You are probably here because you are looking for ways to reduce your home’s energy usage. By reducing your home’s energy usage, you are not only going to save money on your electricity bills but you are also making a difference by 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 usage is the first step in lowing our emissions and keeping the planet healthy!
Unplug your appliances when they are not in use
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 our appliances have a standby mode which means they are never truly off. Even in standby mode, your appliances are still consuming electricity. Unplugging these when not in use is the first step to reducing your home’s energy usage.
Choosing the right appliances is also very important. Front-loading 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 is one appliance in your home that is always on. Make sure you choose a manufacturer that has a high energy rating label.
Insulate your home
Most people think insulation is just about keeping your home warm in the winter when, in fact, 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 create a thermal barrier which means any effort you spend heating or cooling your home is not 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 properly insulated, you will have to run the heat pump a lot less which in itself will lower your energy consumption.
Look for energy-efficient transport choices
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 is not an option right now, why not try walking, cycling, carpooling, or even catching public transport for a change? New Zealand is constantly upgrading its road and public transport infrastructure so, alternatives to using your vehicle are now widely accessible.
Reduce your water usage
As New Zealand’s climate continues to change and water restrictions become more common, it is 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 tank 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 as it reduces the pressure on your council’s infrastructure and means that you can keep your gardens watered all year round.
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.
Switch to solar
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 it will aide in the fight against climate change and global warming.