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Australians have the highest greenhouse gas emissions per person among OECD countries, but almost 7.2 million of us are taking steps to limit our personal electricity use.

Energy at home

  • A home’s water heater, refrigerator and other appliances use almost half of the energy consumed in the home, so make sure they are properly maintained and operated to maximise energy efficiency and prolong operating life.
  • A significant energy expense in the average home can be heating and cooling. Fit draft excluders to windows and doors, and shut doors so you only heat or cool the rooms you are using. In winter, turn down heating and put on a jumper instead.
  • Fit compact fluorescent light bulbs – they pay for themselves in a year, last up to 10 times longer than conventional bulbs and save more than 66 per cent in lighting costs during their lifetime.
  • Turn off appliances at the wall when you’re not using them – standby can use up to five per cent of household energy.
  • Buying new appliances can be expensive, so make sure you consider the projected energy costs over the life of an appliance before you buy.
  • Energy efficient buildings can substantially reduce energy costs. Design features such as orientation, verandas, window placement, as well as insulation, all help to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of buildings.
  • Install solar hot water – it will give you free, and carbon-free, hot water and pay for itself in a few years. Natural gas is another alternative that can halve your emissions if you are using electricity to currently heat your water.
  • Take the train, catch a bus, walk, cycle or carpool with a colleague or neighbour, it can use a fraction of the energy.
  • Holiday closer to home – Australia has some of the world’s best restaurants, resorts, beaches and natural scenery.
  • Combine local errands in one trip. Car engines are least efficient while warming up and in urban traffic, so short trips are relatively more polluting.
  • Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, why not have a few more in the garden or the house.