Energy Efficiency in the Home

Saving and reducing energy use in the home has many benefits, including:

  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change
  • Reduces your power bill
  • Contributes to community wellbeing

Small changes to the way we use electricity can make a big difference. Find out how what you can do.

Low cost tips to reduce energy 

Heating and cooling

What you can do to save energy:

  • Open windows and blinds to let in warmth or cool breezes (depending on the season)
  • Close curtains at night
  • Reach for a blanket rather than the heater when you are feeling cold
  • Cover glass windows and doors with curtains and pelmet or blinds to prevent heat transfer
  • Put up signs to remind everyone in the home to turn off heating/cooling system when they leave the house
  • Set timers on heating and cooling systems
  • Set the temperature on your heating system to 18°C - 21°C in winter and cooling to 23°C - 25°C in summer
  • Maintain heating and cooling systems to ensure efficient operation (as per manufacturer’s maintenance instructions).

Fridges and freezers

What you can do to save energy:

  • Turn off additional fridges and freezers when not needed e.g. bar fridges
  • Avoid keeping the door open for long periods of time, to avoid cold air from escaping
  • Position fridges and freezers in a cool, ventilated area out of direct sunlight
  • Ensure air can circulate around all sides of the unit
  • Replace the seals on your fridge and freezer to reduce the stress on the appliance and make it easier to maintain its temperature
  • Use a thermometer to check the fridge temperature is set to 4°C and the freezer temperature is set between -15°C to -18°C (if too cold, more energy is used, while temperatures that are too high allow food poisoning bacteria to grow).

Water heating

What you can do to save energy:

  • Encourage everyone in the home to take shorter showers (less than 4 minutes)
  • Turn down the temperature when you use hot water
  • Don't leave the water running when you are not using it.

Lighting

  • Turn lights off when not in use
  • Install more energy efficient light bulbs e.g. LED 
  • Use natural night where possible.

Standby power

What you can do to save energy:

  • Install a “master/slave” powerboard or timer for computers, equipment and appliances so they switch off completely when not in use
  • Put up signs to remind everyone to switch things like TVs, game machines and phone chargers off at the power point when they’re not being used.

Other way to reduce energy

Install solar

  • Solar hot water systems: Convert an electric storage system to solar with a gas booster; gas instantaneous (6 star); or heat pump system to save hot water heating energy. Consult an accredited professional to find the right system to meet your needs.
  • Solar PV panels: The installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels can provide clean energy during daylight hours. Consider the energy which is used during the day and consult an accredited professional to find the right system to meet your needs. 

Building insulation

Check that insulation is installed in the ceiling (and walls, if applicable).

If there is insulation, ask a licensed insulation installer to check its effectiveness and upgrade your insulation to a higher R-value if required (R-value is a unit of thermal resistance for a particular material or assembly of materials).

Replace low energy efficiency appliances

Consider replacing appliances and white goods that are over 10 years old as modern appliances are more energy efficient.

Look for a high star-rating and the smallest size to meet requirements.

Regularly service appliances to maintain their efficiency.

More information and contact

More information and guidance on reducing energy use in your home is provided through the following documents and links:

Sustainable Living Guide (PDF)

Your Home: The Australian Government's guide to to environmentally sustainable homes

Energy Made Easy: The Australian Government's guide to finding the right energy for your home

Energy Ratings:  Understanding energy rating labels

Energy.gov.au: Advice on reducing energy use and energy rebates available

For more information contact the Environmental Services Team on 9290 6651 or email shire@mundaring.wa.gov.au.