SUSTAINABILITY ARTICLE FOR THE WEEKENDER HERALD
BY LIDDY DOLMAN JUNE 2013
'ENERGY, WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW'
I don’t blame you if you are rolling your eyes at this topic, bemoaning the fact that you have heard it all before. However, it is so important when discussing sustainable living that it cannot be ignored. I won’t bore you with the obvious and hopefully will throw some light on a number of new strategies that you can implement around the home.
Saving money is a compelling driver for reducing energy use around the home, but it is not the only reason. Societies cutting back on electricity, gas and water use also helps to preserve the world’s resources for future generations and decreases our gas emissions responsible for the earth’s changing climate.
When conducting energy audits, I find ‘standby power’ is still a bit of a mystery to many. Did you know that when appliances are left on standby they are still using power. TVs, DVDs, VCRs, set-top boxes, games consoles, stereos and computers are the obvious ones to watch. Often overlooked is your mobile phone and other chargers. If left plugged in, they use power even if they're not connected to your phone or equipment? A microwave oven can use more power and generate more carbon pollution running the digital clock than cooking food.
This really adds up over a year up to 10 per cent of your power bill. Just think about it: if your yearly electricity bill is $1,000 you're paying $100 on powering appliances that you're not even using. Ouch!!!
- Pay attention to those gaps around the house, they can be found in unexpected places. For example the high level wall vents are a handy escape route for heated air. Block them up from behind where possible to maintain the design integrity of the space. While you are at it seal all those pesky little gaps that create draughts through windows, doors and chimneys.
- Turn the thermostat of the reverse cycle air conditioner down in the winter and up in the summer by just 1 or 2°.
- Install heavy curtains and pelmets to avoid heat loss through windows.
- Retiring that second fridge can reduce your energy bill by as much as $350 annually.
Get the whole family involved, track your savings and have a day out at the end of the year to celebrate your success. A little focus really can result in big savings.
Next edition – Ethical Shopping, what part does that play?
Visit me at Ecolateral 411 Magill Road St Morris or visit www.ecolateralshop.com.au for more info on sustainability.