How to save water and electricity

Saving electricity and water at home

If you're looking for ways to reduce how much water or electricity your household uses, you might be surprised at the difference just a few small changes can make.

Here we give you some ideas on ways you can save water and electricity at home.

Save electricity

green leaf in light globeHere are some power saving ideas for your home.

Switch off and unplug 

A quick and easy way to reduce your electricity bill is to turn off appliances at the powerpoint when you're not using them. When things like computers and TVs switch into standby mode, they still use electricity, which can really add up over time.

Get into the habit of turning off and unplugging your kettle, washing machine, stereo and other items when you're not using them.

Other ways to switch off and save are:

  • Unplug your second fridge - If you have a second fridge, keep it unplugged and switched off until you need it.
  • Dress for the temperature - Put on a jumper and warm socks instead of turning on the heater.
  • Avoid using the dryer - Hang your washing outside on sunny days, and use an indoor clothes rack when it's raining, instead of using the clothes dryer.
  • Hot water bottle - Use a hot water bottle instead of an electric blanket. If you do use an electric blanket, turn it on to warm up the bed before you get in. Then, turn if off before you go to sleep.

Turn off the lights 

Take advantage of the sun and rely on natural light as much as you can each day. When you do need to use the lights, remember to turn them off when you leave the room.

If you have a single storey home, consider installing skylights.

Shop around for a better deal

Compare energy suppliers to make sure you're getting the best deal. You can compare energy offers in your area by visiting the Australian Government's Energy Made Easy website.

Close the gaps and trap the heat 

Use a door snake under the door, and seal up any gaps or cracks around your windows, doors, ceilings and floors.

When you're using the heater, close the door to keep the heat inside the room. Then, when the room is warm enough, switch it off. Closing your curtains or blinds at night also helps to trap the heat in.

Check the energy rating

When you're buying a new appliance like an air conditioner, fridge, washing machine or dishwasher, check the energy star rating. This will help you find the most efficient products and save you money in the long run.

You can save a lot of electricity by buying energy efficient light bulbs and appliances. Download the Energy Rating app to see the running costs.

Save water

water drop with dollar signHere are some ideas on ways to save water at home, lower your water bill and do your bit for the environment.

Save water in the bathroom

There are lots of ways to save water in the bathroom. Here are some ideas:

  • Take shorter showers.
  • Install a water efficient showerhead.
  • Install a dual flush on your toilet.
  • Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth.

Fix leaks around the house

Dripping taps and leaking toilets are not only annoying - they could be adding extra costs to your water bill. Get these leaks fixed as soon as you spot them.

To check for hidden leaks, look at the reading on your water meter, then leave the house so that no-one uses water for a couple of hours. When you get back home, check the reading again. If it has changed, there is a hidden leak and you should call a plumber to fix it.

Re-use water 

Look for ways to re-use water wherever you can.

Save the water you use when boiling eggs, vegetables or pasta, and use it to water your plants. You can also water your plants with grey water from your washing machine or shower.

Save water in the kitchen and laundry

  • Put a plug in the sink if you're running the tap to wash dishes by hand or rinse fruit and vegetables.
  • Only use the washing machine and the dishwasher when they are full. Otherwise, adjust the water level to match a partial load.
  • Wash clothes with cold water.
  • Lower the temperature on your hot water system to 60°C.

Saving electricity and water at home doesn't need to cost the earth. There are lots of little things you can do today to lower your costs around the house.

Related links

Last updated: 24 Jun 2016