Energy saving tips

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With climate change now an acknowlegded problem, many people are keen to know what they can do as individuals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There are several measure you can take to immediately reduce your "carbon footprint" without compromising your lifestyle.

You can reduce the energy in your home (or office) by:

  • Replacing all incandescent light globes with compact fluorescent globes (about $100-300).
  • Switch off appliances when they are not in use, rather than leaving them on standby mode ($0).
  • Use a kettle on gas stove to heat hot water for beverages rather than an electric jug.
  • Buy green power - this means a percentage of the electricity you consume is sourced from renewable energy. Make sure you check how green the power is as some retailers are better than others. Ask them what the percentage of there green power comes from clean energy sources. This will add about 10% to your electricty bill.
  • Install a solar hotwater heater (about $2000)
  • Install a grid interactive solar array so you can generate your own electricity and feed clean power back into the grid ($5,000 to $20,000 depending on the number of panels)
  • Buy energy efficient appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and fridges. They may cost a little more, but you will recoup power costs over their operating life.
  • Install a gas oven rather than an electic one. Usng gas for cooking and heating produces about a third of the carbon emissions compared to using electricity.
  • As a last resort, you can buy carbon credits to offset your power consumption, but be aware that these may not actually lead to reduced carbon emissions.

If you are building or renovating

  • Use a passive solar design which can include north facing windows, shading systems and thermal mass
  • Use double glazing and/or thermal efficient glass
  • Use maximum insulation in walls, roofs and under floors
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