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7 Days to an Energy Efficient Home: Day 2

Where is your energy going?

The average Aussie house uses 16 kWh of electricity per day.

What is a kWh? It is a kilowatt hour. That means the amount of electricity used by a 1kW electrical device if it is left on for an hour. An example of a 1kW device is a small pool pump.

Another way to visualise a kWh is:

  • 1200 electric shaves (> 3 years)
  • Drying your hair 15 times
  • 4 TV evenings
  • Listening to 15 CD's
  • Using a (small) refrigerator for 24 hours
  • 20 microwave meals
  • Drill 250 holes
  • 4 evenings of light with 60 W incandescent lamps
  • 20 evenings of light with 11 W compact fluorescent light

If you can dig out a recent electric bill, have a look at it. It will tell you what you averaged per day over the last 3 months.

There are a lot of homes in Australia that get by on 5-6kWh per day. And these aren’t super efficient green homes. They have just followed a methodical process to see what their top energy users are, and then made a small investment to fix up the worst performers.

Yesterday, I droned on about how important it is to focus on the big energy users in your home first - if you want to make the biggest reduction with minimum investment.

Here’s a breakdown of energy use in a typical Australian household:

Typical Australian Residential Energy Use

Source: South Australian Govt

If you look at this chart, you can see that 80% of your energy bill is used by just 4 segments:

  • Heating and Cooling
  • Water Heating
  • Other Appliances
  • Fridges and freezers

So these are the things we are going to concentrate on over the next 6 emails.

By the way: see how lighting only accounts for 7% of your bill and standby 3%? So why does almost all the advice you get from everyone else start and end with “Change your globes and switch everything off at the wall”

Don’t get me wrong, it is quick, cheap and easy to swap out your globes, but…. You will make a tiny difference to your bill compared to addressing the ‘big 4’ above.

Why is it then that these ‘energy efficiency’ companies that are springing up everywhere only ever offer to change your globes and nothing else?

If they were serious about bringing energy use down, lighting would be a low priority, and space and water heating would be top of the list.. Something tells me that they are being hired by the electricity generators as a token gesture, so that they can tell the pollies that they are “doing something”….

Rant over. Sorry, but it really winds me up to see so many people putting so much effort into telling people to do so little!

Tomorrow: Your number 1 Energy Efficiency priority: How to renovate your home so that your heating/cooling bill is a few bucks per year.

SmartNow - The Current Cost ENVI


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