Tips to take control of your energy use this winter

Sustainable City

With plenty of people living and working from home at the moment, it could be having an impact on your energy bill. If you're keen to save money and reduce carbon emissions from your place, Rebecca Short from City of Adelaide's Carbon Neutral Adelaide Team suggests now is a good time to have a look around your home to find ways to pare back on your energy consumption. 

Encompassing the CBD and North Adelaide, the City of Adelaide is home to a mix of standalone houses and apartment complexes; homeowners and renters. But, regardless of whether you own a home or are a tenant, there are steps you can take to save if you follow these great 'starter' ideas below. Heating/cooling and hot water together can make up over half of your energy bill, so these are good places to begin. 

For energy plan comparisons, you can access the Commonwealth Government's Energy Made Easy website. You can now enter your bills directly in as PDFs or search for your data online - plus, if you have solar, it now takes your solar tariff into account. 

Apartments AL online

Think smart about energy-saving in your apartment.

The City of Adelaide's Sustainability Incentives Scheme provides a range of rebates for energy saving technologies, including smart control of hot water and underfloor heating, or solar power for landlord or concession card holders,  See all the sustainability incentives available for apartments and houses, along with eligibility criteria and how to apply. 

Start saving today with these ideas!

Heating tips

  • Before turning on your heater, try and use natural heating by letting the sun into rooms. Open curtains or shading devices on north-facing windows through the day.
  • Adjust your clothing to suit the season - the humble jumper and slippers can make a real difference to your bills.
  • Close doors to only heat the rooms being used. 
  • Check the thermostat - every 1°C higher for heating adds up to 10 per cent to your running costs. Try to set your heating to 18 to 21°C
  • If you are buying a new heater, find out the likely running costs before you purchase! It's worth talking to a heating specialist first about the best choices for your home.
  • Think about insulation – in winter, up to 60 per cent of your heating could be lost through ceilings and walls if you don’t have insulation. If renting, consider asking the landlord about insulation. 

Kitchen tips

  • Set freezers between -15 to -18°C, fridges between 3 to 5°C, and turn off any unused appliances. Additional fridges and freezers can add significantly to energy bills.
  • Use smaller kitchen appliances where possible, such as a microwave instead of the oven.
  • Use lids on saucepans to keep the heat in.

Bathroom tips

  • Take the shortest shower you can to save both energy and water. Four minutes or less is a good time to aim for.
  • Install an efficient shower head. This can save at least 10 litres of water and lower energy costs.

Around the house

  • Turn off lights, and devices such as TVs, computers and printers at the wall.
  • Replace any door seals that are in poor condition - stop the leaks!
  • Use draft excluders like door snakes to reduce your heating needs.
  • Swap inefficient light globes with energy efficient ones.

Getting the family onboard

  • Make a game of it with your kids. Keep a star chart of all the energy-saving things they do and reward them for helping you to keep energy use and costs down.

Article by

Rebecca Short

Rebecca Short

Rebecca loves to see people working together to find low-carbon ways to live, work and thrive. She's proud to live and work in a state which has already embraced solar and wind energy, and is excited about the future of zero-energy buildings, electric cars, buses and trains. She reckons Adelaide has the best of city life for arts and culture, with clean air, space and liveability that is an invaluable asset in the 21st century. You might see her pedalling the city bikeways, or catching some live music.