Creative ways to save energy (July)

70 creative ways to save energy! These hand-picked ideas to save energy are varied and creative and can save you money!

This was the question  answered by over 2500 entrants to our recent competition, where the four winners each took home an Apple Watch Sport - congratulations again Celia, Anthony, Anne and William.  The entries we received to our competition were gave us many varied and creative ways to save energy, and in turn, save money; empowering you to live more sustainably.

We've collected 215 of the most creative and fun entries - there'll surely be something in here to inspire you to save energy and save you money. Here are the first 70 of those 215 entries:

  • Tie a clean rubbish bin in the ute, throw in dirty clothes, soap and water. Drive to work, drain water on to garden, refill, drive home after work, drain again, hang out washing.

  • Not only are we using solar heating, a water tank, grow our own veggies, track energy consumption with Apps, we use compostable nappies! This is a great way to reduce energy consumption as regular nappies are made from petroleum products taking energy to produce. The move to compostable nappies reduced waste even further. Ultimately, the most creative way to save energy is not just by finding out what each of us can do but how collectively we can encourage others to do the same. Our group of friends gather weekly for dinner together and share our latest ideas on how we can save energy. By getting together, we reduce our energy consumption times the number of households gathering together in one house. Socialising is a simple way to save energy the same carpooling is not only reducing traffic but by reducing the number of cars on the streets we cut on CO2 emission. Reducing energy must come from a collective effort!

  • On the farm we’ve installed solar panels to operate the bore water pump – providing cattle with water

  • Have a small wind generator charging a 75Ah/12V battery which feeds an inverter which runs/charges all of my battery based technology, in true Sine!

  • When it gets too cold go to your local pub with a roaring fire

  • Buy an ‘In Home Display’ to work with your Smart Meter to learn how much power all your appliances use!

  • Buying a super-bright AAA efficient LED torch so I can walk around the house at night without turning on all the lights!

  • I have put my dryer up high so I can’t reach it!! Takes just a little more effort to place washing on my clotheshorse in front of the heater, has saved me a fortune! Now I’m fairly sure I can live without a dryer, I can certainly live without the bigger bills

  • I installed remote switches on all power outlets so we can shut the power to the kids bedrooms

  • I put a small plastic cup over the hot water tap to stop people from using it to wash their hands. Also saves water when waiting for the water to warm up.

  • Using my TV as the only light-source in the house at night!

  • Using energy saving lights and household appliances, planning ahead (washing, dish washing for run full loads), good insulation of the house is very important, awareness for your kids and family of the importance of energy saving

  • Having motion sensors installed in hallways, so that the light only comes on when you need it, instead of staying on when not necessary.

  • My husband & I are planning and working on installing smart switches to appliances and plan to centralise control over our smart phones. Till our smart devices are fully operational, we are constantly turning off sockets to reduce standby power consumption.

  • Seal windows, doors, loft hatches and pipework leading outside. Could save a lot of energy and make heater works more efficiently.

  • I have replaced all my globes with LED globes!!! That is saving me 90% of my lighting cost.

  • My off-peak electricity usage is between 10pm and 7am. I am charged the lowest electricity rate during this time and therefore I use this time to turn on dishwasher, washing machine, recharge my electric bicycle to go to work the next day. I’ve also switched to LED lighting and also put solar panels on my rooftop to save energy and reduce costs.

  • I use night vision goggles.

  • Time manage the electricity usage and always use 5 star electrical appliances.

  • When I have the heater on during winter to keep warm I put all my clothes that need drying in front of the heater and also on clothes racks that fit over my doors…so then I don’t have to use the clothes dryer and extra electricity, and I keep warm plus the clothes dry at the same time…

  • Our weatherboard house is high raised from the ground (and it’s very cold and uses heaps of energy during winter to warm the place. We have blocked the draughts going under the house in winter with clear plastic over the base boards …its cut down energy consumption and the house is a lot warmer now.

  • Our kids are technology freaks,
    So they must play outside three days a week,
    These days become ‘family time’,
    Soccer, board games, just sublime,
    And the added benefit – we save a dime.

  • I’ve ditched the clothes dryer for free sunshine. May take a lil longer to dry but it sure saves a lot of wasted $$

  • During winter, I use a WeMo device to automatically switch off my radiator heater on sunrise everyday. This ensures I do not leave the house with the heater switched on all day!

  • Regularly hosting games nights by candlelight

  • Using timeout devices for all non-essential appliances (I.e television) so that that the power is cut to the appliance during hours that the device will not be used (12am – 6am and during a working day when nobody is around).

  • As a consumer I would like a mobile app that showed me the following:
    • My past consumption & cost (per unit, however defined)

    • Savings lost by not taking specific deals that may have been offered to me (via the app/email/social media etc)

    • Savings achieved by taking up specific offers

    • Suggestions in the app on how to save power, best time to utilise power, most efficient and least efficient technologies or appliances.

    • A simple but attractive reward mechanism (perhaps x number of free units per billing cycle) based on how much I manage to reduce my consumption against my past history or maybe against other benchmarked customers in my area with a similar sized property and number of people residing there. Involvement and choice drive participation and outcomes.

  • To have zoned heating and cooling and thermostat controlled by mobile apps. Then can set room temperature anytime and anywhere like on the way home. Then the running cost of energy decreases

  • We have self-imposed black outs, every electrical item is turned off once a month for 24 hours.

  • Having automatic lights that switch off when you leave the room!

  • We recently changed all of our halogen down lights (all 37 of them) to LED down lights.

  • I use my cat as a hot water bottle rather than boil water. She emits plenty of heat and enjoys the attention.

  • Each week, the family is challenged to catch out each other leaving lights on, appliances on, length of time in shower. Points penalty system is applied depending on the “offence” committed.  Person with the least amount of points at the end of each week wins their choice of family activity on Sundays.

  • We have solar lights in our yards (ground lights and also solar powered sensor floodlights) that let us go outside at night time without needing to turn on the outside mains-powered floodlights (which can be hugely power hungry) . This lets us spend time outside with the dog at night without tripping over his toys in the dark.  Especially in winter when there is no daylight savings!

  • I generate organic energy. When I’m cold, I do twenty five push ups and sit ups. It’s green, and it keeps me lean.

  • My wife has made animals out of the sand snakes stopping draughts from coming under doors in our house. It’s simple but they save us heaps in our energy bill and they are a bit of fun too!

  • Use bubble wrap on all your windows…. not only does it keep the heat in but it keeps the cold out! Amazing

  • I turn my kinetic energy into electrical energy through a machine called the AMPY.

  • I like to use phone applications that track my energy use, and then each day aim to get the numbers down as much as I can

  • We often read to the kids at night using a torch. They love it!

  • I save on environmental energy by using my energy. Conserving power around home, switching off. Turning on awareness for my children.

  • I install timers so my TV, DVD, Stereo, modem, etc etc go off at 11:00pm and turn back on at 6:00am.. It all adds up!

  • Baking on cold days to heat up the house – with the added benefit of cake!

  • By having sensor lights in all houses so they turn off automatically.

  • My innovative winter clothing
    Has economy and flair
    Providing winter warmth
    Beyond compare!
    Saving heating bills
    Which is always fun
    Cash well spent on winter woollies
    Is my number one!

  • I have swap-meets with my friends, so there is less waste in the world.

  • My laundry is next to my lounge area. I hooked up an exhaust hose from my dryer to under my lounge for a warm seat in winter.

  • I built my own solar hot water system out of old copper piping, reused plastic sheets and scrap aluminium!

  • I charge my four teenagers 50cents every time I catch them leaving tv or lights on in their bedrooms when no one is using them. This money goes towards paying the electricity bill.

  • Setting timers on electrical appliances based on what time of the day I will be using them.

  • We keep containers of water in the fridge and freezer to minimise the empty space so the fridge and freezer are not working so hard to keep things cool. Is: less room for hot air to get in when door opens

  • Not the Swear Jar but the Don’t Leave the Lights On Jar or other electrical appliances if you’re not using them. The Turn-Off Jar.

  • Keep soft blankets on the lounge so we don’t need to have the heat on, plus we get to cuddle

  • Ensure your freezer is full! Partially empty freezers or refrigerators can drain energy due to warm air replacing the empty spaces of cool air when opening your freezer.

  • Cook up a roast each night – the heat from the oven heats the room thus saving on our heating bills!

  • Switch off at the wall
    To stop vampire power
    Swap PlayStation for ball
    And have a sixty second shower

  • Get a group of friends together rotate nights at each other’s homes cooking watching TV, saving power for a full night in all other homes

  • Having ‘Earth Day’ once a month where no electricity is used for 24 hours. It’s a great way to connect with the family and appreciate the things we have accessible to us that millions do not have.

  • Installing a remote controlled power circuit and app on your smart devices. Instead of turning off power points to save power and money, you can launch the app and control it from there and turn power points off. This saves money, time and helps you monitor your power usage.

  • I built an indoor cycling kit that both provides for a great workout as well as charges my phone and laptop!

  • I place a large mirror next to my window so natural light reflects on to it and brightens up a room instead of using electricity.

  • By camping on the weekends and catching and cooking food for 2 nights a week using nothing but a campfire

  • We capture rain water and then run it through a small hydro turbine for powering all the lights.

  • Using a Halogen Oven to cook some food instead of the conventional oven. Uses up to 75% less energy (or so I’ve been told)

  • Have Power timers on all of the devices.

  • I make a big thermos of coffee in the morning, instead of boiling the kettle multiple times throughout the day.

  • Once a week we cook lots of meals in the oven and freeze them for the week. The oven isn’t constantly being reheated each night using less energy, plus having the freezer full rather than empty uses less energy. a bonus in winter is that the oven is also used to assist with heating the kitchen/living area

  • To save electricity and gas costs to heat left over pizza, use an iron to heat the base and a hairdryer to melt the cheese! Yummm

  • Cleaning the external (outside) vents of my air-conditioning unit. Dirt, dust, grass etc. builds up, forcing the unit to work harder and lowering its efficiency. Regularly cleaning these vents combats this and lowers power use.

  • Candle lit dinners

Interested to learn even more about saving energy? Take a look at these extra energy saving ideas.