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Energy efficiency at home

Published 02 June 2017
Categories:
  • Planning
  • Sustainability

Most of the electricity produced in Australia is from coal and gas which create greenhouse gas emissions when burnt. Addressing climate change requires a big reduction in the use of fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil). Reducing energy use and switching to renewable energy can help address climate change.

For more information on climate change visit the Climate Council website.

This page provides some practical steps that households can take to reduce energy use and costs and create a more comfortable home.

Maroondah City Council uses a similar approach in reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions. This is to measure emissions, assess where emissions can be reduced, take action to avoid and reduce energy use, assess where renewable energy can be used, offset remaining emissions and review and continue the process.

Measure your energy use and greenhouse gas emissions

To reduce your household energy use and greenhouse gas emissions it helps to understand where they are coming from and to identify the areas you would like to target for savings.

There are a range of calculators that you can use to calculate:

Plan and take action to avoid and reduce your energy use

To help you to plan your actions and work towards your energy reduction goal see the Sustainability Victoria website. This presents energy efficiency options for appliances, cooling, heating, draught proofing, hot water systems, insulation, lighting and windows.

See how you can use your garden and plants to help keep your home cool and reduce energy use:

Assess if renewable energy is for you

Once you have reduced your household energy use as much as possible you may want to install solar panels to produce your own electricity. This is a good economic choice for many households as the cost of electricity continues to rise while the cost of solar panels declines.

Things to consider when thinking about having solar panels installed on your home:

Offset remaining greenhouse gas emissions

Once you have reduced your energy use as much as possible you may want to buy offsets for your remaining electricity and gas use and travel. An offset unit is created from an activity that reduces or removes greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere and are purchased to offset emissions that are created elsewhere.

There are a range of project options when buying offset units including to protect forests, create renewable energy (including accredited GreenPower) and capture methane gas from landfill.

To find out more about carbon offsets visit Your Energy Savings.

Some other cost savings options

See if you can save on your electricity bills by comparing retailer offers at Victorian Energy Compare.

You may be able to save on your purchase when you buy a new energy efficient appliance and product from businesses participating in the Victorian Government’s Energy Saver Incentive.

Imagine if……

On average every household in Maroondah reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 20% (by 3.6 tonnes of carbon). This would result in a reduction of almost 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2-e) per year. That’s equivalent to planting over 1 million trees.

  • Installing a solar hot water system could reduce an average household’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2.4 tonnes per year.
  • Energy use could be reduced by 10% by adjusting heating and cooling to 1 degree cooler in winter and 1 degree warmer in summer.
  • Energy use could be reduced by 20% by switching off lights and appliance when they aren’t being used.

Source: Based on average emissions per household from the Australian Greenhouse Calculator

http://apps.epa.vic.gov.au/AGC/r_emissions.html#/! 

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