Whether you’re building a new home, renovating or just want to save on your running costs, here’s how to make your home more energy efficient:


Energy tips for every day

1. Set your thermostat

Every degree above 20 degrees can add 10% to your heating bill. In winter, heating can account for over 30% of your bill. Set your thermostat between 18 and 20 degrees and in summer, set your thermostat to 26 degrees or above.

2. Wash clothes using cold water

You can save around $115 per year by washing clothes in cold water. You can also save by making sure you select the shortest appropriate washing cycle and waiting until you have a full load.

3. Stop standby power waste

Did you know your phone charger is still using energy even when your phone is not attached? Up to 10% of your electricity could be used by gadgets and appliances that are on standby.

4. Use energy-efficient light globes

Replace old incandescent and halogen light globes with energy-efficient globes. Energy-efficient globes save power and last longer.

5. Use water wisely

Set the hot water temperature to 50 degrees celsius. Installing water-saving showerheads in your home will reduce the amount of hot water and energy used. Shorten showers to less than five minutes.

6. Use solar power

Consider using outdoor solar lights for your garden or outdoor areas.


For a new build or renovation

1. Make sure your home is well insulated

An insulated ceiling makes a big difference to your energy bills. If you already have insulation installed, check that it is properly installed and has the right rating (measured in ‘R-value’). In Victoria, insulation rated R3.5 or higher should be used for ceilings.

2. Ensure you have cross ventilation

Don’t just open one window or door. A house will cool down more quickly if the airflow can enter at one point and exit at another. The best cross ventilation is achieved by opening windows or doors on opposite sides of your home, so the breeze can flow freely. In new homes, higher ceilings, wide entry halls, and sliding stacker doors or bi-folds also provide a greater volume of space for air to circulate.

3. Include plenty of ceiling fans

It’s a good idea to install ceiling fans in your living room, dining room and each bedroom, as they are much cheaper to run than air conditioners. Depending on what electricity tariff you’re on, the running cost of a fan is around two cents per hour compared to 52 cents per hour for an air conditioner.

4. Install efficient fittings

Australia’s Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme makes it easy to compare the water efficiency of different products. When choosing your toilet, appliances, showerheads, and mixers, look for fittings that have a high WELS rating. A 3-star rated showerhead only uses around 6-7 litres of water per minute, while regular showerheads can use up to 25 litres per minute. Light fittings should also be compact fluorescent lamps or LEDs.

5. Reduce exposure to the sun

An easy way to reduce heat intrusion on the western side of your home is to install an exterior shade structure. If you are building a new home, another option worth considering is extended eaves. Homes should also be correctly oriented on the block to minimise sun from the east and west.