Energy-saving tips

Good energy savings at home

Energy. We use it every single day, in every single home in Australia.

Cooking up a storm for family and friends. Keeping food fresh. Curling up on the couch to Netflix binge … not to mention keeping ourselves warm or cool.

But because we can’t see energy, we often don’t think about how we're using it. There are lots of easy ways to be energy efficient, and simple ways to cut down your usage.

Check your usage in My Account

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Bring down the bills – in 3 easy ways

Stay connected to your energy usage all year round

You can check your energy usage in the Origin app, or there’s a table setting this out for you on your bill. This will give you a good understanding of your total energy usage for your bill period. 

To take seasonal differences into account, compare your energy usage (in kWh or MJ) to the same bill period from the previous year (so long as you were with us at the same address at that time).

compare seasons

Seasonal lifestyle factors may bump up or decrease your energy usage.

Did you go on holiday? Have extra guests over the summer break? Install a new pool pump? Buy a new heater this winter?

By being more conscious and aware, you could start to notice some surprising insights.

energy in the home

Smart savings, come rain or shine

Heating and cooling account for about half of an average home’s utility bills.

This is where you can start to make a real difference, right away. Being careful about how and when you use your air conditioner, and nudging down the heater even by a few degrees can save you dollars every day.

Winter energy savers

For some states in Australia winter can be a chilly time. It's the time of year we flick the switch to turn on the heating, we pop the kettle on for another round of hot drinks, and linger a little longer in the shower to warm up.

  • Set your heating to 18-20 degrees. Each degree over that uses about 10% more energy!
  • Keep showers to 4-5 minutes. Hot water accounts for around 21% of home energy usage
  • Keep the heat inside with curtains or blinds. Windows can cool warm air by up to 40% – especially during winter months
save energy in winter

Our state based winter guides provide estimated average running costs for the most common household appliances. It’ll give you a picture of what makes up your electricity bill now, and where you may be able to save by cutting back in the future.

ACT (PDF 525 KB)

New South Wales (PDF 525 KB)

Queensland (PDF 525 KB)

South Australia (PDF 525 KB)

Victoria (PDF 546 KB)

Summer energy savers

The summers are getting hotter – and even the cooler states experience heatwaves. Aussies like to keep cool with a few chilled drinks with friends on the back deck or cranking up the split system in the lounge room. 

save energy in summer

Our state based summer guides provide estimated average running costs for the most common household appliances. It’ll give you a picture of what makes up your electricity bill now, and where you may be able to save by cutting back in the future.

ACT (PDF 525 KB)

New South Wales (PDF 525 KB)

Queensland (PDF 525 KB)

South Australia (PDF 114 KB)

Victoria (PDF 465 KB)

  • Try not do overdo it with the air-con over summer. While it does a great job of keeping your home cool, it can be expensive to run. When it's under 30°C, try using a fan instead.
  • Use shading to block out the sun. Close curtains and blinds, and where possible make the most of outdoor blinds and shades, wide eaves, balconies, fences, louvres and plants or trees.
  • Air flow through your home not only keeps it fresh, but can also help to keep it cool. Open windows that are opposite each other for cross-ventilation.

Good energy in action

  • Compare seasonal usage – check your bill history in the Origin app
  • Keep an eye on the weather, and nudge your usage up or down to your comfort levels without overdoing it
  • Complete an energy bill health check

Are you switched on to your appliance usage?

The first step to more conscious – and cost-effective – energy usage is getting a handle on how many appliances you have. 

Take a quick walk around your home to note just how many appliances are in use. You might be surprised by just how many things in your home use energy.

To understand just how much energy each appliance uses, you can use an appliance meter. Simply plug the meter into the wall and then plug in whichever appliance you want to check. Appliance meters may be available for loan at your local library, or you can buy them from hardware stores.

How to do a home energy audit in under ten minutes

Hand turning dial on heater

Looking to upgrade?

When considering buying new appliances, compare energy-efficiency ratings. The star system is a handy visual guide to help you consider upfront costs vs long-term operating costs. You might find a great fridge at a great price, but if it has a low star energy rating it could have higher running costs.

The more stars an appliance has, the more energy efficient it is. Spending a little bit more money on an appliance with a higher energy efficiency rating could save you money in the long run.

Understanding energy ratings and calculating your cost savings

Did you know $1 of electricity could get you…

Toaster

160 slices of toast

TV

20 hours of watching TV

Fridge

2-3 days of running your fridge

Washing machine

5 front-loader or 3 top-loader washing cycles

Air conditioner

2 hours of heating or cooling using a split system

Shower

15 minutes of hot water in the shower

Source: The examples above are based on a flat retail contract electricity tariff of 30c/kWh with no discounts. Figures will vary according to factors such as age and size of appliance as well as the actual tariff rate. Customers with smart meters or time-of-use plans or demand tariffs may be able to shift their electricity usage to take advantage of cheaper rates.


Good energy in action

  • Check how many appliances are in your home
  • Check how many are plugged in when not in use
  • Get to know how much energy your appliances are using
  • Compare upfront costs vs ongoing costs when buying new appliances

Stay energy wise – think about what you use.

Too hard? Too complicated? Can't reach the plug? Don't sweat it!

Saving energy – and costs – can be simple.

Hand turning dial on heater

Did you know the average Australian home uses 40% of its energy on heating and cooling? Source

Simple changes you can make today

Toaster

Love coffee and tea? Make one bigger brew or use a thermos to avoid boiling the kettle multiple times.

Washing machine

Only wash full loads – which use just as much energy as a half-empty machine.

Toaster

Door seals, draught-proofing strips and door snakes will help stop heat escaping – reducing your heating costs by up to 25%.

See a year-on-year difference – We've done a state-by-state breakdown of the annual energy savings of our tips.


TV

Did you know standby power is responsible for 5.9% of Australia’s total residential electricity consumption?

Don’t stand for standby power!

Standby power, also known as vampire power, silently sucks away at your energy even when your appliances are turned off. Just keeping an appliance plugged in can still use a small amount of power.

Switch your appliances off at the wall and you could save up to $100 each year. 

More about standby power


Good energy in action

  • Get to know all the switches around your house – should they be on or off?
  • Make a little routine for flicking switches off after using your appliances
  • Get to know how much energy your appliances are using
  • Track your usage on the Origin app – it’ll show what you're using and how much it costs

Download the Origin app


Dog

Fast facts about Australian energy use

  • 23% of Australians have left their TV on to keep their pets company
  • 86% of Australians take showers longer than 5 minutes
  • Almost half (47%) of all Aussies leave their appliances plugged in at the wall when not in use

    Source: Good Energy Report II, prepared by Empirica Research for Origin Energy, April 2019.

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