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Home Energy Tips | Parker's Electrical NQ

      The increasing cost of power is a concerning thing to most people, there are many things you can do to decrease your power usage. By choosing energy efficient appliances and using a few energy saving strategies, you could reduce your electricity bills. There are a few home appliances which really drive up your bills. Left unchecked, they'll quietly drain your energy and burn a hole in your pocket, without you even noticing.


The trend towards building larger houses means we're also installing more and more lights, which can increase household electricity costs. However, the increased availability of more energy efficient lighting and other technologies can help. Follow our tips to help you to stop your lighting robbing you blind. LED lights use up to 85% less power. We have more on this in our LED light blog

  1. Switch to energy efficient lighting like LED bulbs as an alternative to incandescent or halogen lighting.
  2. Turn lights off in areas of your home that are not being used.
  3. Include dimmer controls with your lighting system to adjust artificial lighting as natural light levels fluctuate.
  4. Install task lighting in areas like near reading chairs, over kitchen benches, dining table and the bathroom vanity, so you don't waste general space lighting.
  5. Fit timers and motion sensors in areas that are used rarely so your lights are only on when they need to be.
  6. Use light coloured paint on interior walls, ceilings and other surfaces in your home to help you get the most out of your available lighting.
  7. Locate windows and skylights to allow natural light inside and reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day.
  8. Add well-designed windows or skylights to incorporate the use of natural light. Properly designed, these additions won't make your home too hot in summer and can help to warm your home in winter.


  Air Conditioners

In regional Queensland, our long hot summers can mean having an air conditioner is more of a necessity than a luxury. While air conditioners can be one of the bigger silent energy suckers in your home, follow our tips to help you to stop your air conditioners blowing your dough.

  1. Select the right temperature. Stick to 25°C in Summer and 18°C in Winter. Every 1° cooler in summer adds around 10% to the amount of electricity the air conditioner uses..
  2. Install the right size Air conditioner for the space you need to cool or heat. Consider factors such as the size of the room, the direction the windows in the room face and whether you have insulation in the ceiling.
  3. Choose an Air Conditioner with high Energy Star Rating - for every extra star your air conditioner has, you’ll save around 15%2 in running costs.
  4. Insulate Your home by installing roof and wall insulation with a minimum R-value to suit your locality. In Queensland, this could range from R4.1 to R5.1 for the ceiling and around R2.8 for the walls3. {NOTE insolating your home can create other problems with your electrical wiring, so before you insolate get advice from your electrician. The main problem is that it will downgrade the current carrying capacity of your cables and some or all my need to be upgraded.
  5. Maintain Air Conditioner regularly, particularly before the summer cooling and winter heating periods. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clean the air filters and coils. Have a professional clean your unit once a year.
  6. If your air conditioner was installed before 2007 then it is not power efferent at all and should be replaced.
  7. Use fans to circulate cool air they’ll help your air conditioner to distribute cool air to where it’s needed. Remember – fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off if nobody’s there.
  8. Turn your air conditioner off when you’re out and wait until you’re back to turn it on again. It should only take around 20 minutes4 to cool your home when you return.
  9. Select the air recirculate setting when running your air conditioner. Otherwise you'll be drawing in much warmer air from the outside and using a lot of electricity to cool it down.
  10. Close doors and windows in areas you want to cool to help keep the cool air in and the hot air out.
  11. Consider using a fan instead. If the weather allows, open your home to create cross breezes and use ceiling fans to keep you cool. It’ll be much friendlier on your pocket too.
  12. Consider upgrading your Air conditioner to a newer model especially if your unit was made before 2007.

Parker's Electrical NQ can Install and maintain your Air Conditioners for you. If your Air Conditioner is more the 10 Years old they have become inefficient and you should consider having them replaced as the new air conditioners are up to 80% more efficient on power.

  Washing and drying clothes

Most households have several loads of washing to get through every week, using a significant amount of electricity to wash and dry each load. Follow our tips to help you to stop your laundry appliances cleaning up at your expense.

  1. Wash clothes in cold water using an economy cycle, to save on water heating costs, reduce water use and washing times. Modern fabrics and detergents deliver excellent results in cold water. 
  2. Wash a full load instead of many smaller loads.
  3. Adjust the water level to economically wash a partial load or wait until you have enough for a full load.
  4. Use the sun to dry your clothes instead of using the dryer. Just two loads in the dryer each week could end up costing you around $50 a year1.
  5. Spin clothes well before putting them in the dryer. Don't mix heavyweight and lightweight articles in the same load as they take longer to dry.
  6. Let items tumble dry freely so hot air can flow more efficiently through the machine, resulting in faster drying times and less creasing.
  7. Clean your dryer's lint filter after each load and keep the room well-ventilated so that the dryer runs more efficiently
  8. Consider a front loader. If you're thinking of buying a new washing machine, choose a more energy-efficient front loader, instead of a top loader. You may pay a little more up front, but you'll save around 50%2 on electricity.
  9. Upgrade your washer or dryer to a new energy efficient model with a high energy star rating.  Some dryers have sensors which detect when the washing is dry and then shut the dryer off, saving energy and avoiding over-drying. If purchasing a washer, also consider the water star rating.


  Hot Water

Water heating can account for a good chunk of the electricity used in an average regional Queensland household, mostly in the bathroom, laundry and kitchen. Follow our tips to help you to stop your hot water system burning a hole in your pocket.

  1. Ensure you have the right sized system for the number of people in your home. If it's too small, you could run short of hot water. Ask your local hot water specialist for help to get the right sized system for your needs.
  2. Set your hot water system thermostat to 60°C
  3. Connect your hot water system to Tariff 33 and you could save up to around 19% on your water heating costs1. Our handy hot water sizing table can help you determine the minimum tank size required for connecting your hot water system to Tariff 33.
  4. Take shorter showers - four minutes is perfect! Reducing your shower time from 8 to 4 minutes can cut hot water costs by 50%2.
  5. Fix leaking taps quickly as just 60 drops a minute is around 9,000 liters of wasted water a year. If it's your hot water tap it could cost you around $100 per year 
  6. Install a low flow showerhead or a flow control valve to reduce the amount of hot water used without reducing pressure. Water saving shower heads could save you up to $200 on your hot water costs4.
  7. Wash in cold water rather than hot or warm to save on water heating costs as households can use around one-third of their hot water in the laundry. Modern fabrics and detergents deliver excellent results in cold water.
  8. Position your hot water system near where you use hot water the most, which may be your bathroom, kitchen or laundry.  This can help to save water and reduce heat loss from pipes.
  9. Insulate the hot water pipes running between the tank and your taps to further reduce heat loss from pipes.
  10. Upgrade your old hot water system to a new energy efficient model with a high energy star rating, a heat pump or a solar hot water system.


  Fridge and Freezers

These days, fridges and freezers come in various configurations, shapes and sizes with many households having more than one of each. These appliances can be silent energy suckers, follow our tips to help you to stop your fridge and freezer putting the bite on your budget..

  1. Set your fridge to between 3° C and 4°C and set your freezer to between minus 15°C and minus 18°C.
  2. Position your fridge and freezer away from direct sunlight to keep them as cool as possible.
  3. Leave a gap around your fridge and freezer to let air circulate around the condenser and remove the hot air produced.
  4. Keep the fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep the cold air in. Plus, keeping them full will use less electricity to re-cool after you close the door.
  5. Look for compartmental temperature control if available, allowing you to set different temperatures in certain sections of the fridge.
  6. Defrost your freezer regularly if it requires manual defrosting, to keep it running as efficiently as possible.
  7. A well stocked fridge is energy efficient, but don't overstock shelves or put hot food in your refrigerator. Leave about 20% space for the air to circulate.
  8. Switch off your second fridge or freezer when it's not needed and leave the door ajar. Turning off your second fridge can save you between $100 and $200 a year.
  9. Check the door seals are clean and tight. Loose seals mean you're losing cold air through gaps, so you'll need to replace them.
  10. Upgrade your fridge or freezer. Really old ones can be extremely inefficient, costing you hundreds of dollars to run each year. Remember when shopping for a new appliance to look for the stars and purchase an energy efficient model with a high energy star rating. For instance, a 3.5-star fridge instead of a 1.5-star fridge could save you a cool $150 a year2.
  11. Look for a high Energy Rating label if buying a refrigerator.


  Home Entertainment

As our love of home entertainment items continues to increase, so do the running costs of these appliances. Follow our tips to help you stop your TV and entertainment gear from playing around with your hard earned cash.


  1. Look for a TV unit with an LCD screen or other energy efficient technology. Plasma screen units can use at least double the electricity of an LCD unit.
  2. Choose an appropriately sized TV for your room. Large screen TVs, particularly plasma screen units, will use significantly more electricity than their smaller screen equivalents.
  3. Turn it off at the wall – you could be paying more for standby power than you think. Energy guzzlers like large screen TVs and gaming systems require a large amount of energy to run and will keep drawing power when on standby.
  4. Use multi-point power boards to supply your home entertainment devices, which make it really easy to turn them all off at the wall when you're not using them.
  5. Use a remote controlled standby eliminator to turn off your TV and entertainment system.
  6. Change your desktop computer to a laptop - it's worth remembering that a laptop computer uses up to $50 a year less electricity than a desktop computer.
  7. Turn your computer screen off when you are away from your desk for extended periods. Screen savers don't save energy unless they turn the monitor off.
  8. Turn your printer off when not in use, or purchase one with a sleep mode.
  9. Switch your mobile chargers off at the wall once the phone is fully charged. This could save you up to $50 a year3.
  10. Look for a high energy star rating when replacing home entertainment or office appliances.



While having a pool can be great, it can be one of the biggest silent energy suckers of all. Follow our tips to help you stop your pool being a real drain on your finances.

  1. Connect your pool pump to an economy tariff -Tariff 33 could cut your future running costs by around 19%.
  2. Upgrade to an energy efficient pool pump and save up to 80% on your future pool running costs.
  3. Regularly clear the water inlet to the pool pump to remove leaves and other objects which can impact water flow and require the pump to work harder.
  4. Keep your pool cool - the warmer your pool is the more energy and chemicals needed to combat algae growth.
  5. Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation, keep leaves and other debris out and minimize the energy needed to clean your pool.
  6. Check the running time for your pool pump with your local pool shop. Reducing its running time by just one hour a day could save up to $100 a year.
  7. Cover a heated pool or spa with an insulated cover to reduce heating costs.
  8. Switch off the heater if you're not going to be using your pool or spa for an extended period of time.


 last updated on 30 April 2017


Electrical Licence Holder Search Queensland

43 Canara St
Cranbrook QLD
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