You can save power, money and the environment without giving up your lifestyle.
Changing the way we do things is never easy. If you make change slowly and consistently, it can become part of your routine before you know it.
If power use is reduced there will be less load on the power network. Everyone benefits from better use of power infrastructure and a reliable power network experiences fewer outages.
Money saving tips
When making changes it may help to know that a small step in the right direction can save money too.
When purchasing new appliances compare energy efficiency and running costs with the Energy Rating Label – before you buy.
Aim to lower your energy use, and save money, by following these practical tips:
Every degree of heating or cooling can increase energy consumption by up to 10 per cent.
- Try running your air conditioner between 24°C and 27°C in summer, and use your fan as well. A fan will take the humidity and edge out of the heat and circulate the colder air.
- Reduce your system's runtime. Try running a timer.
- Make sure your filters are clean. Clogged filters mean your system will use more power. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for filter cleaning and motor maintenance.
- In summer, sleep under a sheet rather than a doona. In winter, add an extra layer before turning the heat up.
- Ensure cool air cannot escape and close all windows and doors to rooms that do not need cooling. Close all curtains and drapes.
- Where possible, insulate ceilings, walls and window dressings. By doing this, you can reduce heat transfer in or out of the house.
- Place the air conditioner on the shady side of the building. Where possible, plant trees and shrubs around the building to create shade.
- Inverter air conditioners have lower running costs compared with standard air conditioners and they are quieter to run.
- Consider turning off a spare or bar fridge. If possible, transfer the contents to your main refrigerator.
- Set your fridge to between 3°C and 4°C and your freezer between -15°C and -18°C. Each degree lower uses 5% more energy.
- Check the magnetic door seals are in good condition and there are no leaks. You may need to have them replaced.
- Place your fridge/freezer in a cool position, away from the stove, oven or direct sun and leave enough gap at the back to ensure there is a free flow of air past the coil. A fridge motor should only run about 30 per cent of the time.
- Keep your fridge clean inside and out. Do not let dust build up on the condenser coil at the back.
- Don't open the door too often or for too long. You'll let the cold air out.
- When going away for extended periods, empty, clean and turn off the fridge and leave the door open.
- Choose a fridge suited to your needs. A bigger fridge means more electricity used.
- Wait until you have a full load before running the dishwasher and use the economy cycle.
- Remove large food particles from crockery. If you are going to wash the plates immediately, no pre-rinsing is necessary.
- Select the lowest temperature or shortest program on your machine.
- Use the detergent and rinse aid recommended by the dishwasher manufacturer and do not exceed the recommended quantity.
- You can cut the drying cycle by opening the door after the final rinse and letting the dishes air dry.
- Make sure you switch the program off before opening the door.
- Clean the dishwasher filter regularly.
- Switch to LED lights which use less electricity than traditional halogen incandescent bulbs or compact fluorescent lights. LED lights also provide better quality light and last longer. Similarly, replace your halogen downlights with LED lights. LEDs use 75% less energy and last 5 to 10 times longer compared to halogen bulbs.
- Remember to switch lights off when you're leaving a room.
- A front loading machine is more efficient than a top loading washer, as they use about 50 per cent less water. They also offer more features including a choice of water levels for large and small loads, variable wash and rinse temperatures, and different washing and spinning speeds.
- Washing your clothes in cold water will save considerably on water heating costs. Use cold water for the complete cycle with detergents recommended for this purpose.
- Wash full loads rather than several smaller loads. You will achieve better results if you group clothes by colour and fabric and by how dirty they are. Wash a group of lightly soiled items on a shorter cycle rather than adding something dirtier and using a heavier cycle.
- Use the economy cycle as often as possible.
- In good weather, hang clothes outside instead of using a dryer. If you have to use a dryer, set it on ‘warm’ rather than ‘hot’. It takes a little longer but uses less energy.
- Set the water temperature to at least 60°C to stop the growth of bacteria such as Legionella.
- Depending on your needs, try switching your electric or gas hot water system off when not in use, for example when you go to work or on holidays.
- For solar hot water systems, switch off the booster at the power board unless there is a long period of no sunlight.
- Many pool owners run their pool pumps for longer than necessary. Check with a professional to make sure you are not wasting power and money.
- Consider a pool cover and variable speed pump motor for good savings.
If you use most of your power in off-peak periods, ask us about installing a special meter and switching to a time of use tariff. If you don't receive your power bill from Power and Water, you'll need to contact your retailer.
Assistance, rebates and grants
At times, some Northern Territory Government and Federal Government agencies, as well as environmental groups, like the Territory's COOLmob, offer assistance, discounts and/or grants to help you be more environmentally friendly. We also offer a range of useful resources to help you understand your usage and save money on your power bill: