Save energy as state swelters
Tuesday January 7th 2014
As Queensland swelters through the summer, a number of Far North beaches closed after jellyfish scares, forcing locals and visitors across the region to boost household energy use to keep cool.
Palm Cove, Kewarra and Clifton Beaches were closed last week, as ABC Far North Queensland reported, after Irukandji stung two children inside stinger nets. According to the report, the recent heat and northerly breezes have created ideal conditions for the deadly stingers, each just 2.5cm in diameter.
After the recent release of quarterly energy bills and the predictable increase in energy use over summer, Queensland's Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark McArdle suggested some some simple tips to save energy around the home.
These include switching appliances off at the wall, installing energy-efficient light bulbs and switching the pool pump to an off peak tariff.
Though locals have been sweltering through heat and humidity over the past week, the far north region has generally been spared the heatwave gripping most of the state, with record-breaking temperatures recorded in central and western Queensland.
It's a similar story across other parts of Australia, including central Australia and North-Western New South Wales. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, 2013 was the hottest year on record.
“Everyone is at home and electrical appliances like plasma televisions, household air conditioning, swimming pools, sound systems, bar fridges and computers all get a real work out," Mr McArdle said.
“Every home is different but air-conditioning, refrigeration and swimming pool pumps can account for more than 75 per cent of a household’s electricity consumption. Even leaving appliances on in ‘standby mode’ can contribute up to 10 per cent to your power consumption.”
The following tips can help Queenslanders save over the next few months.
- Set air-conditioners to 24 degrees or use ceiling fans instead;
- Close curtains during the day to reduce the indoor temperature and open curtains and windows at night;
- Switch appliances off at the wall to cut out standby power;
- Switch off second fridges when not needed;
- Use a low-flow showerhead to save hot water and energy;
- Hang clothes out to dry rather than using a clothes dryer;
- Install energy-efficient light bulbs.
Mr McArdle said the family pool is another area where energy savings can be made.
“You can save energy and money by switching your pool pump to the off-peak tariffs, Tariff 31 or Tariff 33, or by installing an energy-efficient pump which can save around $300 a year on your pool running costs,” he said.
“Reducing the running time for your pool filter by just one hour a day could also save you up to $100 a year.”
For more information about saving energy at home visit www.dews.qld.gov.au or call 13 43 87.