Using Energy More Efficiently
Cutting back on energy use is important for reducing pollution and limiting climate change.
We use energy to power our lights, appliances, cars and to heat/cool our homes. Energy is essential to our everyday lives but using energy derived from non-renewable resources like coal, oil and gas leads to emission of greenhouse gases along with a variety of other pollutants.
It's therefore essential that we use energy as efficiently as possible by using fewer, more efficient appliances and reducing any wastage.
We can also reduce pollution by using energy from renewable resources such as the sun or wind e.g. solar panels and wind turbines. These are clean energy sources and will never run out!
How We Are Saving Energy
The City is installing a huge 100kW solar photovoltaic system on its Civic Centre to reduce energy consumption and reduce costs.
The system will:
- Harness power from the sun to create electricity to be used within the Civic Centre, Civic Square Library and Main Hall
- Reduce our electricity consumption by around 18%, which amounts to a saving of more than $43,000 per year
- Last up to 25 years and will pay for itself within the first 4 years so we will see massive cost savings into the future.
The City of Melville has also fitted renewable energy systems at a number of facilities:
- The Piney Lakes Environmental Education Centre is fitted with an integrated wind turbine and 6.5kW solar generation system
- The Civic Library is fitted with a 3kW solar photovoltaic system which will reduce the buildings carbon footprint and also save up to $1,930 per year
- The City is currently planning to install renewable energy systems on other council-owned facilities as part of a City-wide energy management plan.
The City is also working to reduce its energy consumption by making energy efficient choices. For example:
- Upgrading lights to LED when they are due for replacement - examples include the lights in Robert Crawford Reserve and in Bicton Baths carpark
- Carrying out energy audits across City-owned facilities to identify areas of possible improvement
- Installing motion sensors on lights across City-owned facilities
- Investigating opportunities for voltage reduction at larger sites
- Looking at ways to reduce printer use.
For more information on energy across the City, contact the Sustainability Officer on 9364 0794.
How You Can Save Energy
Reducing your energy use will not only help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions but, with energy prices continuing to increase, can save you money too.
Some simple ways to save energy include:
- Switching off lights and appliances when not in use
- Choosing energy efficient appliances
- Reducing heating and cooling needs through passive-solar design or retrofit
- Choosing active or public transport over using the car
- Planting local native plants to provide shade
- Using the cold water setting on your washing machine
- Hanging clothes outside to dry instead of using the dryer.
Renewable energy systems use energy sources such as the wind/sun to reduce (or even end) your reliance on polluting non-renewable sources like gas or electricity from coal-powered plants. Whilst they can seem expensive upfront, when you factor in how much they will save you over the life of the system, they can be very cost effective.
We all have a role to play in minimising air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the use of our motor vehicles.
Fuel efficient driving minimises air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, but also has the added benefit of lowering your overall vehicle running costs and encouraging safer driving behaviours.
Tips for Fuel Efficient Driving:
- Cruise at a reduced speed where possible
- Minimise accelerating and braking
- Change up through the gears as soon as practical
- Only use air conditioning when necessary
- Don’t warm up or idle your engine
- Fill your fuel tank only to the first click of the fuel nozzle
- Keep your tyre pressure up to the recommended figure
- Remove unnecessary weight and roof racks
- Service your car regularly.
For more information view a short video on eco-driving by the Royal Automotive Club (RAC).
If you're interested in finding out more ways of reducing energy use in your home, why not use one of our home energy assessment toolkits?
The toolkit has everything you need to check if your home is wasting energy on heating or cooling and how much your appliances are really costing you (especially when left on standby!). You can also time your showers to see how much energy and water you're using.
Included in the kit:
- Window thermometer
- Infrared thermometer
- Indoor thermometer
- Powermate Lite
- Kitchen timer
- Instruction manual.
Why not measure your energy use and challenge your family to reduce as much as possible, then re-measure to check on your progress? Youll be surprised how easy it is to make big savings for your pocket and the planet!
Take advantage of the subsidies and rebates the City of Melville is offering to help get your started on your energy-saving journey!