Save on your bill
Here are practical ways to help you reduce your power and water bill and save money. Most of the ideas are things you can start doing today.
Don't pay for more water than you need
Territorians use more than twice as much water than other Australians and 60% of that is used outside.
Here are my top tips for reducing water use and saving money:
- Check for leaks when turning your irrigation system back on. Leaks cost money. Try to find them, fix them and save money.
- Mulch the garden and stop water evaporating. Mulch helps your garden lock in precious water during the dry.
- Set your irrigation to water after 8pm or before 6am. It's best for your garden and helps not use more water than you need to.
- Put your pool cover back on. Prevent evaporation and save up to 200 litres of water every day. You'll also save on chemicals and the amount of time you need to run your pool filter. If you want to keep the pool cool, keep about 10% uncovered.
- Take the 2 step leak check for leaks inside your home. Look at your water meter before bed. If the reading has changed substantially by the morning, you have a leak. Try this every time you get your bill.
Practical ways to help you reduce your water bill
Save on your water bill by changing to these water saving habits:
- Cut your showers down to four minutes and save up to $350 a year, based on a household of four having two eight minute showers a day.
- Convert to a water efficient shower head and save up to $190 a year, based on a household of four having two four minute showers a day.
- For a household of four, a water efficient dual flush toilet will save about $45 a year over a single flush toilet.
- Sweep your driveway instead of hosing and save around $50 a year, based on an average 30 minutes of hosing a week.
- Use a 5 star water efficient washing machine and save around $50 a year, based on five loads of washing a week.
- Reduce the time you water your garden from one hour to only 30 minutes a day and save up to $190 a year, based on watering your garden for 200 days a year.
For more saving ideas:
- Go to the Living Water Smart website for simple actions to save water in the Darwin region.
- Read our Saving water - tools of the trade and Six facts about water use fact sheets.
- Find out about water efficiency labels.
- Read our Greywater reuse - An alternative water source fact sheet.
- Routinely check for water leaks on your property.
Try saving 10 buckets of water a day, it's easy.
On average, each Top Ender uses 55 buckets of water a day. In Alice Springs each person averages 70 buckets a day – more than twice as much as most Australians. Find out how you can use 10 less buckets of water a day - save money on your bill and preserve our natural resources.
For more ideas on how to save buckets go to our fact sheet.
Wondering about your water bill?
The home water use calculator can help you find out where the water is being used in and around your home, so you can start to conserve this limited resource and save money as well.
The home water use calculator, developed in conjunction with the savewater!® Alliance Inc, provides a simple guide to your home water usage. It allows you to see where you use the most water and how this compares to the Northern Territory average.
Power and Water worked with the Nursery and Garden Institute of the NT to develop How to create a water wise garden in the Top End and Water wise action in Central Australia to offer more specific local advice.
Visit the Living Water Smart website for great ideas on how to save water in the garden and outdoors.
Save water in your garden:
- Wash the car on the lawn, with a trigger nozzle, rather than watering your cement. Same goes for the dog and bike.
- Fix any dripping tap immediately - one drip per second wastes 30 litres a day.
- Water your garden at night or early in the morning when less water evaporates - and don't water when it has been raining or is very windy.
- Use a tap timer so you don't forget to turn the watering system off.
- Don't mow your lawn too short, if the roots are shaded less water will evaporate.
- Mulch your garden beds: mulch increases your garden's water retention and as it breaks down adds to the nutrient content.
- Choose plant species native to your area, they will be more tolerant to the weather conditions.
- Try to put plants with the same watering requirements together to make planning your watering and irrigation easier.
Practical ways to help you reduce your electricity bill
Air conditioners are big power users. Looking at air conditioner use and efficiency is a key to reducing power use in the Territory.
Try running your air conditioner between 24 and 27 degrees and use your fan as well. It takes the humidity and edge out of the heat and the fan then circulates the cooler air. Try it and you'll reduce your power bill and still have a very comfortable living environment.
Here are some practical ways to help reduce your power bills:
- Turn your air conditioner's (large 3HP air conditioner) thermostat up by just one degree and save up to 10 per cent off its running costs, about $179 per air conditioner per year (based on 10 hours a day for 250 days).
- Reduce the running time of your air conditioner to five hours a day and save about $380 a year, based on running a 1.5HP air conditioner 250 days for 10 hours a day.
- Turn your television, DVD and stereo off by using the button on the unit (not the remote) or turning it off at the wall and save up to $25 a year.
- Switch to LED lights which use up to 79% less electricity than traditional halogen incandescent bulbs and save up to $125 a year per 10 bulbs changed.
- Similarly, replacing halogen downlights with LED lights will save more than 83% electricity and up to $196 a year per 10 bulbs changes.
- Cut the time you use the pool pump from 12 hours to eight hours a day and save about $392 a year.
The following guides can also help if you are looking for new appliances:
At Power and Water we’re looking for new ways to help our customers reduce electricity and water use, as well as their bill.
Use our Virtual Energy Audit to see how much electricity your household uses and how much money you could save in each room of your home.
In the Green Guide you'll find more simple ideas you and your family can start using right now, as well as things to consider in those situations where you're able to plan ahead. The booklet includes general information about choosing appliances and cooling your home, as well as tips for specific rooms.
Help save the planet!
Whether you're a student, a teacher or just curious, take advantage of our interactive online education resource at helpsavetheplanet.com.auThe interactive power and water cycles explain, in simple terms, how electricity is generated in the Territory and where drinking water comes from. The site includes online resources for students and teachers to use at home or at school, such as online games and quizzes, desktop wallpapers, information sheets and colouring-in sheets. These can be downloaded and printed as well.
Go to Save on your bill for a range of publications providing ideas to help you reduce electricity and water use.
Renewable energy products and rebates
We are very proud to be a key partner in a pioneering project in Alice Springs, Alice Water Smart.
Projects like Alice Water Smart encourages everyone - from customers and businesses through all levels of government as well as Power and Water - to be 'greener' day to day. These projects are changing the way we do business so we can offer you sustainable services well into the future.
Saving water isn't just good for the environment, it's also good for your pocket - the less you use, the less you pay. There are plenty of ways you can save around your home and these pages have all the information you need to get started.
There are a number of programs to help you identify how to make your home more environmentally friendly and rebates to make it more cost-effective. We have also listed a range of assistance and rebates available to help you be more environmentally friendly.
Renewable energy is generated from sources like mini hydro, wind power and biomass which produce no net greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy is clean energy and non-polluting. At a household level, if you own your own home you can install a rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar system.
Assistance and rebates
Other NT Government and Federal agencies, as well as eco groups, offer assistance and rebates to help you be more environmentally friendly.
Alice Water Smart - A project aimed at preserving our finite groundwater source and securing the long term sustainability of Alice Springs.
ecoBiz NT - A program offering energy audits and rebates for small to medium businesses.
COOLmob - A community project offering walk-through home energy and water audits in Darwin, Palmerston and Katherine.
desertSMART COOLmob - A community organisation offering a range of projects in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek.
Central Australia Waterwise Rebate Scheme (Department of Land Resource Management) - An Alice Springs program providing rebates for specific water saving products and plumbing services.
Alice Solar City - This project has empowered the community to become energy champions through improved awareness, energy efficiency measures, solar energy technology and smart electricity metering.
savewater!® Alliance Inc - National website portal providing information on water conservation.
Ausindustry - Grants and assistance for industry.
Smart Approved WaterMark - Australia's water saving labelling program for products and services that help reduce outdoor water use.
LivingGreener - A Federal government website listing information about energy, water, waste and transport including State and Territory rebates and assistance.