Energy gobblers we forget about (but shouldn’t)

Every now and then we get a bill that’s a little higher than usual. Most of the time, it’s because we’re using certain appliances more often (hello heater and aircon), but sometimes it’s because we’re using them less efficiently than we could be.

We usually do it without thinking – who hasn’t blasted the split system on a cold night (28ºC in winter is outrageous when you think about it), or done a warm wash just because it’s the machine’s default setting? We’re all a little guilty, but it’s never too late to start cracking the energy-saving whip. So, we’ve made a list of potential culprits to get you started.

Energy gobblers


The biggest (and baddest) energy gobblers.

It pays to keep an eye on how you’re using these everyday appliances.

Heating and cooling

Set the heater to 20ºC and the aircon to 24ºC. Every degree beyond this can increase a unit’s energy use by 10%. More tips.


Standby mode uses energy, so switch your TV off at the wall. (Same goes for other appliances that have standby lights.)

Hot water

Set stored hot water at 60ºC, and instantaneous at 50ºC. Then get a water efficient showerhead to save on water too.


Make sure your fridge is set between 3–5°C, and your freezer around -18°C. Pro tip: Check there’s room around the unit so warm air can get away from your cold food. More tips.


Here’s one you’ll remember from your mum yelling at you: switch ‘em off if you’re not using them.

Washing machines

Choose a cold wash: warm water washes can use more than ten times the energy of cold ones. Look out for machines that do a warm wash by default.


The sun is free, and even on a cool day, a clothesline will do the job. But if you have to use the dryer: get as much water out of your clothes first, don’t overload the machine and clean the filter every time.


Like TVs, switch them off at the wall when you’re done. Home office hack: Have a single power board for all your office appliances that you can switch off.

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