Energy Saving Tips


  • Don’t leave your air conditioner on the highest setting. The recommended room temperature for summer is 24°C – 27°C. Every 1°C cooler will increase your energy costs by around 10 to 15%.
  • Cool occupied rooms and seal off those rooms not in use.
  • Turn off your air conditioner for 15 minutes each hour. Or cool your house in the morning and turn the air conditioner off for an hour or so in the afternoon.
  • Keep curtains and windows closed during the day to block out the heat, then open them at night to let in cooler air.

Hot water

  • Switch off your electric hot water unit if you’re going away for a week or more.
  • Set the temperature of your hot water between 60°C and 65°C.
  • Or, if you have small children, set your bathroom hot water temperature to 50°C – 55°C to decrease the risk of scalding.
  • Installing a solar-boosted hot water unit can save you up to 90% of your hot water costs on a sunny day.
  • Installing a AAA-rated water efficient shower rose can result in significant savings on both your energy and water bills.
  • Fix that drip! A hot water tap dripping at the rate of 1 drip per second can waste up to $25 worth of hot water in a year.
  • Make sure the pipes from your hot water service are insulated to prevent heat loss.


  • Microwaves can cook food three times faster than a standard oven while using up to 70% less electricity.
  • Use small, efficient appliances like pressure cookers and electric fry pans which require only half the energy used by standard ovens.
  • When steaming, use a minimum of water and keep pot lids on.
  • Thaw foods completely before cooking and you’ll save energy and cooking time.


  • Only run the dishwasher with a full load.
  • On warm days let nature dry your dishes.

Fridges and Freezers

  • Set your fridge between 3°C and 4°C and your freezer between minus 15°C and 18°C. Every 1°C lower will increase your energy costs by around 5%.
  • Turn off spare fridges and freezers when not in use.
  • Don’t allow ice to build up beyond 5 mm thickness on the walls of your fridge or freezer. Ice actually prevents the flow of cool air, causing your fridge to work harder and consume more energy than necessary.
  • Keep fridges out of direct sunlight and away from stoves and ovens.


  • Use cold water for everyday washing and hot water for special loads, such as whites and heavily soiled clothes.
  • An over-loaded or over-sudded machine uses more electricity and doesn’t clean as well.
  • Front-loading washing machines are up to 15% more energy efficient than top loading machines.


  • Check the weather before you put clothes into the dryer. Remember, the sun’s energy is free.
  • For maximum efficiency, ensure your clothes have been well-spun in the washing machine first.
  • Clean the lint filter after each use – it speeds up drying time.
  • Try not to over-dry clothes and do run consecutive loads. The residual heat will help dry the next load.


  • Normal incandescent light globes can be replaced by modern compact fluorescent bulbs that can save up to 75% of your lighting costs.
  • Turn lights off in rooms not being used.
  • Install timers, automatic switches and daylight or movement sensors for outside lighting.


  • Install north facing windows to catch the winter sun and reduce the amount of energy needed to heat your home.
  • Choose the right size appliance for the area you want to heat. Overheating wastes energy, whilst a unit that is too small will struggle (even if running on maximum setting).
  • Keep doors to cold rooms, like kitchens, bathrooms and laundries, closed and use heavy curtains on windows. These can prevent up to 75% of total heat loss from a home.
  • Stop draughts by sealing unused chimneys with chimney dampers, sealing gaps around doors, and switching off range hoods and exhaust fans.

TV and computers

  • Turn off your television, sound system and computer when no-one is using them.

Energy ratings

  • When buying any electrical appliance, look for an energy rating. Energy rating labels must be displayed on all dryers, fridges, freezers, air conditioners, dishwashers and washing machines. A general rule of thumb is the more stars on the label, the more energy efficient the appliance.


Electrical Safety

General Appliances

  • To avoid a shock, switch off power points before plugging and unplugging appliances
  • Do not attempt to repair faulty electrical appliances yourself. Leave it to a qualified repairman or licensed electrician
  • Remove appliances from the power point by holding the plug, not by pulling the cord
  • Have appliances serviced in accordance with the manufacturers instructions
  • When buying second hand appliances ensure that they have been tested by a licensed electrician or gas fitter and have been certified as safe
  • If you use a portable light, choose only approved hand lamps with protective guards and adequate insulation
  • Never leave your home with appliances such as heaters, ovens and stove tops operating
  • Remove any build-up of materials around the electric motor of exhaust fans (eg. fluff, dust, lint, etc)
  • Do not place fan heaters, televisions and electrical equipment in areas with restricted air flow as overheating may occur
  • Keep all combustible material (eg. clothes, bed linen, curtains and tea towels) away from stove tops, heaters and lamps as heat build-up can cause fires
  • Clean the lint filter in your clothes dryer after each use
  • When using your clothes dryer, ensure the load goes through a full cycle to allow the dryer to cool down
  • Electric blankets should be checked at the start of each winter for damaged wires, plugs, leads and hot spots. If the electric blanket is damaged you should get replace it immediately
  • Electric blankets should be laid flat and secured tightly on the bed
  • Remember to turn off your electric blanket at the power point when you get into bed
  • Electric blankets are not recommended for use by babies or young children as “bed-wetting” may occur
  • Ensure you have the correct bulb size and rating (in watts) fitted in lamps according to manufacturers specifications
  • All outdoor electrical appliances must conform to safety standards, ie. be double insulated

Kitchen Appliances

  • Regularly clean range hood filters
  • Clean ovens and hot plates regularly to prevent the build-up of spilled fats and burnt foods
  • Install a ventilation system, flue or exhaust fan in the kitchen to remove fumes while cooking
  • Switch off and unplug your toaster before trying to remove toast, muffins or crumpets that are caught in the toaster
  • Remove bread crumbs from the toaster regularly as a build up can be hazardous
  • Never leave cooking unattended. If you must leave the room take something with you as a reminder that you are cooking (eg. a wooden spoon)

Switches & Power points

  • Put safety plugs into unused power point sockets to prevent accidental contact
  • Do not touch or attempt to repair a loose, cracked or broken power point switch.
  • Repairs must only be undertaken by a licensed electrician or registered electrical contractor
  • Do not overload power points or power boards by “piggy backing” plugs into one socket or by using double adaptors as all power boards have maximum current ratings. Instead, have another power point installed by a registered electrical contractor
  • If there is a build up of dirt, moisture, grease or oil on or around power points and switches, have a licensed electrician test them
  • Do not allow children to play with power points or switches
  • Place power boards in ventilated areas and keep them free of dust and dirt
  • Do not plug high wattage appliances (such as heaters) into power boards as they could overheat the circuit wiring through overload and cause a fire
  • Do not spray household cleaners, detergents and insecticides on switches and power points
  • Do not wipe power points or switches with a wet cloth

Water & Electricity

  • Never touch anything electrical with wet hands or bare feet
  • Never use any electrical appliance near water
  • Do not use portable heaters in bathroom areas. Instead, you should have either a strip heater installed high on the wall or a ceiling unit installed by a registered electrical contractor
  • Be extremely careful when using appliances connected to power points near sinks, baths or swimming pools
  • If an electrical appliance has been immersed in water it must be discarded immediately
  • Do not use extension leads or power leads in wet areas unless specifically designed to do so

Extension Leads

  • Place extension cords carefully around furniture preferably securely taped to the floor, or along wall edges
  • Extension leads should have plugs with three metal cores (pins). Plugs with two cores are not earthed and therefore are dangerous and should be used only with double insulated electrical equipment
  • Only use extension leads as a temporary measure
  • Extension leads that are damaged, frayed or have the inner wires exposed should be thrown away or repaired by a qualified repairman or licensed electrician
  • Do not place extension leads near heaters and cookers
  • Check electrical cords are not hanging from benches where children can grab them
  • Do not connect a piggyback plug to the end of an extension lead to make it longer as the pins will be live. This can be extremely dangerous
  • If using extension leads outdoors check them regularly for signs of damage or age
  • Do not attempt to repair electrical leads yourself, and never join them by twisting or taping
  • Do not make up a long extension lead from a series of shorter ones
  • Never place extension leads under carpet or rugs as they may overheat
  • Fully extend leads on reels when in use

Power lines

  • Around the home always keep well clear of overhead power lines
  • Keep all ladders, boat masts and poles well clear of overhead power lines
  • When operating tall machinery such as cranes and augers, driving high vehicles, lifting equipment overhead or climbing on top of roofs or other elevated areas, focus on what is above you. Keep well clear of power lines
  • Stay well clear of machinery being operated near powerlines, as they could come in contact with overhead powerlines
  • Stay well clear of any fallen powerlines as electricity can arc across gaps. Do not attempt to remove trees or debris around them. Call your local electricity distributor directly on their emergency number which is located on the electricity account
  • Be careful when working on the roof of your house. Ask your electricity distributor to turn off the power when working close to wires attached to your house
  • You are responsible for ensuring that trees on your property are kept pruned to prevent interference with powerlines are kept pruned. Hire a tree clearing expert if the trees are not well clear of the lines
  • Do not play with kites or model planes near overhead power lines
  • Only plant low growing tree or shrub species near overhead powerlines in accordance with recommendations from your electricity distributor

Underground Cables

  • Before you begin excavation it is essential to identify all underground services to and within the property and locate the position of gas, electricity, water and other underground services (such as telephone and cable TV)
  • Underground cables installed on a persons property should be accurately recorded and information placed in the meter box. If no record is evident, a registered electrical contractor may be able to assist to locate the cables


Switchboard & Fuses

  • Know where your switchboard is located on your property in case of an emergency
  • Keep shrubs or trees clear around your switchboard and meter for easy access
  • Be careful replacing fuses and make sure that the main switch is turned off when carrying it out
  • Label all switches, circuit breakers or fuses in the switchboard to identify the area of the property they control and protect
  • If a fuse blows repeatedly in your house have a registered electrical contractor or licensed electrician carry out a safety check
  • Switch the power off at the main switch if you are carrying out any household maintenance or renovations
  • Hire a registered electrical contractor or licensed electrician to inspect your switchboard if it has a strange smell or if there are any signs of heat scorching, burn marks or worn wires