AUTUMN is the perfect time to make your home warmer and reduce your household’s energy bills for the coming winter months.
Investing a little time and money on energy efficiency upgrades can really pay off, so take a moment this weekend to take some practical, easy and inexpensive steps around your home.
Start by identifying where heat is escaping—around half the energy used in Tasmanian homes is for heating.
Typically, the biggest loss of heat occurs through the ceiling (up to 35 per cent), walls (up to 30 per cent) and floors (up to 15 per cent), so insulation is well worth considering.
Sealing draughts is also a great way to reduce heat loss. Invest in some gap filler and weather strips to seal gaps around doors, windows, pipes and vents.
Thick curtains are a highly effective way of reducing heat loss around your windows, as is plastic film that can be applied to windows as a second insulating layer.
More than 25 per cent of the energy used in the average Tasmanian home is for heating water for the bathroom, laundry and kitchen.
One of the best ways to reduce energy bills is to reduce hot water use by installing water efficient taps and showerheads (that use only 5 litres per minute).
Due to our cooler winters, Tasmanian households use significantly more energy than the warmer northern states and territories.
To make energy efficiency easier for you, the City of Hobart provides Home Energy Audit Toolkits for free hire.
The toolkits come with information, tips and equipment for identifying wasted energy.
The infrared radiometer can be used to identify where heat is escaping, while the thermometer and stopwatch can help you learn how to save money on water heating.
Schools can borrow class toolkits with accompanying teaching resources.
Hobart Lord Mayor Sue Hickey said the City of Hobart was committed to improving the way energy was used.
“We encourage households to do the same, especially as we head into the cooler months where household energy bills in Hobart increase significantly,” she said.
“The City of Hobart is now saving over $1 million annually thanks to energy efficiency upgrades and each year, we do more to reduce our energy use throughout the City through lighting upgrades, heat pumps, insulation and more.
“We are also currently installing the largest commercial solar system in the state with 1,444 panels.”
For more information about Home Energy Audit Toolkits, visit the Hobart City Council website at www.hobartcity.com.au.
Caption: Hobart residents are urged to think about investing in energy efficiency upgrades to reduce household energy bills this winter. Photo Credit: Peter Harmsen.