Go Green

Go Green

The reasons for trying to reduce your Energy usage are many-fold:

Firstly, by reducing energy usage, you reduce the amount of fossil fuels that need to be burnt to produce electricity.  Fossil fuels, when burnt, produce greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, which have the effect of heating the world’s atmosphere.

Of course the effect that one household can achieve by reducing their energy usage is tiny; but the cumulative effect of millions of people changing their habits can prevent millions of tonnes of carbon being released into the atmosphere each year.

The Second reason is economics: saving energy also saves you money!

There are also a multitude of knock-on effects: fossil fuel burning also releases gases such as sulphur dioxide which cause acid rain; and acid rain damages buildings, kills trees, and raises the acidity of rivers and lakes (which affects the plant and animal life within).

For more information, see Wikipedia’s article on the Environmental Effects of Fossil Fuels.

GEC’s Top 10 Energy Saving Tips!

Splitting this top ten into two top fives; one list of things that you can do immediately and without an initial outlay of money. The other five are things that you can do which require some purchase, but which will save money and energy after ‘earning back’ the initial investment.

Top 5 FREE Energy Savings!

  1. Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms

    Light bulbs are of low to average power consumption (for example, 60 Watts), but are used for long periods of time. Reduce the time your lights are left on and you reduce the energy you use. Simple.

  2. Don’t overfill your kettle

    Kettles are high power devices; meaning they use a lot of energy in a short amount of time. For example, I just checked my kettle: it uses 1850 Watts. Compare that to the 100Watt light bulb – even though kettles are not used for as long a period of time, they expend energy much faster.

    To use one unit of electricity, I would have to boil my kettle for 54 minutes. Unlikely, but Aussies are a coffee and Tea loving race. 5 cups a day at 5 minutes boiling time would bring you up to the half a unit per day that you get from your 100Watt bulb being on for 5 hours.

    By reducing the amount of water you boil unnecessarily, you reduce the length of time needed to bring the kettle to the boil, and hence reduce drastically the energy expenditure.

  3. Turn your thermostat down in the Winter and put on a jumper instead!

    Research has shown that you can reduce your heating bills by 10% with just a one degree decrease in temperature.

  4. Turn electrical equipment off at the socket… standby is bad!

    The tiny amount of power that devices use on standby will soon add up; especially considering the number of hours involved, and the increasing number of electrical gadgets we all own.

  5. Change your driving habits!

    OK. So this one is not in your home but it’s a lifestyle change nonetheless! Simply by accelerating and decelerating at a slower rate (braking earlier) you can use up to 35% less fuel!

    Other tips can be found here , showing that you don’t need to buy a hybrid to do your bit.

Top 5 Spend-To-Save!

  1. Insulation

    Cavity wall, solid wall, floor Roof spaces; all stop heat loss when heating a house in the Winter and losses when cooling a house in the summer.

  2. Double Glazing

    Double glazing cuts heat loss through windows by up to 50% as well as keeping cool air in if Air-conditioned.

    As well as saving energy, double glazing can improve the security of your house. The cost is highly variable, depending on number of windows, type of windows, etc., but you can expect to pay a sum in the thousands.

    With energy savings of maybe up to $250 a year, this means it will be a while before your investment is returned, but you would expect the lifetime of your windows to be several decades.

  3. Energy Efficient Lights

    It’s those light bulbs again. At a cost of only a few Dollars per bulb, they will save you far more money over their lifetime than you would initially save by buying your average bulb (at a cost of, say, $1). A 100Watt normal bulb can be replaced by an equivalent bulb of only 25Watts. Additionally, energy saving bulbs tend to have a much longer lifetime than ordinary ones… the savings just keep on growing.

  4. Buy Energy Efficient Products

    The more efficient you buy, the more energy and money you save. Though remember, it is better still to reduce your usage of electrical devices in the first place!

  5. Generate Your Own Electricity Renewably

    Install Solar Heating, or Solar P.V. Grid Connect Systems. These systems are becoming increasingly more popular because of government grants and with the amount of sun hours Australia gets these are well worth investing in. There are many companies around that offer some great deals on solar heating and solar Grid Connect systems.

    If you already have a Solar system installed clean the panels at least every 6 months as you can loose up 25% of the performance of each panel !! 

    You can always give G.E.C a call if you dont like the thought of getting up on the roof and we can do it for you. 

    My advice is do your research online. Try looking here first: Consumer guide for solar PV

Energy Australia’s Top Ten Energy Saving Tips

According to Energy Australia, the average home can save around $300 per year doing simple things at no cost or low cost, and  save almost three tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in the process.

  1. DO Install a AAA shower head – save up to $100 per year
  2. DO Get rid of that old second fridge – save up to $200 per year
  3. DO Use energy efficient light bulbs (CFLs) – save up to $50 per year
  4. DO Switch off lights – save around $25 per year
  5. DON’T Over heat or over cool rooms – save around $50 per year
  6. DO Close doors, cover windows, and minimize draughts – save around $50 per year
  7. DO Wash clothes in cold water – save around $40 per year
  8. DO Use the clothesline whenever the sun shines – save up to $40 per year
  9. DON’T Leave appliances in standby mode – save up to $50 per year
  10. DON’T run your pool pump for too long – save up to $75 per year

More Information

Some sites worth visiting are: