What you can do

Glenda Wilson standing in front of her new solar panelsThe energy we use in everyday life has a direct impact on the level of greenhouse gas emissions entering the atmosphere.

An average Yarra household produces almost 15 tonnes of greenhouse emissions per year. An Energy Smart household would cut emissions by over one third through simple measures. Here are some things you can do to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.

Wondering what impact the carbon price will have on your hip pocket?

A carbon price toolkit is now available online to help households calculate the cost of the carbon price, explain the compensation available and provide ideas for saving energy and money around the home.

The Climate Institute, Consumer advocate CHOICE, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and the Climate Institute have partnered with the CSIRO and AECOM to provide the toolkit explaining the impacts of the Australian Governments new carbon price on households.

The tool is easy to use and takes as little as five minutes to work through.

Find out how to Switch to Green Power. Purchase your electricity from renewable sources to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.

An energy smart home

Most of the energy we use at home is for heating and cooling our living spaces, heating water and using lighting and a range of appliances. Much of this energy is wasted energy (such as leaving the TV or lights on while no one is in the room). With a range of simple measures most households could halve the amount of energy they use and be just as comfortable as well as make significant reductions in their utility bills.

Top 12 actions for an energy smart home

Here are some simple actions to save energy in your home:

1. Use cold water when hot water is not absolutely necessary. Energy used for heating a family's hot water can cost up to $400 a year.

2. Stop warm air from flowing out the doors and windows. By doing this you can reduce your energy usage by 5%.

3. Close windows and doors in heated areas. Heating makes up the largest part of the energy bill for many Victoria households.

4. Set your thermostat at a reasonable temperature of between 18 and 20 degrees for living areas. Each degree above this level will increase your bill by up to 15%.

5. Keep the temperature in your refrigerator between 3 and 5 degrees, and in your freezer between -18 and -15 degrees (temperatures suitable for food storage).

6. Run the washer, dryer and dish washer only with full loads. Energy used for washing and drying clothes can cost a typical family up to $150 each year.

7. Use the clothesline whenever possible. The sun's energy is free. This reduces the need to use more resources.

8. Change your light globes to energy saving ones. This could save you $110 each year.

9. Turn out lights when you leave the room. Make use of natural light.

10. Try to leave your car at home one day a week. This will reduce the pollution your car produces by 20%.

11. Buy some or all of your electricity as Green Power. If you join the Community Power program through your council, you can purchase Green Power at a reduced cost.

12. Turn off appliances so they are not left on standby. By doing this you can save 7-10% of your electricity bill.

Power- Mate energy usage meter

A Power–Mate is a useful energy auditing tool that can show how much energy your appliances are using whilst in operation and also while left on standby. Leaving your appliances such as TVs, computers and stereos on stand-by can cost households up to $180 a year!

A Power–Mate is available for ONE WEEK LOAN at each of Yarra Libraries five branches. Ask staff at your local branch to arrange a loan or check the library catalogue for availability or to place a hold.

 pdf format Using the Power-Mate (701.94kB)

Take charge of your power bill

Switch On is an independent source of information to help people save energy and manage the cost of energy bills. The website is packed with easy-to-follow tips and tools. It will help you take charge of your power bills and keep you informed about changes and improvements to Victoria’s energy system.  Flexible pricing options will be introduced in 2013, which will give residents additional choices in how their energy is charged.
Switch On is an initiative from the Victorian Government and the Department of Primary Industries. 


Building or renovating your home

You can greatly reduce the environmental impact and operating costs of your building by incorporating energy efficiency measures at the design stage. Council has developed guidelines to assist residents in planning renovations and developments.

Check the Sustainable Design Guidelines

Order Your Home Renovator’s guide

More resources

Further information
Michael Oke
Coordinator - Environmental Management
9205 5723

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