How to be energy efficient outside your home
The outdoors, whether on the deck, the back lawn or the terrace, have always been a major part of Australian culture.
It's a place to relax with friends and family whilst sharing drinks, sausages, steaks and stories.
Our indigenous people have always cooked their food outside, and that method has evolved to what it is today. Except they were much more efficient with their energy - they didn't even have electricity, let alone the option of making an electricity comparison!
With regard to the high electricity prices, here are some tips on reducing your energy consumption outdoors.
The centre piece of any Australian outdoor area, where dreams can be deliciously fried or horribly burnt.
According to the Department of Industry and Science (DIS), regardless of what fuel you're using (gas, charcoal or wood), by cooking with the lid down you will use much less energy as the BBQ will retain the heat that is produced.
If you are looking at buying a new BBQ, make sure you do your research and go for one that suits your needs. If there is just two people in your household for example, there's no point getting a large one as you will be using more energy to heat up the bigger grill.
The Caboolture Shire Council recommends planting strategically placed trees and shrubs that allow the sun to filter through in the winter, but then provide shade in the summer. This can reduce the need for heating and cooling in your home.
Lighting is a common suspect when it comes to energy efficiency. The Department of Energy and Water Supply suggests using energy-efficient lights, motion sensors and solar lights where possible. According to the DIS, the majority of homes in Australia could become over 50 per cent more efficient with lighting energy by simply using modern bulbs.
Consider putting away your lawnmower, hedge trimmer and leaf blower and doing the work manually instead. Not only will it be much quieter for your neighbours, it will also be more energy efficient. As an added bonus, your body will benefit from the elbow grease too.
If you are serious about saving money, the first thing you should do is talk to the experts at Make It Cheaper. They will compare electricity prices from Australia's leading energy suppliers before setting you up to benefit from the best rates. What's more, it's all completely free.
Posted by Nikki Wilson-Everett