Exploring Ways to Save Energy at Home

Student Task

Student Task

Brainstorm with your class and list all the practical ways we can reduce our energy consumption. This will help in both reducing green house gases and the dollar cost to us. Refer to previous task on Household Energy Audit.

Saving electricity at home

As energy becomes more difficult to supply in the future, resulting in increased costs, as well as our over reliance on fossil fuels and their resulting degradation to our environment, it is in everyone's interest that we save as much energy as we can.

A lot of energy can be saved by reducing the amount needed to heat our houses. Heating and cooling our houses can contribute 50% or more of our domestic energy consumption (electricity and gas). Good house design can greatly assist in reducing the need for heating and cooling. Factors include:

  • Size of the house
  • Orientation of the house
  • Amount of insulation and type of construction of the house
  • Double glazing and allowance for eaves and canopies
  • Utilising deciduous trees to allow maximum shade in summer and maximum sunlight in winter
  • Types of heating used and thermostat temperature setting
  • Allowance for adequate cross ventilation in the summer
  • The number of people in the house and their lifestyle

Suggested further reading:
'Warm House Cool House' by Nick Hollo Australian Consumers Association, Choice Books 1995

Website References:

Research on Energy Ratings of Electrical Appliances

Many Australian electrical appliances now have a star rating system. The more stars, the more energy efficient the appliance, which in turn means the more money will be saved and the better it will be for the environment. Explore the list of Galaxy Energy Award winning appliances. Refer to Sustainable Energy Authority, Victoria and New South Wales Sustainable Energy Authority or The Australian Greenhouse Office.

Student Task:

How do the appliances at your house rate?

Website References:

Power Consumption of Televisions

Student Task:

Research and investigate the power consumption of different types of TVs, including Cathode Ray Tube (CRT), Plasma, Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). Take into account the size of the TV in your discussion. What conclusions can you draw from this?

Websites References:

Power Consumption of Lighting

Student Task:

Investigate different types of lighting currently available. Consider the projected lifetime of each type, and list the advantages and disadvantages of these different types.

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