How to save on your energy use around the home.

QLD Gov. Department of Energy & Water
Thanks to our brand partner, QLD Gov. Department of Energy & Water

The other night I came home and found my housemate sitting in the kitchen, all four stovetop gas burners going full bore.

Are you cooking something?” I asked.

“No, I’m just cold.” He responded.

I spluttered at him to please put on a jumper, or wrap himself in a blanket, or even try turning the oven on instead. “I don’t want to pay for that waste of energy,” I said, probably a bit more grumpily than I needed to.

Our house is a draughty old terrace. A cool sanctuary in the summer, in winter it’s a bit punishing. I usually solve it by wrapping myself in a blanket and never taking off my socks.

I also try and encourage my cat to sleep right next to me at all times.


Who doesn't love cat cuddles? Image: iStock

One of my housemates warms up with a hot water bottle, another has a small heater and the strong constitution of someone who spends a lot of time in Canberra. (It is really cold there, guys.)

Basically, we’re pretty resourceful, and it’s a real point of pride among us that we manage to keep our energy bills so low.

My housemate who gets the bills likes to tell people that our four-person household only uses as much energy as your average two person one.

How do we do it?

We don’t have super-long showers, or leave the lights on if we’re not in the room.

We use energy saving bulbs in all of our lights, and try not to turn on the heat lamps in the bathroom unless it’s really, really cold.


Before you know it the savings will pile up. Literally. Image: Giphy

We don’t have air conditioners, or heaters in our common areas. We use more old fashioned methods most of the time, like a good breeze, or a warm blanket – the truth is in a high-ceilinged Sydney terrace, a blanket is usually more effective anyway.

We don’t use the dryer unless it’s super necessary – we have a few clothes airers and a clothesline in the backyard.

And our old, overfilled freezer is taped closed to make sure the seal doesn’t leak.

We wash our clothes in cold water.


Saving energy doesn't have to be dramatic. Image: Giphy

It’s all pretty old-school, to be honest. But it works. And it significantly reduces our power bills, basically erasing two whole people from the bill.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re not forsaking comfort. We have all the stuff a modern household has, we just try and be a little bit energy conscious.

And it pays off every single quarter.

Keeping your energy consumption low pays off in so many ways. It’s better for the environment, and it’s better for your wallet.

In a share house, where everything is a compromise, it’s also a great way to avoid arguments about rooms being too hot or too cold. What’s not to love about that?

What are your energy saving tips and tricks?