Introduction

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make savings around your home. In the coming months we’ll share more tips and resources we’ve found on this website.

You’ll also spot us out and about at community events and festivals throughout Western Sydney. Visit our Light Years Ahead information booth to see our demonstrations including a model house and home lighting display. You’ll be able to enter competitions for a chance to win prizes. For information on where the Light Years Ahead information booth will be next visit our Events page.

Summer home energy tips

Summer tips to reduce energy
WSROC President in suit holds smartphone showing app installed on screen
WSROC President with Energy Rating App on smartphone
Credit: Jay La

Over the summer holidays it’s easy to notch up some nasty electricity bills while trying to keep your home cool.  

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti, has five tips for residents to make energy savings. WSROC’s Light Years Ahead project has been reducing council bills in nine Western Councils by replacing old street lights with energy-efficient LEDs – this activity received funding from the Australian Government.

Seal those gaps

Cooled air can easily escape through gaps into areas of your home that aren’t a cooling priority or may not be insulated. Sliding doors between your living space and garage are often a culprit. Adhesive window or door seals are found in most hardware stores while door snakes or rolled towels are just as effective.

WSROC President is suit holding door snake
WSROC President showing common door snake used to stop draughts
Credit: Jay La
Protect windows

Using outdoor screens, blinds or other shading products can reduce heat transmission through windows. Planting shade in front of or near windows may help. If you are renting, talk to your local garden centre about options for deciduous plants for pots or trellises which can be removed when you leave.

Alternate the air con with fans

Ceiling fans can consume far less energy than air-conditioners so run your air-conditioner in bursts and alternate with fans. Fans also help to circulate cooled air. Check your air-conditioner manual for timer and other energy-saving options and to compare energy-outputs.

Review appliances and catch January bargains

New appliances are often more energy efficient, yet it is important to carefully read labels and packaging. Look for the Australian Government’s Energy Rating App in your smartphone’s app-store to help decision-making and talk to your local retailer. Some shops will price match if you show competitors’ prices on your smartphone.

WSROC President holds smartphone close to camera showing Energy Rating App on screen with icons including graphics for menu items
View of the Energy Rating App for smartphones
Credit: Jay La
Love your fridge

Overstocking your fridge can make the motor run too hard, as air cannot circulate air properly. Create recipes with Christmas holidays leftovers before you shop for new supplies. Shut the fridge door while you plan your next masterpiece or your fridge has to cool and circulate new air.

News: Free home energy audits for Parramatta residents

Parramatta City Councils is offering free home energy assessments for Parramatta LGA residents.

As part of the 1 hour in-home consultation you will receive:

  • A walk-through of your home
  • An energy bill analysis
  • An action plan for a smarter home
  • A solar PV assessment
  • Obligation-free quotes

Parramatta LGA residents can contact Council’s service provider Positive Charge on phone 1300 236 855. Households who undertake an assessment will receive a set of energy saving light globes.

*Home energy assessments are very limited in number and are offered on a first-come basis.

This information is via the Parramatta City Council website.

General resources

General resources

Visit the below websites for a range of energy-saving information and resources.

Lighting

Use energy efficient light globes called compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs). They’ve come down in price and will save you money long-term.

  • Choose the lowest wattage light bulb you need.
  • Choose lampshades that allow more light through and that keep dust off globes.
  • Dispose of used globes through your local council’s chemical clean out day or at your nearest community recycling centre. To find locations and dates go to www.cleanout.com.au.
Resources

Living spaces

  • Going on holidays? Energy-smart timers will turn lights on and off rather than keeping lights running.
  • Curtains, blinds, shutters and awnings can impact heating and cooling costs.
  • Consider what they are made of, where the sun rises and sets, and how window treatments can be adjusted.
  • Don’t install multiple lights on the same light switch as you will waste power by turning on unnecessary lights.
Resources

 

 

Heating and cooling

  • Cold? Add another layer of clothing or blanket rather than turn on the air conditioner or heater.
  • Solar panels can reduce the cost of your air conditioner or water heater.
  • Door and window seals are a cost effective way to keep cool or warm air in and stop draughts.
Resources

Bathroom and laundry

  • Use a bathroom exhaust fan with in-built heating lamp rather than stay longer in the shower to warm up.
  • A four minute shower timer can reduce water and energy usage by 40 per cent.
  • Dry clothes on an outdoor line or indoor clothes rack rather than in the dryer.
Resources

Garage and Outdoors

  • Turn off power tool chargers when not in use.
  • Switch your pool pump to off-peak.
  • Think about shading and planting choices near your house, to reduce the amount of heat impacting key living spaces.
Resources

Appliances

  • Laptops use less energy than desktop computers.
  • Turn off appliances at the power point when not in use. Even standby or snooze mode uses power.
  • Take the free Energy Rating app shopping (www.energyrating.gov.au) and convert your kilowatts to savings.
Resources