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solar-panelOur resources are finite and will run out soon if we do nothing about it. Reducing your energy use at home not only helps the environment but also saves money. Here are a few things you can do.

Read through the list and already do most or all of these steps? Check out our list of Power Saving Tips You Might Not Have Considered.

1. Use energy-efficient whitegoods. Ensure that all of your whitegoods, such as refrigerators and washing machines, are energy-efficient. This will reduce energy use and your energy bill. To learn more go to the Energy Rating website.

2. Switch off unused lights. If you aren't using the room, don't leave the lights turned on. Make sure to switch the lights off when you leave the house or your office, and when you know you'll be in another room for an extended amount of time. Being aware and turning the lights off will save energy. Remember, Earth Hour should be practiced every hour!

3. Switch off appliances that are on standby. This is quite similar to switching off your lights - if you aren't using the appliance, switch it off at the power point. This goes for a wide range household goods such as electric kettles, stereos, toasters and mobile phone chargers. If you're going on holiday, it is also good practice to turn off your television and computer at the power point.

4. Seal gaps and windows to reduce heating/cooling bills. A lot of energy is wasted as a result of poor insulation. Make sure your windows and doors are sealed and insulated properly. Even using a fabric snake to block window frames and gaps underneath closed doors will help. If you have the cooling/heating system on in a particular room, close off that room as much as possible (i.e. closing doors and windows) to save energy. 

5. Change old incandescent light bulbs to energy-efficient bulbs. Old incandescent bulbs are incredibly inefficient. Make the switch to energy-efficient bulbs and save on your energy bills. The most efficient bulbs are Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Changing to this new type of light bulb also means you won't have to change them as often since they last much longer than incandescent light bulbs. The Australian Government is phasing out incandescent bulbs across the country - to learn more see the 'Lighting' section of their website.

6. Walk, bicycle, or take public transport whenever possible – leave your car at home! If you work just a few kilometres away from your home, try walking or riding a bike instead of driving. It will improve your health and fitness, reduce your carbon emissions, plus you save money from not buying petrol. You'll also feel fantastic! Not sure where to find the best cycling routes? Have a look at our Cycling Routes page.

7. Install solar panels. This is a good option if you own a house. For apartment owners, the first step is to speak with other people in your building and approach your strata manager. Check out the Smart Blocks webpage for more information.

8. Dry your clothes in the sun, not the dryer. Dryers use an enormous amount of electricity, whereas line-drying is completely free! Hanging up clothes to dry saves on your energy bill, greenhouse gas emissions and they don't take very long to dry, especially in the summer. If you have a dryer, to use it sparingly, such as for sheets on rainy winter days when you can't hang them up outside.