Be smart this summer and save

January 2016

Knowing how to stay cool in summer can make our homes more comfortable without breaking the bank. 

Ausgrid energy efficiency expert Craig Tupper said about two-thirds of NSW households use air conditioners each summer, which can add significantly to their electricity bills.

“The key to summer energy savings is to keep the heat off your house and encourage natural air flow inside,” Mr Tupper said.

“This means you can use the air conditioner less, which could cut your CO2 emissions by up to one tonne this summer and reduce the electricity bill for a family of four by up to ten per cent.”

The north and west facing areas of Australian houses receive the most summer heat and light. 

Keep the heat out by using vertical shades like adjustable louvres for east and west windows and horizontal shading like awnings for northern windows.

If you can’t cover your windows from the outside, use curtains or blinds indoors and choose lighter colours so they reflect the heat.

Leave doors and windows on opposite sides of your home open to take advantage of cross ventilation. If you have a two-storey house it’s important to encourage hot air to flow out of the upper level while letting in the cool evening breeze. Spinning roof vents also help reduce the temperature in the roof cavity.

Ceiling fans cost about two cents an hour to run, or as little as $6 over summer. In comparison, air conditioning the same room can cost between 30 and 40 cents an hour and increase your summer bill by $100-150.

When using an air conditioner the easiest way to save money is to set the right temperature – ideally between 23 and 26 degrees. Each degree of cooling can add 10% to your running costs – and remember to close doors and windows to keep the cool air in.