You’ve probably here because you’re looking at ways to reduce your energy usage. By reducing your homes energy usage, you’re not only going to save money on your electricity bills, but you’re also making a difference at reducing your carbon footprint! While making these little steps might seem insignificant, if everyone did a little bit, it would add up to a lot. Reducing our energy using is the first step in lowing our emissions and keeping the planet healthy!
There are a lot of appliances in your house that are only used from time to time. Your microwave, TV, washing machine and computer are just a few examples. These days, most of your appliances have a stand-by mode which means they are never truly off. Even in stand-by mode, your appliances are using electricity. Unplugging these when not in use is the first step to reducing your homes energy usage.
Choosing the right appliances is also very important. Front-loader washing machines although a little more expensive upfront, are much more energy efficient. They require less water and detergent to run and use less power. Choosing an energy-efficient fridge is also very important as it’s one appliance in your home that’s always working. Make sure you choose a manufacturer that has a high energy rating label.
Most people think Insulation is just about keep you’re your home warm in the winter. Infact, making sure your home is well insulated is probably one of the best things you can do to reduce your energy usage.
Insulation helps keep the inside air in and the outside air out. Insulation helps to create a thermal barrier which means any effort you spend heating or cooling your home isn’t immediately lost. While most houses have underfloor and ceiling insulation, many New Zealand houses lack proper wall insulation. Insulating your walls is a great investment and will pay for itself in a relatively short time.
Once your home is insulated, you’ll have to run the heat pump a lot less which in itself will lower your energy consumption.
Electrical vehicles have come a long way in recent years and sales are set to overtake petrol vehicles in the near future. Think about updating your vehicle to an electric or hybrid vehicle. This will help reduce your carbon footprint and the environment will thank you for it!
If upgrading your car isn’t an option right now, why don’t you try walking, cycling, car pooling or even catching public transport for a change. New Zealand have been upgrading it’s roading and public transport infrastructure and alternatives to using your vehicle are now widely accessible.
As New Zealand’s climate continues to change and water restrictions more common, it’s worth looking at some options to reduce your water usage. Heating your water uses a lot of energy so reducing your water consumption where possible will also reduce your homes energy usage.
Look for water efficient appliances when purchasing. Water-efficiency labels are now a requirement on these appliances, and you can learn more about the scheme by reviewing the WELS standards (Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards).
Purchasing a rainwater tanking is another great option. Retention tanks catch the run-off water from your roof and store it for use at a later stage. This is particularly handy if there are water restrictions and means you can keep your gardens watered all year round and reduces the pressure on your council’s infrastructure.
Buying a water-efficient showerhead is another great idea! This can help reduce the amount of water you use in the shower and can have a significant impact on your hot water usage.
Today, solar panels are very affordable. Taking your house off the grid and running it on solar power will have lasting benefits. The upfront cost will easily pay for itself over time and will help with climate change and global warming.
There are many solar companies in New Zealand and a total home conversation can be done very quickly. Learn more about converting your house to solar energy here.