Power saving

Reduce your energy bills – and carbon emissions – by reducing your overall energy use and making your home more energy-efficient

Roof and wall insulation batts are probably the single most effective way to reduce energy bills. Also consider cheap draught excluders for doors.

Internal doors
Adding internal doors allows you to divide your home into smaller spaces that are cheaper to heat and cool than your whole house. (Internal curtains can be a cheaper but less effective way to divide off spaces.)

Prevent heat loss/gain through windows with double-glazing and/or heavy or light-reflecting curtains or blinds. And/or put external shading over a sun-facing window, such as an eyebrow awning or a frame to grown seasonal vines such as grapes.

Electrify everything: cooking
Electric stove-tops, and particularly induction, stoves are much cheaper to run than gas.

You can save energy by making sure you put lids on pots, using a slow cooker or an air fryer instead of an oven and not boiling more water than you actually need.

Electrify everything: hot water
When the time comes, the biggest electricity saving you can make is to replace your gas hot water heating with a heat pump. A heat pump works much like an airconditioner, extracting cool air from the air around it, and is about four times more efficient than a normal electrical hot water system. Rooftop solar hot water is good but you are probably better off installing a heat pump and maximising the number of solar panels you put on your roof instead. 

Look for appliances with high energy-efficiency ratings.

Warm clothes in winter
Thermals, beanies, fleeces, puffer jackets, leggings, hiking or ski socks, etc, will all keep you warm in winter without using any electricity. As will a good doona.

Heating and cooling
Reverse cycle air conditioning is the most energy-efficient form of heating in winter. If you can run it off solar – including through Central Coast PowerShare – it provides zero-emissions cooling in summer (although at night when there is no solar, fans will be cheaper and generate less emissions). Cheap portable electric heaters, while useful in short blasts for small spaces, are a very expensive way to heat your home.

Turn off
Turn off lights, computers, TVs and other devices. Perhaps not as big a deal as a few years ago in the days of incandescent lightbulbs, but every little helps.