How Sustainable Is Your Street?

Is your street the most sustainable in Australia?

Origin Energy has put sustainability back on the agenda for local communities as they introduce Sustainability Drive.

Up to 80 houses across four streets in Australia will win; it’s simply a matter of telling the country why you are the most deserving.

With prizes including solar electricity, 12 months’ electricity supply including 100% GreenPower (up to the value of $3,000 (inc GST)) and hot water systems, all people need to do is rally together with their neighbours, nominate their street and submit their entry at www.originenergy.com.au by describing what’s unique about their street with words, video, illustrations or photos.

Entries are open from 7 March until 15 May 2011.

If you don’t think your street would cut the mustard when it comes to green living then here are some ways your can be more evironmentally friendly.

Heating:

• Set the heater to a comfortable 20°C
• Invest in a programmable heater that turns on and off automatically
• Rug up and choose to use heaters only on days minimum temperatures are 10°C or lower instead of 12°C and save between $100 and $200 per year in running costs.
• Use a heated throw instead of a portable space heater to keep warm when watching TV or reading. Running costs will be less than 5 cents per hour compared to at least 23 cents per hour

Cooling:

• Set your cooler to a comfortable 24°C
• If you’re using air conditioning on hot days, close all blinds, curtains, windows and doors in the morning and open them when it’s cooler
• Dress in cool cottons and choose to use air conditioners only on days maximum temperatures are 30°C or higher instead of 28°C and save between $20 and $200 per year off your bill.
• Use fans instead of air conditioners. The average fan costs less than 1 cent per hour to run while the smallest sized air conditioner about 12 cents per hour.

Hot Water:

• Swap your existing showerhead for a three star rated version
• Install a heat pump, solar hot water system or convert an existing system to reduce hot water bills. You could save in excess of $100 per year in energy charges.

Lighting:

• Replace standard incandescent bulbs with energy efficient ones – same light, less energy. The average household replacing 6 x 75 Watt incandescent with 15 Watt compact fluorescent lamps could save about $100 per year in running costs

Fridges and Freezers

• Keep thermostats at ideal temperatures
fridge: between 2ºC and 6ºC
freezer: between -11ºC and -23ºC
• Take advantage of improved minimum energy performance standards - replace your antique refrigerator in the garage and save about $150 a year in running costs.

Clothes washing and drying

• Front loading washing machines use around 60% less water and energy than top loaders
• Switch to a sensor dryer that turns off automatically when the load is dry
• Hang washing on the line instead of using the clothes dryer and save about $1.00 per load
• If you are an apartment dweller or regular dryer user, consider replacing your current dryer with new heat pump technology and halve your drying energy consumption.

Standby power

• Turn appliances off at the wall when not in use and save up to 800 kWh and about $180 per year.

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