Breaking down your home energy usage can lead to surprising results. While it’s not necessarily a shock to see that heating your home accounts for 44% of household energy use, you might be surprised to learn that water heating is the next biggest in energy demand at 15%.
While heating costs over winter can be tough, hot water is a year-round expense. With energy costs set for another increase, it’s time to put in some strategies to tackle your hot water bill and gain some control over your everyday expenses.
Small steps to reduce the energy you use can set up healthy habits that save money bills as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not just for today, but for life.
9 Tips to Reduce Hot Water Costs
1. Buy an energy-efficient hot water heater
All appliances have a star-energy rating, this includes electric and gas hot water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers to name a few. More stars mean better efficiency and lower costs. Selecting a water heater and appliances with higher ratings can help reduce your overall energy costs.
2. Upgrade to a low-flow shower head
Because the biggest hot water use happens in bathrooms, make it a priority to reduce your shower use. Low-flow shower heads will give you the feel of a luxurious, full shower with a fraction of the same water use as regular ones. Otherwise, you can use a timer – or a favourite song to keep showers to four minutes or less.
3. Stack and fill your dishwasher
Dishwashers are more effective than hand-washing dishes as they heat water internally and much faster than your hot water heater will.
4. Set your washing cycle to cold
If you’re upgrading your washing machine look for energy-efficient stars and opt for a front loader over a top loader as they can save about 50% more water.
You can take your savings even further by choosing cold wash for regular clothes and warm wash for those needing extra attention.
5. Maintain your hot water
- Fix dripping hot taps
- Insulate exposed hot water pipes
- Have your hot water system serviced regularly by a local plumber
6. Install the right hot water system
You may not have the right hot water heater for your home size or to meet your hot water needs. As well as a variety of sized tanks you can also choose continuous flow systems. Different water heaters can give you choices for off-peak energy rates, higher efficiency or better hot water output for your home. Your plumber can assess your needs and explain your choices.
7. Reduce your hot water temperature
During your heater maintenance checks, ask your plumber to make sure your water heater isn’t set too high. 60C is more than adequate for hot water use around the home. If it’s more than this a plumber can easily dial it down and help cut your costs.
8. Consider converting to solar
Energy from the sun is free! Harnessing solar is a smart choice for the environment, as well as your wallet. There are rebates to help make it affordable and most homes can benefit from even a simple solar setup.
9. Get a better electricity or gas rate
A different supplier can give you a better deal on your energy. Make sure you compare fees as well as tariffs to find the best provider for your needs
There’s no need to be left in the cold with your energy savings and efficiency over winter. Building some cost-saving habits into your purchasing habits and daily hot water use can ease the pressure and keep you toasty warm.