Being more energy efficient can help us reduce our greenhouse gases while still meeting - or sometimes exceeding - our energy needs.
Our greatest savings, in the short-term, can come from being more energy efficient. It's quick and it's cheap. And, what's more, it reduces costs and makes great economic sense.
It’s cheaper to be efficient
Investing in energy efficiency is vastly cheaper than building more coal fired power stations. Studies both here and overseas have found that big energy savings can be made by being more energy efficient. They also show that cost-effective, economy-wide energy savings of 20 percent and more can be made relatively easily and quickly.
That's more electricity than we get from the very polluting Hazelwood Power Station
Energy efficiency creates new jobs and those jobs — such as energy audits, production, installation, and renovation — are likely to stay in the local economy. Our best studies show us that the money consumers save from reduced bills is also spent locally.
Energy efficiency includes roof insulation, water efficient shower heads, improvements to building fabric and design, more efficient and natural lighting systems, improved heating and cooling systems, energy efficient motors, hot water system insulation and leakage control, heat recovery, and energy efficient appliances.
Other than renewable energy, most of our energy use contributes to climate change. Electricity is the worst source of greenhouse gas pollution. It's also the most used and wasted.
The average Australian household contributes between 30 to 50 per cent of all pollution. This includes one-fifth of Australia's greenhouse gases - equivalent to 15 tonnes per household each year. In Victoria alone, enough energy is used each year to keep the MCG lights running for 1000 years. The majority of these resources are wasted through inefficiency and a lack of awareness.
By reducing waste and using energy more efficiently you can cut your contribution to greenhouse pollution and lower your bills. An average family can save three or more tonnes of greenhouse gases and hundreds of dollars each year just through such simple measures such as switching off all appliances at the power point, maximizing natural light and using lids on pots and pans when cooking.
It doesn't stop there. There's loads of ways to be energy smart
In 2008 we called on our government to develop an energy efficiency strategy. Check out our campaign
Check our our case for zero emissions and water saving homes and neighbourhoods. Read the 2009 Towards Climate Safe Homes publication here