Plico Team 14/12/2023 9 min read

How (and why) to Save Energy this summer

Summer is typically the time of year when power bills increase - and with good reason. Air conditioners are one of the highest energy users, and with the extreme weather that’s predicted this year across Australia, there’s a good chance we’ll be needing lots of ways to cool off. In this article we take a look at what to expect this summer, and how to best manage our costs and consumption.

 

The importance of saving energy

The summer of 2023/ 24 is expected to be hotter and drier than usual, with heat waves predicted across Australia, including WA. Bushfire season is also expected to be extended, and the north region’s wet season will be delayed. It’s understandable we’ll be wanting to stay cool as much as possible.  

Heating and cooling account for around 40% of household energy use and therefore contribute significantly to energy bills. It stands to reason then that by saving on cooling during summer, you can save on household energy bills.

Additionally, burning fossil fuels is one of the major contributors to climate change and global warming, which in turn results in more extreme weather events. Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels is good for our planet - and our lifestyle.

Did you know that saving energy is also good for the grid?

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has identified a shortfall in WA’s main energy supply this summer, in the order of 336 MW  – more than the capacity of the Collie Power Station and the Victorian Big Battery. In fact, due to the extreme weather this year, they’re expecting a possible 1-in-10 year high in electricity demand. Hot summer evenings put additional pressure on the grid, with possible outcomes being blackouts and load shedding.

Additional cost, climate change and power outages - all good incentives to save energy!

 

Staying comfortable - and saving energy

So if we want to save energy and stay cool, what should we do? There are actually plenty of options, starting with simply being aware of how we’re using energy and making mindful decisions.

 

Keep it cool

Instead of turning on the A/C as the first option, consider these ideas:

  • Turn on the fan! Ceiling fans and freestanding fans are a great way to circulate the air at a fraction of the cost of air conditioners. They’re also really effective at night when the air temperature is lower.
  • Grab a cross breeze. Opening windows and doors on opposite sides of the room or house is a perfect way to encourage breezes through your home. If there’s a cool breeze blowing, use it to your advantage!
  • Insulate and protect. If you haven’t done so recently, it's a good idea to check on the state of your home insulation and make sure it’s adequate because this can really supercharge your cooling efforts. While you’re thinking about home fixtures, consider updating curtains and blinds to reflect the heat, ideally via awnings and shutters but also through internal reflective blinds.
  • Use the A/C early to maximise efficiency. Take advantage of the lower temperatures during the morning and turn on the A/C at no lower than 24 degrees. Then leave it running (on low) at the same temp – this way, your A/C unit doesn’t have to work hard to cool the air during the hottest part of the day.

 

Keep it simple

In addition to cooling, we can be smart about other heat-generating activities such as cooking, which can add unnecessary warmth to your home.

Instead of using the oven, consider using the BBQ. In doing this you can keep any additional heat outside your home.

Rather than making hot meals on hot days, could you lean towards salads and cooler dishes?

Speaking of hot appliances, does the TV need to be on? If it’s on in the background, turn it off to eliminate the extra heat.

Saving energy is good for your wallet, the planet, and the grid. And of course, if you don’t have solar, talk to Plico today about how much you could save by putting in a solar + battery solution. You could be running your A/C guilt-free and avoiding the effects of blackouts and outages (unfortunately also very likely this summer).

Don’t delay - book in your obligation-free call today. You can view our different solar + battery systems by clicking here or calculate your projected savings with our Solar Savings Calculator. You can also get in touch with one of our switched-on team members by calling 1300 175 426 to see how a solar + battery system can help you save.

 

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