Environment

Saving energy at home

There are loads of tips and tricks to conserving your energy use at home, so you can help the environment and your wallet too!

Saving energy at home is a great way to save money and take action on the climate emergency.

Australian households generate about one fifth of Australia’s carbon emissions, which are causing rapid climate change. Many households are also struggling to pay their power bills. There's so much we can do to use less energy in our homes and reduce our power bills.

Energy saving guide for renters

If you're renting, there's a lot you can do to use less energy in your home and reduce your power bills. Check out our Energy Efficiency tips for Renters. We also give you some handy tips on how to get help if you're struggling to pay your bills.

Our energy efficiency tips for renters are also available in the following community languages:

Language Download information sheet
 English Energy Efficiency tips for Renters
 Arabic

نصائح كفاءة الطاقة للمستأجرين

 Farsi

نکات استفاده بهینه از انرژی برای مستأجران

Vietnamese

Các Gợi ý Tiết kiệm Năng lượng dành cho người thuê nhà

Chinese

租客节能小窍门

Greek

Συμβουλές ενεργειακής απόδοσης για ενοικιαστές 

 Macedonian

Совети за енергетска ефикасност за луѓето што живеат во изнајмени

 

Tips for saving energy at home

The Energy Conservation Hierarchy

1. Minimise energy use – use natural light, passive heating, and passive cooling where possible.

2. Use energy efficiently – choose efficient lighting such as LED and select appliances with a high Energy Star Rating.

3. Choose electric - efficient electric appliances save you money, reduce emissions and are better for your health than gas appliances.

  • This 2021 report from the Climate Council of Australia details the health impacts of gas cooktops and heaters
  • Check out this handy guide from the local Cooper Climate and Environment Reference Group: Make the change to cleaner cheaper energy
  • Use renewable energy – consider installing solar electricity and/or solar hot water, and buy renewable energy or switch to GreenPower.
  • Offset your remaining emissions

The Sustainability Victoria website and this comprehensive EnviroShop resource have plenty of tips about how to save energy at home. If you are looking to build or renovate your home, Your Home has a wealth of information including free 7+ star house designs.

Household energy efficiency toolkits

Household energy efficiency toolkits are now available through Darebin Libraries! Free for Darebin Library members, our kits contain easy-to-use tools to help you work out what’s using the most power in your home, and how you can reduce it. Each kit contains a detailed instruction guide, and our top ten tips for simple ways to improve energy efficiency in your home and save money on your power bills.

There are four kits, one for each library branch, as well as two thermal imaging cameras for loan.

Our libraries team has also put together a great reading list for more information on energy efficiency and how we can all take action on climate change by reducing our household emissions. And keep an eye out for some upcoming info sessions to help you learn more.

So pop into a branch today to borrow a kit, and start reducing your energy use!

Top 10 tips for keeping your home cool

The Australian Energy Foundation website has tips for keeping your home cool and saving money during summer:

  1. Set your temperature wisely
    Set your thermostat to cool to 23-26 degrees in summer. In winter, only heat the house up to 18-20 degrees. Every degree lower or higher can add 10% to your running costs.
  2. Use fans
    Fans cost only $5-$20 per season to run so using them as much as possible helps lower your energy bill.
  3. Shade outdoor unit
    Either have your outdoor air conditioner component installed in a shady place, or protect it from direct sunlight with an awning. This will help it run more efficiently and protect it from overheating.
  4. Maintain regularly
    Use the maintenance schedule contained in your air conditioner’s manual to avoid any issues.
  5. Clean the filter
    Clogged filters make your air conditioner work much harder to produce the same effect; for optimum energy use, clean or replace them every 1-2 months.
  6. Only heat or cool occupied areas
    If no one's in a room, there's little reason to heat or cool it. Room sensors, smart controls, and timers for your aircon/heating can be used or get in the habit of turning it off when you leave.
  7. Keep doors and windows closed
    Keep all doors and windows closed as much as possible. Using thick curtains in rooms with direct sun is also a great way to keep temperatures lower.
  8. Insulate your house
    A fully insulated home compared to a non-insulated home can reduce the cost of heating and cooling a home by around 40 to 50%.
  9. Buy an energy efficient split system air conditioner
    If you have a ducted air conditioner system, you’re spending $100-$300 more — per season — than you need to. Energy-efficient split system air conditioners are not only cheaper to buy and install, but also cheaper to run. Rebates are available if you're replacing an inefficient heater with a split system. 
  10. Go solar
    This is the biggest investment, but also the biggest savings - by far. In fact, it’s not even close: solar systems save their owners 30-60% on their energy bills, and pay for themselves in 3-7 years.

Webinar recording - "Keep cool, save money"

To learn more about how you can keep cool and save money this summer, check out our webinar recording. Our friends at Uniting give practical advice on how to keep your house cool and save on your electricity and gas bills.

Watch the "Keep Cool Save Money" webinar or you can view the slides from the webinar.

Keep cool in Darebin map

Download the "Keep cool in Darebin" Map. This is your guide to where to cool down, get a drink of water and access help on a hot day in Darebin – for free.

For a hardcopy of the map, please email climateemergency@darebin.vic.gov.au.

Keep cool postcards

Download our handy postcard for some great tips on keeping cool in your home.

 

Stay Cool, Save Money Webinar
Tips for saving energy at home