Reducing Your Costs – Increasing Your Sustainability

At Ecovantage we believe that energy efficiency and sustainable solutions are a major part of reducing your impact on the environment and, inevitably, your bank balance. So what are our options?

Well most of us have already made the switch from incandescent globes to compact fluorescents; reducing that component of our energy bill and carbon emissions by 80%. But what about other lights? Halogen downlights have become increasingly popular in the past decade or so, in both new homes and renovations. However, due to the cost of energy efficient replacements for halogen downlights, approximately $50 per globe, they have not been part of the free exchange program (keep an eye out for more news from Ecovantage on this; some limited rebates for energy efficient downlight replacements are likely in the near future). This doesn’t mean that the replacements for these lights are not worthy of the exchange, in fact quite the opposite. Replacing your downlights with LEDs not only reduces the energy consumption of the light fixture by 80%, but the light itself lasts ten times longer – meaning you won’t need to purchase another light for 20 plus years. If you do the maths, your downlight pays for itself in savings in two years!
With lighting taking up approximately 7% of our energy bill, heating and cooling are the major players – approximately 38% of the average household energy consumption goes to artificial forms of cooling and heating making it by far the biggest energy consumer of any household appliance.

To reduce your energy usage without decreasing your comfort you can follow these tips:

  • Set your heating between 18-20 degrees; every degree higher uses 10% more energy compounded – eg. setting a heater on 24 degrees costs approximately 40% more per hour than setting a heater on 20 degrees.
  • Set your cooling between 25-27 degrees; every degree lower uses 10% more energy compounded – eg. air conditioners running at 21 degrees will cost nearly 30% more per hour than running it at 25 degrees.
  • Draught proof your gaps. This means more than just windows and doors, also consider chimneys and fans.  Keep an eye out in your local community news papers – different local council areas have been running pilot programs which have offered subsidised draught proofing actions, or if you wish to do it yourself, visit our store-  we make it easy
  • Ceiling, wall,  flooring and window insulation.
  • Install external or internal shading – internal shading such as Renshade is handy for tenants or in areas where you can’t install external shading
  • Upgrade your heating and cooling (Rebates available)

As every home is different, the above tips relate to most homes, but it is important to consider where the high energy usage is in your own home and what you can do to reduce it.
In most States, home owners can claim rebates for the installation of solar panels and upgrades to your hot water system, built in heating/cooling systems, and pool pumps.
In Victoria, we at  Ecovantage are here to help householders take advantage of these upgrades to lower their utility costs and ultimately reduce their carbon footprint.
To find out what is available in your State check out www.climatechange.gov.au to see whats available to you.

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