Households are responsible for one third of NSW's energy use. Everyday activities including water and room heating and cooling, cooking, lighting and using electrical appliances consume a lot of energy. Many older homes in Hurstville City are not energy efficient because they have not had energy efficiency requirements incorporated into their design. However, new homes currently being built are required to be more energy efficient.
Hurstville City residents can reduce energy use, save money on bills and lower greenhouse gas emissions in the home through measures such as converting old fixtures to newer, more efficient ones, and simply adding some new devices. Some of the things you can do include:
- insulate your ceiling with an appropriate R-value (insulation rating) material. A higher R-value means the insulation is more resistant to heat flow, keeping the house up to 10 degrees celsius warmer in winter and 7 degrees celsius cooler in summer. Insulation can save between 20 per cent and 40 per cent on heating and cooling costs.
- install compact fluorescent lights
- replace ordinary light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. They last up to 10 times longer and use a lot less energy which will save you money on energy bills and replacement globes. Also remember to turn off lights when you leave a room.
Hot water systems
- a solar hot water system can reduce your household water bills by around 65 per cent each year, compared to a standard electrical hot water system. It will cost more than a conventional system, but will pay for itself in a relatively short time. Energy efficient heat pump and gas systems will also deliver savings.
Cars and public transport
- getting around without the car reduces greenhouse gases and helps improve local air quality.Switching to a small, fuel efficient car can save up to two tonnes of greenhouse gases, along with petrol costs. See the Australian Greenhouse Office’s Fuel Consumption Guide
- a full bus carries about the same number of commuters as around 40 cars. If everyone caught the train or bus to work just once a week air pollution could be reduced by up to 20 per cent
- carpooling with friends and colleagues can significantly reduce air pollution and can also save you money on petrol, toll fees and parking. Ride sharing can also allow you to use the transit lanes which can save you time getting to work
- short trips cause more pollution because your engine needs time to warm up to run efficiently. Next time you need to make a short trip try walking or riding a bike. Combining errands into a longer journey also cuts down on emissions, saves time, wear and tear on your vehicle
- keep your car well tuned. Badly tuned cars emit a lot of pollution, irrespective of their age. Servicing your car regularly can keep harmful.
Energy efficient appliances
||household appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, dryers, washing machines and air conditioners have energy rating labels. The more stars, the more energy efficient the appliance is and the more you can save on your energy bills over the lifespan of the appliance. Compare the energy efficiency of appliance at the Energy Ratings website
||when buying televisions, DVD players, sound systems, computers or printers look for the ‘Energy Star’ label. Energy star home electronics use up to 75 per cent less energy than other products
Heating and cooling your home
- for heating, natural gas heaters with a four to six gas star rating are best; otherwise use a high efficiency reverse cycle air conditioner. An open wood fire is the most inefficient source of heating and also produces a lot of air pollution
- for cooling, use a ceiling fan or if installing an air conditioner, ensure it is reverse-cycle and has a high energy star rating
- install weather seals and draught excluders to reduce draughts and heat loss in winter through small gaps around doors, plumbing and windows
- use external window shading such as awnings, shutters, eaves and landscaping to keep your home cool from hot sun
- use close fitting blinds or curtains with pelmets to help reduce heat loss through windows.
If you have a woodheater there are a number of things you can do to operate them well to avoid smoke:
- use good dry wood in your wood heater - as it will provide you with as much as 40 per cent more heat
- start out right - use plenty of paper and small kindling, as paper will produce a hotter fire more quickly than fire lighters
- keep your fire burning brightly - set controls high enough to prevent the flame from disappearing
- only use larger pieces of wood when the fire is well established.
- check your chimney or flue at least once every evening to make sure it is not smoking and turn the heater up if it is
- consider the wellbeing of your neighbours - use an alternative source of heating, especially on days when poor air quality is forecast if possible.
- support renewable energy by choosing green power, which is electricity generated from clean renewable sources such as the sun, wind, water, and organic matter.
Find out more about GreenPower
Rate your home's environmental performance
Undertake your own ecological footprint and see where you can reduce your impact.