Energy Consumption in Your Home

There is plenty of talk in the media about an increase in electricity pricing.  The Courier Mail, 2016 states “analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals that the cost of turning on the lights has surged by 151 percent during a decade”.  Energy Action, 2016 states “the Energy Action Price Index shows us that since mid 2014 the price for electricity excluding network charges, renewable certificate costs and other non-energy related items has gone up in every state”. ABC News, 2016 highlights a “price hike of more than 10 percent this year” and Southburnett.com.au, 2016 details “electricity prices will rise by an average 2.8 percent for residential consumers and 11.2 percent for small business”.

Given this, what are the most effective ways to minimise your energy consumption and therefore electricity bill around the house? Australian Government: Yourhome, 2013 suggests that 73% of energy users in an average residential house are Heating & Cooling and Appliances.

  • Heating and Cooling: Australian Government: Yourhome, 2013 suggests heating and cooling forms 40% of residential household energy bills “making it the largest energy user in the average Australian home”.  Choice, 2014 suggests turning on the air conditioner early. This is a great option and can reduce running costs significantly. “If you expect a hot day, pre-empt the heat rather than waiting until your home is already hot (similarly, start heating early when expecting a cold day)” (Choice, 2014). A comfortable temperature within the house is 24°C to 25°C (Choice, 2014). At this temperature, the air conditioner requires minimal effort to maintain a consistent temperature, therefore reducing its energy consumption. Choice, 2014 mentions “each 1°C increase will save about 10% on your energy usage”.
  • Appliances: Australian Government: Yourhome, 2013 suggests appliances form 33% of residential household energy bills. Choice, 2014 recommends unplugging your appliances when they’re not in use and refer to ‘standby’ mode. Most people are not aware that “your TV, computer, microwave and even some washing machines have a standby mode, which means they’re still using energy even when they’re not in use” (Choice, 2014). Whilst this may seem like saving a small amount, a few hours saved per day multiplied by a number of appliances multiplied by your quarter year billing period will add up quite quickly.

Choice, 2014 also recommend selecting appliances with a good energy rating stating “the more stars, the better”. Further to this, before purchasing your appliance do some research and ensure you do not buy more (or bigger) than what you need. Will you be making the most out of the energy consumed on that item?

Front-loader washing machines will save you money over time (Choice, 2014) and using the cold wash cycle or considering the shorter wash cycle will reduce your energy consumption further.

One final simple step is to confirm your energy provider's rate is competitive in the current market. Not all energy providers offer the same rates for supply and just like health insurance, there are several options when choosing energy providers (peak times and usage packages), which can be quite daunting. A quick and simple check can be completed by using one of the following energy comparison websites:

If you would like someone to review your current household energy consumption and provide any suggestions to reduce your current energy consumption JC Engineers would like to hear from you.

References

ABC News, 2016. Queensland farmers angry at substantial electricity price hike. [Online] 

Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-01/power-price-hike-for-qld-farmers/7467834?pfmredir=sm [Accessed 19 January 2017].

Australian Government: Yourhome, 2013. Energy. [Online] 

Available at: http://www.yourhome.gov.au/energy [Accessed 19 January 2017].

Choice, 2014. Five ways to reduce your household's energy use. [Online] 

Available at: https://www.choice.com.au/home-improvement/energy-saving/reducing-your-carbon-footprint/articles/five-ways-to-reduce-your-households-energy-use [Accessed 19 January 2017].

Energy Action, 2016. What is happening to the electricity price in Queensland?. [Online] 

Available at: http://www.energyaction.com.au/news/industry-news/2016/06/27/what-is-happening-to-the-electricity-price-in-queensland [Accessed 19 January 2017].

Southburnett.com.au, 2016. Electricity Price Rise Worse Than Forecast. [Online] 

Available at: http://southburnett.com.au/news2/2016/05/electricity-price-rise-worse-than-forecast/ [Accessed 19 January 2017].

The Courier Mail, 2016. Queensland electricity prices surge 151 percent. [Online] 

Available at: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-electricity-prices-surge-151-per-cent/news-story/0ab85f361b221d079eafa5f81439e971 [Accessed 19 January 2017].

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