How to save energy and water this summer

Summer is a time when we tend to use more power and water while we’re trying to keep cool, entertain and relax at home. With power bills increasing, making some small changes can make a big difference to your bills this summer.

Here’s our top tips for keeping costs down.

Be aware of where and when you are using energy

The simple act of being energy-aware can help you save money on your power bill.

  • Turn the lights off when you leave a room.
  • Put the hot summer sun to work and hang your washing on the line or a clothes rack to dry instead of using the dryer.
  • Turn off home entertainment appliances such as gaming consoles and TVs at the wall after use. These appliances often use power even in sleep mode. This can save you up to $193 a year.
  • Replace old light fittings with LEDs. LEDs use around 80% less energy than older style globes.
  • Use either solar festive lights or place your existing lights on automatic timers over the holiday season.
  • Use the cold water setting on your washing machine. By washing in cold water you can save up to 10 times more energy than in a warm wash.

Read more tips on how to save on energy from the Australian Government.

Cool your home efficiently

Air conditioning is one of the biggest electricity users in the home, but there are ways to be smart about your home cooling to keep your bills down.

  • You save between 5-10% on cooling costs for every 1oC you raise your air conditioner temperature. Aim for 25°C or above.
  • Close doors, windows and curtains to cool rooms quicker and keep them at a comfortable temperature for longer.
  • Consider using a fan instead in some rooms and on cooler days.
  • Keep your air conditioner well maintained by cleaning the dust filters regularly. A dirty unit will be forced to work harder.
  • If you have ducted air conditioning, only cool the rooms you are going to be using. Do this by switching off cooling to the rooms you aren’t using. Close the doors to these rooms to keep the rest of the house cool.

Check the seals on your fridge and freezer

End of year entertaining can put extra strain on your fridge and freezer. Worn seals can let cold air escape, so if your ice cream is softer than it should be, check if the seals need replacing to keep the temperature and your power bills down.

If you run a second fridge all year and only fill it at holiday time, consider using an esky instead to keep the party drinks cool this holiday season. This can save you up to $172 a year.

More tips on energy and water efficient appliances.

Be conscious of using water effectively

The biggest water-users in the home are washing machines, showers, taps and toilets. Summer can also be a time when our outside water use can increase. Here are some tips to keep your summer water use down.

  • Use a trigger nozzle with your hose when watering the gardening or hosing off the kids. Once done, remember to turn off the hose at the tap. Hose nozzles can be forced off under pressure and can waste 1000 litres of water per hour if left running.
  • Take advantage of the coolest time of day to water your garden and/or lawn to maximise its effectiveness and reduce evaporation.
  • Remember to observe any water restrictions in your area.
  • Use a timer on your sprinkler or irrigation system and consider reducing frequency when there is rain.
  • If you have a pool, carry out regular maintenance, including checking for leaks and using a pool cover. This stops evaporation and debris which can save you energy and water.
  • Install a water-efficient 4-star showerhead. This could save $315 a year on your water bills.
  • Use the extra time at home to check for water leaks. Here are some tips to check for concealed leaks.

What to do if you receive a high bill

If you receive a high bill or are worried about affording your summer energy or water bills, the best thing you can do is get in touch with your provider to discuss the options available such as payment plans or extensions. They can also help with any rebates or concessions you may be entitled to.

How EWOQ can help

If you’re not happy with the outcome or need further support, contact us to make a complaint. We provide a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for unresolved complaints with electricity and gas providers across Queensland and water suppliers in South-East Queensland.