Boronia & The Basin Community News

Saving energy in the colder months

With social distancing measures in place, many of us are spending more time at home. While this means more home cooking and cosy evenings in, it can also mean an increase in energy bills. Here are some tips to save on gas and electricity year-round and particularly while the cold weather is still upon us.

Keep the warmth where you want it
• Insulate to stay warm and reduce heat loss through windows. Choose the right curtains and blinds and install them properly to keep the heat from escaping.
• If you’re not using your fireplace, block your chimney with a chimney balloon to stop heat escaping..
• Close doors between heated and unheated zones of the house..
• If you’re renovating, consider where you want to keep the heat, and ensure that space is well sealed. • Fit weather stripping and seals around door and window frames..
• Install a high-efficiency heater and make sure it is maintained to ensure your safety and keep it running well.
• In some cases, it might be cheaper to run the heater on your reverse cycle air conditioner than use gas heating..
Use timers and thermostats
• Install a timer to allow you to turn the heating on before you get up in the morning and switch off automatically when you don’t need it.
• Set your thermostat for between 18 and 20 degrees and adjust as necessary. Every extra degree adds 10% to your heating bill.
• Wear warmer clothes and add blankets for cosiness in living areas.
Go solar
Consider installing a solar energy system on your home. Solar Savers is a local government initiative designed to make solar easy and more affordable for Knox residents. Additional financial support is available for pensioners and low-income households. www.solarsavers.org.au If you already have solar, you may be eligible for a rebate on a battery. Visit www.solar.vic.gov.au to see if your suburb has been designated for rebates.
Get advice from the experts
Knox City Council has partnered with the Australian Energy Foundation to help residents and businesses get free expert advice on how to improve energy efficiency, minimise their carbon footprint and even save money on their energy bills. Knox residents and businesses can call 1300 23 68 55 or email advice@aef.com.au to speak with an experienced energy advisor.