According to the Australian Government’s Your Home guide, approximately 21 per cent of a typical household’s energy use comes from heating water. Finding ways to reduce the amount of water you use at home could immediately help you reduce your gas bill. Here are some ideas to consider:
Often, the hot water that comes out of your taps is mixed with cold to bring it to an ideal temperature for showering or doing laundry. Lowering the thermostat on your gas hot water system to a more ideal temperature reduces your gas usage, as the water needs less heating. This alone can help reduce your gas bill.
2. Hot water system
Nearly half of all hot water systems in Australia use gas to heat the water. These days, you can choose from two main types of gas hot water systems: Storage and Instantaneous
Gas storage systems keep water heated in an insulated storage tank for use whenever needed, while instantaneous systems heat water as it is used. Constant heating in a storage system uses more gas, so it often pays to switch to an instantaneous system to save money.
3. Water efficiency ratings
When buying or upgrading an appliance, taking note of the water rating label can save you money. The Australian Government4 regulate products under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme. Each label has a star rating and is an estimate on how much water the appliance uses.
Buying appliances with a higher rating can reduce the amount of water you use, saving you money on your gas bill.
4. Heat loss
Even though hot water storage tanks are insulated, they still waste about 30 per cent5 of energy used through heat loss. Insulating the hot water pipes attached to the system can help to reduce this and save you money – better yet, try switching to an instantaneous system.
Dishwashers often have an economy mode that washes your dishes at a lower temperature. Try using this mode to save more money on water heating and make sure to only turn the dishwasher on when it’s full. When buying a dishwasher, be sure to check the water rating labels and choose one with a better rating.
6. Washing machines
Washing your clothes with heated water only adds to your gas bill. Switching to cold6 can easily save you money, while still effectively cleaning your clothes. If you prefer to use heated water, always match the water level to the size of the load and try to only wash your clothes when the machine is full.
Using less hot water in the bathroom can dramatically reduce your gas bill. Simply have showers instead of baths, have shorter showers and fix any dripping taps immediately. You could also save over $300 per year7 just by choosing a low-flow shower head.
If you have a gas oven and stove, you can make changes to the way you cook to help save even more money on your gas bill. Here are our top tips:
Recipes that call for preheating usually have electric ovens in mind, as they take longer to heat up. With a naked flame, a gas oven heats up fast, so you can usually skip the preheating stage, saving gas in the process.
When heat escapes while you’re cooking, it increases the amount of gas needed to cook your food. Keeping the oven door closed during cooking helps to keep heat contained.
Likewise, heat can escape through old or damaged seals. Check the seals around your oven door using a sheet of paper. If you notice any places heat could be escaping, try replacing your seals.
9. Stove tops
Simply making sure pot lids fit snugly when boiling water can reduce the amount of gas you use. Using round bottom pans also allows the flame to more efficiently heat the food. Why not try turning the gas off just before the food is cooked and allow the residual heat to finish the cooking process.