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The top eight power guzzlers in your home

The top eight power guzzlers in your home and how to stop them sending

your household bills through the roof

THESE are the top eight power guzzlers sending your household energy

bills through the roof, and how to save on your next bill.

Candace Sutton

news.com.au

Games consoles can add to you power bills even when you aren't using

them.Source:AFP

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IF YOU'RE wondering why your power bill keeps on expanding there are

some obvious — and not so likely suspects quietly sending your energy

consumption through the roof.

Charging phones, using computers, playing electronic games, drying

your hair or your clothes, and using lights and TVs, there's no end to

electricity use around the home.

According to finder.com.au, "it has never been so easy to use

electricity, nor has it ever been so easy to waste electricity.

"Wasting energy may seem inconsequential, but it is costing you extra

money," the consumer site says, along with "costing the earth's

atmosphere through tonnes of carbon-based pollution".

Some appliances waste energy when they are sitting idly by, such as

computers or PlayStations which use standby power or "vampire power"

whether they are turned on or not.

Drying, whether it be hair or clothes chews up energy, as does cooling

in the form of airconditioning.

Just using the bathroom can boost your energy bill, if you are not

aware of heat and water consumption costs and waste.

Heating and cooling chews up 38pc of your power, while adding hot

water makes a total of 63pc of your power bills around the home.

Picture: finder.com.au

Heating and cooling chews up 38pc of your power, while adding hot

water makes a total of 63pc of your power bills around the home.

Picture: finder.com.auSource:Supplied

Finder.com.au estimated that heating and cooling — in particular the

air temperature of your house and your water for bathing — consumes

the most, 63 per cent of your household energy.

Airconditioners and heaters are more energy inefficient than hot water

systems, comprising 38 per cent of the total energy bill.

Fridges and freezers consume seven per cent each, appliances on

standby chewing up four per cent and other appliances like TVs

equalling a total of 16 per cent of consumption

Here are the top energy consuming appliances and habits around your

home, and how to reduce your use and that quarterly bill.

Heating water takes up 25 per cent of home energy bills and is second

only to heaters and airconditioning, so limit your showers to three

minutes. Picture: Supplied.

Heating water takes up 25 per cent of home energy bills and is second

only to heaters and airconditioning, so limit your showers to three

minutes. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied

HOT WATER

Heating water is a heavy drain on energy equating to nearly 25 per

cent of all household power usage.

If you are building a new house, take the opportunity to place your

hot water system closest to the taps that use it the most.

And take a shower — as long as it's not a ten minute affair — as a

single hot bath can use more than 100 litres of water.

A short, three minute shower can use less than 30 litres of water that

you are paying to heat.

Set the temperature of your water between 60C and 65C, or as low as

50C for children.

Fix any drips — a hot water tap dripping at the rate of 1 drip per

second could waste up to $25 in a year.

Baths can use up to 100 litres of hot water so should be used

sparingly compared with showers which can be restricted to 30 litres.

Picture: George Apostolidis.

Baths can use up to 100 litres of hot water so should be used

sparingly compared with showers which can be restricted to 30 litres.

Picture: George Apostolidis.Source:Supplied

More people are installing aircon but they need to learn a few rules

about closing off rooms and letting cool air in ahead of a forecast

heatwave to keep a lid on bills. Picture: Courier Mail.

More people are installing aircon but they need to learn a few rules

about closing off rooms and letting cool air in ahead of a forecast

heatwave to keep a lid on bills. Picture: Courier Mail.Source:istock

AIR CONDITIONER

The Australian summer has become hotter for the third consecutive

year, sending many people off to buy their first airconditioner.

If the climate trend continues power guzzling air con will be

spiralling energy bills upward across the nation.

Finder.com.au has some tips to limit consumption while trying to cool

down the house.

Firstly, do your homework and choose a model by its multi-starred

Energy Rating System, such as an inverter unit which is quieter and

more efficient.

If a hot day is forecast, let cool air into your house the night before

Increase your aircon's temperature by 1C in summer and decrease

the reverse cycle by 1C in winter and you'll save up to 10 per cent

energy consumption.

Clean the filters every few months to keep them unblocked and efficient

If you're leaving the house for more than an hour, turn the system off

Do not cool unoccupied rooms, and close vents or ducts connected

to these rooms.

Small but powerful, hairdryers can suck up the watts if you use the

hottest setting, but energy efficient models can mean big savings on

the bills. Picture: Phillips.

Small but powerful, hairdryers can suck up the watts if you use the

hottest setting, but energy efficient models can mean big savings on

the bills. Picture: Phillips.Source:Supplied

HAIRDRYER

Hair dryers heat the water in your wet hair to its evaporating point

while blowing it away, and that takes a lot of energy.

However, the hairdryer's settings can make a big difference.

The hottest setting can use up to 1500 watts of power, whereas the

"cool" might only use 70 watts.

At 25 cents per kilowatt hour, over a year the difference between the

two settings is $1.60 and $34.00.

And as with many energy-draining appliances, there are energy-efficient models.

Heat lamps should not be used as de facto lights in bathrooms as they

use a lot of energy making the heat and should have a separate switch.

Heat lamps should not be used as de facto lights in bathrooms as they

use a lot of energy making the heat and should have a separate

switch.Source:Supplied

HEAT LAMP

Other areas of high energy use in the bathroom are heat lamps, which

most people turn on with the lights.

Heat lamps are highly energy consuming as they're made to make heat

and not light.

If you have these installed, they should be controllable by switches

independent to those used to light your bathroom.

If you have an old, second fridge chugging away in the laundry, get

rid of it and watch your power bill drop, whereas new models have

super efficient energy ratings.

If you have an old, second fridge chugging away in the laundry, get

rid of it and watch your power bill drop, whereas new models have

super efficient energy ratings.Source:Supplied

FRIDGES & FREEZERS

It's the appliance that runs all day and all night, every night of the year.

The first lesson is not to place the refrigerator in a sunny window or

next to an oven and make its job of keeping cool even more energy

intensive.

The size of your fridge matters, and the number. If you have an old,

second fridge chugging away in the laundry, get rid of it and watch

your power bill drop.

If you're buying a new fridge, like the airconditioner its energy

rating is important.

Four stars used to equate super efficiency, but now some models have

up to ten stars.

Keep your fridge clean at the back and well-ventilated, and make sure

its seals are not decayed, allowing coolness to escape.

Standby switches for electronic devices can use energy even when the

device is switched off but still plugged in, and laptops can waste

$25.90 a year just charging. Picture: Dylan Robinson.

Standby switches for electronic devices can use energy even when the

device is switched off but still plugged in, and laptops can waste

$25.90 a year just charging. Picture: Dylan Robinson.Source:News Corp

Australia

POWER POINTS AND STAND BY

Switch appliances off at the power point or unplug them.

Standby power or vampire power truly does use electricity.

Leaving a PlayStation on standby after using it for just 90 minutes a

week can cost you an extra $37 a year in energy use.

Whether your appliances are turned on or not, if they are plugged into

the wall with the power point on, they are using power.

If your laptop is charged, do not plug it in. Charging it for three

hours a night can cost you an extra $25.90 a year.

Australians have some of the biggest houses in the world and to be

really energy efficient per person you should consider downsizing, a

worldwide trend. Picture: Stephen Harman

Australians have some of the biggest houses in the world and to be

really energy efficient per person you should consider downsizing, a

worldwide trend. Picture: Stephen HarmanSource:News Corp Australia

YOUR BIG HOUSE

Australians have the largest houses in the world, ahead of Canada and

the United States.

Bigger houses use more energy and over the past 60 years Australian

homes have more than doubled in size, going from an average of around

100 square metres in 1950 to about 240 square metres today.

At the same time, the average number of people living in each

household has been declining. This means that the average floor area

per person has skyrocketed from 30 square metres to around 87 square

metres.

More occupants mean less energy per person, as the resources are shared.

Just by downsizing your home, a worldwide trend which includes the

"tiny homes' fad in which people live in less than 30 sq m houses on

wheels, you can drastically cut power bills.

If you have a swimming pool be like Bill Brazier (above) who uses a

solar-powered pump to keep his pool clean and efficient. Picture: Paul

Riley.

If you have a swimming pool be like Bill Brazier (above) who uses a

solar-powered pump to keep his pool clean and efficient. Picture: Paul

Riley.Source:News Corp Australia

SWIMMING POOL PUMP

Not everyone has a swimming pool, but Australia has the highest per

capita ownership in the world.

And over a year, a pool pump running 24 hours a day can produce as

much greenhouse gas as a large car.

Using a pool pump for between four and six hours a day can boost your

power bill by $1556 a year, finder.com.au calculated.

It recommended using a pool cover to reduce evaporation of water that

has been processed by the energy draining pump.

Reduce the size of your pump, which often may be too big, or use a

solar-powered pump.

Larger houses mean more energy use and as families reduce in numbers

that means more per capita consumption. Picture: finder.com.au.

Larger houses mean more energy use and as families reduce in numbers

that means more per capita consumption. Picture:

finder.com.au.Source:Supplied

The Australian Bureau of Statistics says that Australian households

are becoming more energy efficient.

This is despite a five per cent increase in the nation's overall

energy supply between 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Over that period, household energy use per person dropped by 0.9 per cent.

Figures released by the Bureau this month showed a 6.5 per cent

decrease in household energy use over a decade since 2005.

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