You may be surprised at what uses the most energy in your home. In the average Australian home more than 60 per cent of energy is used on heating, cooling and water heating. Keep this in mind when looking to change your habits or invest in new appliances.

Find more energy efficiency tips in The Switched on Homes Guide to Energy Efficiency.

Average household energy use in Australian homes.

Average household energy use

Heating and cooling Aussie homes accounts for about 40 per cent of household energy use. Use our top tips below to cut your energy use while keeping your home comfortable all year round.

Five tips for staying cool in summer:

  1. Keep the heat out. Ensure your home is well insulated, close curtains and shade the outside of windows with awnings, vines, trees or a shade sail.
  2. Set your air conditioner at 24 degrees or warmer – every degree cooler than this uses about ten percent more energy.
  3. Use a fan. Fans use a fraction of the energy of air conditioners. Before flicking on the air conditioner, see if a fan can keep you comfortable, if only for a little while.
  4. Don’t add unnecessary heat to your home. Turn off all lights and electrical appliances when not in use and switch from using the oven to using the BBQ outside on hot days.
  5. Cool yourself before your home. Take off unnecessary clothes before switching on the air conditioner. When you do switch on the air conditioning, cool in zones so you don’t waste energy cooling areas you are not using.

Five tips for staying warm in winter:

  1. Rug up. It is more efficient to warm yourself, rather than your whole home. Put on a jumper, have a cup of tea and use a blanket while seated. Even an electric blanket is a lot more efficient than running a heater.
  2. If you are heating your house, don’t let your hard earned energy escape through cracks, gaps and windows. Use draught tape to seal gaps and make sure windows are covered with curtains and pelmets. Ensure you maintain adequate ventilation if you are using a gas heater
  3. Set your heater at 18 degrees or cooler – every degree warmer than this will use ten percent more energy
  4. Staying in the shower uses up to 20 times more energy than hopping out under two heat lamps instead. Even an additional few minutes can make a difference to your power bill, so avoid using a shower to keep warm, despite how enjoyable it is!
  5. Open curtains during the day to let the sunlight warm your home and close them in the evening to trap the heat in.

If you're having particular troubles with your energy and water bills and can't figure out what's going wrong you could have a faulty appliance, a water leak or a hidden problem! An energy and water audit can help find these problems and give advice about eco-modifications to your home. Switch your thinking offers residents a discount through the Rewards for Residents program here.

If you want to install solar panels, solar hot water, solar batteries, LED lights or insulating paint our Rewards for Residents program offers discounts from select suppliers. Check it out here.

Discounts on audits and solar panels, solar batteries and LED lights are also available for businesses. Find out more here.