How to save energy as a family
Keeping the family home running is a big job, and trying to keep on top of energy use is part of that. What are the options that families can adopt to lower their energy use?
1. Get the kids involved in saving energy
Setting family challenges each week – with prizes for the most energy-efficient – is sure to bring the kids on board, and the things they learn along the way will last their whole lives.
As part of the challenge, use sticker charts as a fun way to track:
- Unused appliances are switched off at the powerpoint
- Handwashing small kitchen items after use
- Only using the dishwasher when it’s full and on an eco setting
- Keeping fridge and freezer doors closed
- Switching lights off when they’re not needed
- Taking short showers
- Reading or playing instead of watching TV
- Helping to hang the washing on the line
- Suggesting novel ways to change the family’s habits.
Of course, tracking whether or not the kids are actually earning those stickers will use more of your energy, but you should see a payoff in your electricity and gas consumption. And you could always add ‘making mum and dad a cup of tea’ to the list.
2. Get active, get a pet
Getting the family out of the house and away from energy-sapping devices can not only save you money and reduce your carbon footprint but also boost your wellbeing: just 30 minutes of physical exercise a day can lead to a healthier life for your family.
So, organise regular outings to the local park or beach with friends and family, join organised adults and kids activities such as martial arts, or even just walk around the block with the dog. Studies have shown that people who own a dog increase their physical activity in their leisure time by as much as two-thirds.
Taking your dog for a walk also gives you a reason not to drive for those short trips to the shops, to save on petrol and exercise your legs instead.
3. Grow your own veggie garden
Embrace the benefits of urban farming with the kids. Growing and harvesting food at home or in a community garden:
- Reduces air pollution through eliminated transport needs, increases photosynthesis and soil preservation
- Repurposes and reuses waste through composting
- Cools down cities in the summer, helping to further reduce your family’s need to crank the air conditioning in the hotter months
Caring for your own little patch of the world can provide your family with a sense of purpose, ensure you are eating healthy (and know exactly where your food is coming from) and teach your youngsters important skills they might not otherwise have developed.
Gardening has also been shown to have a positive effect on our mental health. You’ll just have to make sure that eager pup of yours doesn’t dig it all up!
4. Hold your own Earth Hour, any time
The annual Earth Hour – an hour with no lights and no electricity use – has become a symbol of commitment to preserving the planet, and raises awareness of excess energy consumption and its adverse effects on the environment.
Scheduling a weekly Earth Hour in your household can help to keep your energy consumption down while continuing to educate, and remind the kids about the power they use. And who knows, they might actually enjoy a game of Monopoly by candlelight.
5. Keep track of where you’re at
To help you stay in control of how much energy you’re using as a family, we’re here to help with tools like Energy Insights, smart data and meter reads. And, for personalised tips on how you can reduce your family’s overall energy consumption – our personalised Energy Coach tool can help.
Do you want to save more on your home energy bill?
AGL's Peak Energy Rewards program can reward you with bill credits for reducing your home energy use during peak times.Learn more