Managing Electricity at Home

Updated: Oct 8

Whether you are looking to reduce your electricity bill, reduce your energy usage as part of a personal environmental solution, or just generally interested in how usage of appliances translates into electricity consumption, we have put together a handy guide on what appliances and activity general consumes a higher amount of electricity.


Appliances to Analyse

Whilst its true that boiling a kettle 10x per day 365 days a year can cost over $100 a year - we're reporting here on the types of appliances that can be very high consumers of electricity and impact a monthly bill or quarterly meter read. To work out exactly how much electricity your appliance uses you need to find the per kWh consumption of the appliance and multiply it by your per kWh cost found on your electricity bill.


Air-Conditioners (Ducted/Reverse Cycle) & Heaters

While some 70% of Aussies prefer to layer up with socks and jumpers, the convenience of ducted and reverse cycle air conditioners can't be ignored. If you plan your usage, you can be more efficient. Minimise setting temperatures to extreme highs or lows, for example, consider setting a temperature of 21-24 degrees Celsius on cooler days, and 24- 26 degrees Celsius on Warmer days, and turn on air-conditioner earlier, before the building becomes really cool/hot. Consider a timer - to start, if you know when you use it, for example just before you wake up to heat up the house, and to finish - for example to leave it just on a hour, not forgetting to turn it off as you get busy with your day.


Fridges/Freezers

While we put one fridge in the same realm as a kettle - if you have two or more fridges, and if it's possible, consider consolidating your items into one fridge and power the others off (remember to soak up the defrost water!). Fridges are constantly working to maintain a specific temperature and may use over 600kWh per year depending on its size. The older and the larger a fridge is - the more energy it will use.


Hot-Water

Water takes a lot of energy to heat, if you need to add a lot of cold water to your shower you could consider adjusting the hot water temperature. If the thermostat is accessible on the outside of your hot-water system you could also adjust the temperature to just above 60C (avoid setting your thermostat below 60C, AS/NZS 3500.4 standard suggests a minimum of 60C to avoid spawning legionella bacteria). If you are a bath fan - or you have multiple children having baths, know that they generally require a lot more heated water than a shower.


Kitchen Appliances

This is just here as a note to be mindful about how you use your kitchen. Ovens, stoves, and other appliances can be high consumers of energy. Plan things out a little bit more to maximise your time & efficiency using them - for example most modern fan forced ovens do not require a long pre-heat as some recipes call for.


Computer/Television & Media Equipment

Computer screens are high users of electricity. If not in use, unplugging these devices can minimise electricity usage e.g. Laptops when plugged in will operate in high performance mode, thus utilising more electricity vs. operating when unplugged, televisions running in the background. Smaller - but still unused, a smartphone or other charger consumes electricity even when it does not have the device plugged in


Washing Machines & Dryers

We are lucky in Australia to have a warm winter in many parts. If you have the option of not using the dryer and drying your washing outside on the line, this clearly excludes an amount from your electricity usage


LED and Lighting

It's well known now, to use energy efficient or LED lighting. Incandescent bulbs release more than 80% of their energy as heat (rather than light!), so if you need to switch a lightbulb, know that these will be more efficient. It goes without saying, to turn off lights when not in use.


Using Your Solar Efficiently


Washing Machines & Dryers - When at home, as you have solar, these types of devices are best operated during your peak solar generation periods i.e. Between 10am to 4pm.

Pool Heating - if you are not using your pool, make sure its not being heated, and save your solar for household usage or to export back to the grid.




More information and sources:

https://www.canstarblue.com.au/electricity/boiling-kettle-costs-think/

https://ahd.csiro.au/dashboards/fixtures-and-appliances/

https://www.yourhome.gov.au/

https://www.energysaver.nsw.gov.au/cut-your-bills/being-more-energy-efficient/free-ways-save-energy-and-money

https://www.energy.gov.au/households/quick-wins