bath a day costs $7.
00 a quarter Electric clock costs 50c a quarter Desk lamp 2 hrs/night costs 40c a quarter Home computer used 10 hrs/week Cost $12.00 $43.5 hrs/night costs $3 a quarter Cassette radio costs $1. or take it to an electrical appliance repair centre.60 a quarter Single electric blankets cost $1 each a quarter Fan heater 3 hrs/night on medium setting costs $40 a quarter Double electric blanket costs $2 a quarter Approximate maximum savings per quarter Approximate extra costs per quarter You could save on these costs if you: Switch off the lights as you leave each room $3.00 $6. all night on low setting Used the home computer for 4 hours every night $10.00 $23.The bedrooms Costs about $39 per winter quarter (They could cost you over $146 or as little as $20) Three lights 1. e. And remember • Electric blankets should be inspected for safety at the start of each winter.00 Insulate and seal out draughts $13.00 You would spend more if you: Had a heated waterbed Left the lights on for long periods Used the heater for long periods.g. Contact a registered electrical contractor or your local electricity distribution business for further advice. Contact the manufacturer directly. These switches will cut off (or ‘trip’) power to a circuit if there is an electrical fault or leak.00 a quarter Light 3 hrs/night costs $2. 5 .00 And remember: • Protect your family and your home from electrical accidents by installing safety switches in the home.
00 a quarter Electric lawn mower used 1/2 hr/week costs $1 a quarter Approximate maximum savings per quarter Approximate extra costs per quarter You could save on these costs if you: Turn off the drinks fridge except when many visitors are expected $13. 3800 kms at 12.00 Use the car less and use alternatives such as walking. Use local shops.The garage/workshop Costs about $17 per winter per quarter Car fuel costs them about $269 per quarter (These could cost you over $718 or as little as $39) Car fuel 6 cylinder family car. instead of distant ones up to $182 or Change to a more fuel-efficient car $141 Have the car converted to LPG $178 Drive smoothly with the flow of traffic $27 Drive at 90 km/hr when cruising 10% of instead of at 100 km/hr country fuel costs You would spend more if you: Run a large home workshop with heavy equipment $44 Own a thirstier-than-average car $98 Drive above-average distances or $72 per use two cars extra 1000 km Leave a roof rack on the car all the time $27 Leave extra weight in the car all the time $7 per 100 kg Use the choke excessively $27 Drive on under-inflated tyres $14 Drive a badly tuned car $14 – $25 6 6 . cycling and public transport.5 litres/100 km costs about $269 a quarter Light costs 40c a quarter Drinks refrigerator costs $15 a quarter Beer. 1 can a day costs $75 a quarter Bike used 1 hr/day costs nothing! Power tools cost $1. cinemas etc.
Compare these costs with the lists showing how you could save and how you would spend more and you will see how you can make savings on energy costs. • Natural gas space heaters. Space heating The cost to heat the average living room is $80 per quarter.0 to 4.Other fuels and appliances For each room in our room-by-room guide we have made the running cost calculations using the most common types of electric and gas appliances. depending on the price of kerosene (so multiply the cost by 2. But what if you use other fuels or other appliances? The information on the following pages should help you work out your likely costs over the winter quarter. off-peak electric storage heaters and high efficiency (4 – 6 star rated) reverse cycle air conditioners have similar running costs to this figure. • An open fire provides heat at about eight times the cost (so multiply by 8.0). • Lower efficiency (1 – 3 star rated) reverse cycle air conditioners. For wood bought at $160 per tonne 7 . and pot belly wood heaters. space heaters using LPG and slow combustion wood heaters cost about 50% more (so multiply this cost by 1.0). supply heat at approximately 3 times this cost (multiply the cost by 3. • Heating oil and LPG space heating is about double this cost (multiply by 2. You may need to refer to the room-byroom guide to make cost comparisons. • Portable kerosene heaters supply heat at two to four times this cost.5). • Portable and fixed electric heaters which run on the day rate tariff.0).0).
Other factors Although running costs of heaters are important. • Sleeping or formal living areas often do not need to be heated to the same temperature. • If. and hydronic heating with radiators using natural gas also costs around twice this amount. as informal living areas. • Natural gas ducted heating using a high efficiency (4 – 6 stars) furnace. • Natural gas ducted heating using a standard efficiency furnace (1 – 3 stars). a portable heater may be a more practical alternative than a fixed space heater. depending on the temperature set. • Ducted or hydronic heating using LPG costs around four times this amount. the length of time a system is on for. Radiant heating is especially useful in bathrooms.Central heating Using a space heater to heat a typical living room costs approximately $98 per quarter. In a large draughty room a radiant heater which warms you directly will be more effective and economical than a fan type heater which tends to heat the air before the person. In such areas. other factors can affect the overall cost of heating. 8 . • Remember. look for one which can be ‘zoned’ to heat different areas of your home at different times. • In-slab heating (electric or hydronic) costs around twice this amount. If central heating is used to heat an entire house. costs would increase. for instance. This can easily halve your central heating costs. If you are considering purchasing a central heating system. central heating costs vary widely. the purchase cost of your heater could be far more than the running costs. electric radiant ceiling heating and ducted reverse cycle air conditioning cost around three times this amount. and the efficiency of the model. you have an area that is heated only for short periods. • Different types of heaters provide comfort in different ways. if kept at about 18°C. the area heated. or at the same time.
• A solar hot water system will reduce annual costs on average by 50%* saving an average family up to $150 a year. they are more economical to run than an electric or gas stove. • a ducted evaporative system to cool the whole house will cost up to $36 a quarter. Using a microwave for most of their cooking saves Brian and Katherina’s over $5 a quarter. • For a smaller household the cost would be $12 while for a larger household the cost would be closer to $20. These include: Quarterly cost • • • • • Swimming pool filter pump up to $55 Swimming pool heater (natural gas-fuelled) up to $325 Sauna up to $55 Spa $165 100 watt security light left on 16 hours a day $14 9 . and • a ducted refrigerative system will cost around $100 a quarter. • Conventional electric cooking costs over double (multiply the cost by 2.5 times the cost of off-peak electric hot water (so multiply the cost by 2.5).85).5). • However. * In northern NSW. Appliances that hit the hip pocket Some other seemingly innocent appliances can have surprisingly large effects on energy bills. Cooling The cost to cool a typical living room with a fan is $3.5). • High efficiency natural gas continuous flow or instantaneous hot water is cheaper to run (multiply the above cost by 0. this saving can be up to 80% Cooking The average cost for cooking is $15 per quarter.5 times the cost of the standard gas or off-peak units (so multiply the cost by 2. electric frying pans and deep fryers cost about 15 cents an hour.Other fuels and appliances Hot water The average hot water cost is $60 per quarter. • LPG cooking costs over twice that of natural gas (multiply the cost by 2. • High efficiency natural gas storage hot water systems and electric off-peak systems are similar in running cost to the above figure. • LPG hot water is up to 2. Used for 4 hours a day on hot days: • refrigerated air conditioning will cost around $36 per quarter while an evaporative cooler will cost $12-15 This will be better suited to western NSW.00 per quarter. • Peak tariff electric hot water systems (instantaneous and continual reheat) are about 2. When used for short periods.5).
This equates to significant savings on running costs every year.energyrating. They can be found on all: • • • • • • • • Refrigerators and freezers Dishwashers Air conditioners Gas space heaters Gas ducted heating furnaces Gas hot water services Clothes dryers Washing machines For more information.gov. The more stars you see the more efficient the appliance and less energy it uses.au 10 .Buying a new appliance? You can save energy. money and our environment Look for an energy rating label Energy rating labels will help you to buy an energy-efficient model which could save you hundreds of dollars over the lifetime of the appliance. Every energy rating label has from 1 – 6 stars marked on it. visit www.
cooking or transport. petroleum and natural gas produce CO2 (carbon dioxide) when burnt to provide us with useful energy. whether for heating. This is equivalent to the combined weight of 210 000 jumbo jets. What you can do Here are some things you can do to help reduce CO2 emissions. • Turn off the heater at night before you go to bed (save 600 kg CO2 per quarter) • Use a microwave for most of your cooking needs (save 810 kg CO2 per quarter) • Use a clothes line rather than a dryer (save 260 kg CO2 per quarter) • Drive smoothly with the flow of traffic (save 140 kg CO2 per quarter) Any fossil fuel based energy you save will help reduce the greenhouse effect. By wasting energy in our daily activities we contribute unnecessary quantities of CO2 to the atmosphere. or about 18 tonnes for every person in the State.The greenhouse effect How saving energy helps reduce the greenhouse effect Almost all of the energy we use. contributes to the greenhouse effect. NSW contributes over 80 million tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere per year. Energy sources such as coal. Sun Troposphere Some heat radiation escapes but gases trap the rest Inc om so ing lar rad iat ion Earth Water vapour Methane Nitrous oxide Carbon dioxide CFC’s Halons Ozone Many sources Cattle Paddyfields Gas distribution losses Fertiliser Fossil fuels Coal Oil Petrol Gas Aerosols Fire extinguishers Refrigerations Household cleaners Electrical equipment 11 .
au The information printed in this brochure was derived from various sources and was believed to be correct when published.gov.The Energy Smart Information Centre is a free advisory service provided by the NSW Government. . insulation. Printed on 100% Australian made recycled paper.energysmart. or (02) 9249 6125 Facsimile (02) 9290 3483 Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sydney PO Box N442.au Energy Smart Information Centre Sustainable Energy Development Authority Level 6. www.au www.nsw. 45 Clarence Street. NSW 1220 Telephone 1300 138 638.gov. choosing heating and cooling systems. appliance selection.com. Grosvenor Place. lighting and water saving devices. solar and wind power systems.seda. Energy experts can provide information on a wide range of topics including Energy Smart design for new homes and renovations. March 2002.
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