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Energy efficiency could save Australians billions of dollars

4 min read
27 Jun 2019

Are you ever shocked by how much you spend on energy each quarter? You’re probably not alone, but there may be hope yet!

Australians could save $7.7 billion each year on energy bills just by adopting the successful, energy-efficient practices of other countries around the world, according to the Energy Efficiency Council’s The World’s First Fuel report.1

As revealed by the report, an energy-efficient Australian household could save 30% on their energy bill when compared to an average household.

The report made several recommendations, based on policies from overseas, to Australian governments and institutions for achieving energy efficiency, which included:

  • establishing a national program that rates the energy efficiency of houses for sale or lease
  • prioritising the improvement of energy management
  • individual state governments introducing ‘ambitious’ energy efficiency schemes
  • updating residential building standards in 2022.

The report went on to reference the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) program. Since its introduction in 2012, the GEMS have saved Australian households between $140 and $220 on their energy bills each year by applying energy efficiency standards and regulations on appliances like fridges, lights and air conditioners.2

What’s more, energy efficient practices could create 120,000 jobs, and help Australia meet half of its target to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030.1

The council also noted in the report that international efforts to improve energy efficiency have already:

  • reduced energy bills in Germany by 30%;
  • provided energy security in Japan after the 2011 Fukushima disaster;
  • created more than 300,000 jobs in California; and
  • reduced greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Is the government acting to improve Australia’s energy efficiency?

The Australian Government laid out its plans for energy efficiency in the recent Federal Budget 2019-20.

To help businesses and community organisations better manage their energy consumption, the government will spend $61.2 million over four years to establish the Energy Efficient Communities Program.3 This program will provide grants to these businesses and organisations to help them update and improve their energy efficient practices and technologies.

The government will also provide $18 million over six years to help households and businesses invest in energy-efficient appliances and lower their energy bills.

How can you improve your energy efficiency at home?

In the meantime, there are several things you can do to help improve your household energy consumption and energy efficiency at home.

One of the biggest things you can do is choose energy-efficient appliances. The Energy Rating scheme helps you do this, as it applies a star rating to products based on their energy efficiency; the more stars a product has, the more efficient it is.4

Some appliances that you could use more efficiently to reduce your household energy consumption include:

  • televisions. Turn them off at the power point when not in use;
  • fridges. Keep temperatures between three and four degrees Celsius;
  • dishwashers. Only wash full loads, and try to use cycles with lower temperatures and shorter times; and
  • air conditioners and heaters. Close doors and windows to avoid letting the cool air/heat escape, and set your system to 18-20°C in winter and 25-27°C in summer.

Other ways you can save on energy

There are two things you can do right now to both reduce your household energy consumption and lower your energy bills.

Firstly, you can look through our guides for tips on saving electricity and saving gas for your household.

Secondly, thanks to our energy comparison service, you can potentially save money on your energy bill. With our handy tool, you can compare plans based on the details you enter to help you find great value. Our service is free-to-use, so you can compare to your heart’s content without touching your wallet!

Sources

[1] Murray-Leach, R. 2019, The World’s First Fuel: How energy efficiency is reshaping global energy systems, Energy Efficiency Council, Melbourne.
[2] Australian Government: Department of the Environment and Energy – ‘The Independent Review of the GEMS Act 2012 Draft Report, Commonwealth of Australia 2018.’
[3] Australian Government – Budget Paper No. 2: Budget Measures 2019-20 (Part 2: Expense Measures). Published on budget.gov.au. Sourced June 2019.
[4] Commonwealth of Australia (E3 Program) – The Energy Rating Label. Published on energyrating.gov.au. Sourced June 2019.
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Written by Eliza Buglar

Because she likes reading, as well as watching endless amounts of films, Eliza majored in Creative Writing and Film and Television at QUT. She also likes music, but didn’t study that. When she’s not using her writing major at Compare the Market, you can catch her utilising that film major at every Marvel and Star Wars film that comes into cinema.

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