General energy saving tips for homes

Released on 02 January 2019
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The City of Salisbury’s Infrastructure Team, who are highly experienced and knowledgeable in energy and lighting, have put together the following to ensure you’re getting the most ‘bang for your buck’ when it comes to energy. Below is the first of a three-part series providing practical energy saving tips for your home.

Even if you don’t have solar, there are still a number of ways to save energy around your home.

Energy Types

There are generally two types of meters found in homes - ‘single tariff’ and ‘dual tariff’. Energy savings tips will vary depending on which system you have.

Single Tariff

Single tariff meters charge you a constant price regardless of the time of day when you use power. Therefore, you are not rewarded for off-peak use. If you have a single tariff meter, you goal should be to limit unnecessary energy use at all times, and to use energy efficient appliances at all times.

Consider these general savings measures:

  • Change the lighting in your house to LED.
  • Once you have powered down your computer (desktop or laptop) turn it off at the power point. Also turn off your printer and monitor at the power point.
  • You generally only use your toaster for a few minutes in the morning, but leave it on all day. Turn it off at the power point after you use it.
  • Does the coffee machine need to be on standby while you are at work?  Turn it off at the power point.
  • Turn off lights when they are not needed.
  • Keep your light fittings clean.  Dirty globes or fixtures mean less light.
  • Set air-conditioning to recirculate. That way your system does not need to work as hard to convert outside temperature air to the desired inside temperature.
  • Do you really need that second fridge running over winter?  Switch it off.
  • Any second fridge or freezer that only has a few items in it, move the items and turn it off.
  • If you’re a little cold, use a blanket or jumper to keep warm rather than turning on the heater.
  • Close off rooms that are not in use to control loss of energy to those areas.
  • If you leave the back light on when you are out, try installing battery or solar powered sensor lights.

Dual Tariff

Dual tariff meters charge you a ’peak’ and ’off-peak’ price depending on what time of day you use the power.  If you have an ’off-peak’ charge on your bill, then your meter is a dual tariff.

In South Australia, peak time is 7am - 9pm on business days. Off-peak time is 9pm-7am on business days, plus weekends. Please note that these times are based on non-daylight savings times so add one hour, between October and April. Peak will therefore be 8am to 10pm business days during daylight saving.

If you have a dual tariff system, the saving measures outlined for single tariff systems still apply. You can still save money by going to energy efficient appliances and limiting unnecessary power usage. Additionally, you can make further savings by identifying which essential power use can be done during off-peak times.  For example:

  • Put the dishwasher on at off-peak times.
  • Run the washing machine and dryer at night as well.
  • Iron on the weekends, as these are all off peak times.
  • But still iron in batches so you are not heating the iron for one item.
  • Charge smartphones, music players, tablets and laptops over night.
  • Fill fridges before you leave go to bed, rather than during peak hours.