Post by Debbie Firestone – Program Leader Sustainability, Tweed Shire Council
WINTER power bills are starting to bite.
On average, NSW households will pay $2700 in annual power bills in 2014/2015, and up to $500 will be spent on heating our homes in winter.
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Not only does winter heating hurt our wallets, but our winter energy use emits tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
Managing our winter heating use is one important way we can reduce our environmental impact.
Cheap and easy ways to keep those costs down and stay warm at home include simple solutions like wearing warm clothes and covering gaps at the base of doors with draught stoppers.
Infrared thermometers can be borrowed for free from NSW libraries as part of the Save Power Kit. The thermometer is a great way to find out where draughts are letting cool air in, and where you’ll make the greatest savings by stopping the gaps.
The Save Power Kit also contains a conventional thermometer to check your room temperature. The ideal indoor temperature during winter is 18 – 22°C. Every degree you turn the heating up can cost you up to 10 per cent more on your power bill.
Smart heating is another way to save money, save power and minimise our impact on the planet. Follow these tips to make the most of your heating:
• Only heat the rooms you are using.
• Close the doors of any rooms you are not using.
• Turn off the heating at night or when you leave the house.
Dealing with heating loss and heat gain through windows can account for up to 35 per cent of average household heating and cooling bills. Thermal blinds and curtains are a cost-effective investment to cut heat loss at home.
If you are looking at new heaters, upgrading to appliances that run on less energy is a good long-term investment. Use energy rating labels to find the most efficient heating system for your needs. More stars means spending less money on running costs. Compare models with the same star ratings by looking at the energy consumption number on the label.
So keep the heater on low, stop the gaps and put an extra layer of clothing on to make the most of the money you spend heating your home this winter.
For more simple and cost-effective ways to improve sustainability in your home, come along to Tweed Shire Council’s ‘Living for the Future’ Home Expo on Saturday 23 August 2014 at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre from 9am until 2pm. For full details, click here.