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Get energised for efficiency this winter

Whether you want to save a few dollars or help the environment, there are simple steps you can take at home to reduce your winter energy use.

The City of Adelaide recently co-presented a Living Smart course for local residents keen to live a little lighter on the planet. With Adelaide apartment interest being fuelled by initiatives like Council’s ‘Free Rates for Five Years’ owner-occupier rebate, ways to live sustainably in these properties took centre stage.

“The challenge for people living in apartments, especially renters, is they often have little control of the energy use throughout the building,” said Lynda Curtis, who facilitated the course.

“Getting to know the strata manager and committee members can be a good pathway to having your say on how energy is managed. You may even be able to encourage the installation of a solar system.”

Apartment exterior
Think smart about energy-saving in your apartment

What you can control is what happens inside your space.

“Draft proofing your apartment is a smart first step,” said Lynda. “Door seals or draft stoppers are cheap, easy to install and reduce the need for heating. If you’re renting and notice window seals have weathered, talk to your landlord about fixing them.”

Other energy saving actions work well wherever you live. Try these tips this winter.

Heater controlSet the sweet spot
Space heating should be set between 18-21C. Every degree higher adds an extra 5 to 10 per cent to your heating costs.

Choose LED
Up to 80 per cent of lighting costs can be saved by swapping incandescent and halogen lights with LEDs.

Spring cleaning

Only heat what you need
When you flick on the heater, close doors to other rooms and windows to keep heat in. This will reduce the area needing heating and therefore the energy consumption of the unit.

Window curtainEmbrace the sun
Open curtains or shading devices on north-facing windows during the day. Letting the sun in will heat the space for free.

Tunring off light switchSwitch off
Appliances can account for up to a third of your energy use. Switch them off at the wall when not needed, or use a smart power board. The same applies for lighting.

Rug up
Sounds obvious, but how many times do you turn the heater on before you pull on a warm jumper or throw a blanket over your knees?

To register your interest in upcoming courses, email

The recent Adelaide Living Smart course was supported by the City of Adelaide and the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board


Setting the pace for a cleaner city

From financial assistance through its Sustainability Incentives Scheme to installing 40 electric vehicle charging points across the CBD to encourage zero emission transport, Council is committed to helping the city community reduce its environmental footprint – and the movement to make a difference is growing.

The Carbon Neutral Adelaide Partners Program was set up by the City of Adelaide and the State Government of South Australia to cultivate a network of people who share the aspiration for Adelaide to become the world’s first carbon neutral city. Over a thousand individuals and 140 city business and community organisations have already signed up, signalling their commitment to taking meaningful action to reduce carbon emissions. Another 58 organisations are in the CitySwitch Green Office program, which supports commercial office tenants and office-based businesses to operate more sustainably.

The city park celebrating culture and cricket

For its part, the City of Adelaide has set its own green goal: for Council’s corporate operations to have zero net carbon emissions by 2020, and progress is positive. Improvements such as putting solar PV systems on facilities like its Works Depot helped reduce Council’s greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent in the 2016/17 financial year – and further upgrades are planned at other sites.

Stay up to date with Adelaide’s carbon neutral journey and how you or your business can be part of the solution by signing up for the monthly e-news at


Skye Murtagh

Skye Murtagh

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