Energy saving products guide

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We all have to reduce energy use, carbon price or not. Lance Turner identifies the home energy use culprits and nominates the best appliances, gadgets and DIY options for an energy smart home.

Okay, so you think you are relatively energy efficient, but those energy bills just keep going up. The cost of energy isn’t going to fall any time soon, so the trick is to simply use less without making life harder or more complex.

There’s many things that can be done to reduce energy use. We are surrounded by ‘stuff’ that uses energy, but does it really have to use as much as it does? Are there better options, and what should you look for when upgrading?

While many would argue that we could all do with having fewer gadgets and gizmos (and that’s a valid argument), the world has become an electronic one and that isn’t likely to change any time in the near future. So, given that, we should try to reduce the energy used by all these gadgets as much as possible.

Where the energy goes

So just where does all the energy that your home and its appliances use actually go to? Figure 1a, below, shows a breakdown for the average Australian home (Baseline energy estimates from Australian Greenhouse Office, 2008).

The biggest energy user is heating and cooling, followed by water heating and ‘other appliances’, which covers pretty much every appliance and device in your home except cooking and refrigeration. It also excludes standby loads, which is listed separately. A standby load is the energy used by an appliance when it is not being used for the task it was designed for. For instance, when your microwave is sitting there displaying the clock but not cooking, the energy it is using is the standby use.

But it’s not just about energy use, but also the greenhouse gas emissions from that energy use that must be considered. After all, some energy sources are much cleaner than others.

Read the full article in ReNew 117

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