The Australian Government's Living Greener website
has lots of resources to support low carbon living as well as
environmentally responsible lifestyles in general. Here you can find
useful information and tips about saving energy from the Living
Electricity and gas costs form a large part of household bills.
You may feel you don't have much control over these costs, but you
have the power to reduce your bills. Individual behaviour and the
choices we make have a bigger impact on our bills than most of us
Renewable energy systems use sources like solar, wind and hydro
(water) to generate power. The most common renewable energy systems
used for Australian homes are solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and
Energy efficiency in the home
Energy-efficient home design, features, appliances and habits all
contribute to making your household cheaper to run without
sacrificing comfort. Whether renting, buying, selling, building or
renovating, there are lots of things you can do.
Heating and cooling
Most Australian homes need heating or cooling at some time of the
year. In some areas this accounts for up to 40 per cent of total
household energy use. There are many ways you can make your home
cheaper to run and remain comfortable all year round.
Insulation acts as a barrier to heat loss and heat gain,
particularly in ceilings, walls and floors. It helps to keep your
home warm in winter and cool in summer.
In recent years energy use for household lighting in Australia has
rapidly increased. Most households can reduce the amount of energy
they use for lighting by making smarter lighting choices and moving
to more efficient technologies.
Appliances can account for up to 30 per cent of your home energy
use. As our reliance on electrical appliances increases and energy
prices also go up, selecting energy-efficient products becomes more
Hot water systems
Reducing the amount of hot water you use and using a more
efficient hot water system are great ways to reduce your energy
costs and your impact on the environment.
Solar hot water systems
Solar hot water systems take advantage of Australia's supply of
sunshine and use solar energy to heat water for household
Gas hot water systems
Gas hot water systems use either mains gas (natural gas or
reticulated gas) if it is available or LPG (liquefied petroleum
gas) from cylinders.
Heat pump hot water systems
Electric heat pumps are an efficient type of storage water heater
that extracts heat from the environment to heat water.
Building and renovating for energy
Often the best time to think about ways to increase the energy
efficiency of your home is when you're building a new home or
Living Greener Facts:
Water heating accounts for almost a
quarter of household energy use.
Every degree lower a fridge or
freezer is set needs 5 per cent more energy. Ideal is fridge
between 3 - 4 degrees C and freezer between -15 & -18 degrees
Up to 10 per cent of the electricity
used in your home is consumed by gadgets plugged in but not in use,
like your TV, mobile phone charger, MP3 docks and stereos.
A large screen TV used 6 hours a day
can generate around half a tonne of greenhouse gases a year - more
than a family fridge.
Electrical appliances account for up
to 30 per cent of your home energy use.
It's estimated that there are 16
million unused mobile phones stored in cupboards and drawers in
Emissions from the waste sector were 2.5 per cent of Australia's
total greenhouse gas emissions in 2008.
On average Australians throw away
around 20 million tonnes of waste per year.
When food and garden wastes
decompose in landfill, methane is created. Methane is a more
damaging greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
The average amount of solar energy
that falls on Australia is about 15,000 times the amount of energy
Australians use each year.