Monthly Archives: February 2016

Sustainable living

Tips For Sustainable Living

The following tips will help you improve your home’s energy efficiency thus reducing your electricity, gas and water bills. Talk with your family or housemates about the sustainable living tips contained in this guide and come up with an action plan for what you can do.

Switch to GreenPower 
If you want to make that extra effort for the environment then one of the easiest ways is to simply choose the GreenPower option from your electricity retailer. Accredited GreenPower is electricity generated from clean, renewable energy sources. This can be more expensive so do some research and work out if you can afford it.

Look for energy efficient appliances
Look for the Energy Rating Label when purchasing household appliances. The label gives the appliances a star rating between 1 and 10 stars. The greater the number of stars the higher the efficiency.  The Energy Rating Label scheme compares the energy consumption of electrical products. The star ratings of all labelled products and appliances
are also available on the Energy Rating website,

The Energy Rating App
Download the Energy Rating App to find the running costs of your household appliances anytime or anywhere. Use the following links depending on the device you own:

  • iPhone users: Download the app from the App Store
  • Android users: Download the app from Google Play
  • BlackBerry users: Download the app from BlackBerry World
  • Windows Phone users: Access the web app

Switch off lights when not in use and change to energy efficient light bulbs; this will help reduce your power bills. Let in natural light! Natural lighting is free so make the most of it. Open blinds and curtains to let in natural light rather than turning on lights. Remember to close them at the end of the day to retain the heat in the house.

Replace inefficient light bulbs
Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents lights (CFLs) or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Both CFLs and LEDs are cheap to run – they can reduce running costs by 75–90% respectively – and they last much longer than incandescent bulbs. Despite their higher shelf price, LEDs are generally more efficient than CFLs and can last for up to 50,000 hours.  If your house is full of energy-hungry halogen downlights, replace them with good
quality LED bulbs. Halogen downlights are the most inefficient type of lighting, with up to 90% of the energy used in the globe lost to heat.

Heating and cooling
Heating and cooling are the largest energy consuming activities in a home, but it doesn’t take much to reduce their impact. A cold timber, concrete or tiled floor can make you feel cold from the feet up. In winter, use rugs on these surfaces so they feel warm underfoot. Remove them in summer so the floor does feel cool.

Use air-conditioning wisely
Changing the setting on your air-conditioner by just 1°C can reduce energy use by 10%. In winter, set the heater to a maximum of 20°C and in summer set your air-conditioner to a minimum of 26°C. If your heater is in a draughty area then stop those draughts. Ensure air-conditioner filters are cleaned regularly. If the filters are clogged the fan uses more
energy and air flow is reduced, reducing efficiency.

Use fans
Consider getting pedestal fans so you don’t have to use the air-conditioner in summer.  If you have ceiling fans, use them in summer to keep air moving against the skin.  In winter reverse-use them to help circulate warm air that may sit at the top of the ceiling, but only have them on a slow setting as any movement of air will feel cold on the skin.