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4 Energy Saving Myths Debunked

Making changes in our consumption habits and implementing some low-tech tweaks can significantly improve home energy efficiency without spending a lot. Energy efficiency is a hot topic, and amidst the myriad of information, some helpful and some not, it’s important to debunk common myths surrounding it. Let’s clarify some of these myths.

Hand washing dishes will help you save on energy bills.

Hand washing dishes is often thought to save on energy bills, but in reality, it’s quite the opposite. A 6-star rated dishwasher typically uses around 10 litres of water per cycle on average. In comparison, the capacity of an average Australian kitchen sink is usually around 30 litres. Let’s assume you need to fill half of the sink with water to clean a set of dishes. If the plates are heavily soiled, you may end up using the same amount of water, possibly twice, to properly rinse them. Therefore, it’s generally more efficient to use a dishwasher for washing dishes, but it’s important to wait until you have a full load to clean for maximum efficiency.

Solar panels will not work in winter.

It is true that the efficiency of solar panels will not be the same in winter as it is in summer; however, they still generate electricity in winter when they are not covered by clouds. That means a system with the same capacity will give different outputs across various Australian states throughout the winter months. For example, the average output of a 6.6 kW system in Melbourne would generate 52% of its average daily output during winter days, whereas the same system in Sydney would generate around 64%. While it is lower than in summer, solar panels remain productive even during the winter season.

Smart meters can save energy.

Smart meters record electricity consumption at different intervals, typically every 30 minutes, and send this information directly to the retailer. Conversely, a manual meter measures the total energy consumed, and a technician reads it based on the customer’s billing period. Essentially, the smart meters’ role is to record data and automatically share it with the retailer. This data proves invaluable for understanding energy consumption habits so consumers can make changes to reduce their usage. However, Smart metres can’t create any savings on their own.

Appliances on standby mode do not consume energy.

Standby energy consumption is often underestimated, yet it contributes approximately 10% to the average household energy bill. From the electric toothbrush in your bathroom to the television in your living room, there are typically 15 to 20 connected devices in a household. Older appliances tend to use the most energy while in standby mode, so it’s advisable to keep especially those devices turned off when not in use. If unplugging seems impractical, consider using a power strip with an on/off switch, as every kilowatt counts when it comes to your energy bill and the carbon footprint associated with its generation.

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