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Energy efficiency



With the price of electricity these days and our increased awareness about the environment, it's important to think carefully about our energy efficiency.

If you are building, renovating or extending your home or workplace or planning to buy electrical goods like a dishwasher or washing machine, there are a number of factors to consider to ensure your energy efficiency is at its maximum. And that will be good for your wallet and the environment.

So what are the important things you need to consider when striving for energy efficiency?

When building or renovating, choose building materials that provide good insulation.
Think carefully about the wall, floor and ceiling materials you use. Some building products let the cold in during winter and the heat in during summer. You want the opposite. Often materials that provide good insulation are more expensive upfront than other options, but in the long run their energy efficiency will save you money on your energy bills. Products with high energy efficiency often perform better than less efficient options which means they should also last longer.

When considering an electrical item for your home or office, check out the Energy Star rating. This will give you an indication about the energy efficiency of the product. Energy Star is an international standard for energy efficient electronic equipment. It's backed by The Australian Federal and State and Territory Governments. Energy Star works by reducing the amount of energy consumed by a product by either automatically switching it into a 'sleep' mode when it's not being used and/or reducing the amount power used when the product is in 'standby' mode.

But how do we choose the best products for our needs?

Do your homework. Talk to as many people as possible about the materials suitable for your needs that will give you maximum energy efficiency. Get online and find out about the products you are considering. You need to be well armed with as much advice as possible before you make the final decision that suits you. Remember the outlay for some of these energy efficient products may be more, but they will definitely save you money in the long run.

Another question that comes up when talking about about energy efficiency is: "How do I find the right person to install the equipment?"

Again it's all about doing your homework. Ask family and friends if they can recommend a good contractor. One who is trustworthy and reliable who will do a great job. There's nothing like personal references to gain confidence in someone's work. Once you have a name, ask them your own questions to ensure they are the person you want for the job. Check they have the correct licenses and follow up suggested references so you can ask them how the job went. Make sure the prices they charge are comparable to other contractors so you know you'll be getting good value for money.

Thinking about energy efficiency will make a big difference to your power bills and to the environment so it's well worth doing the background work to get the best possible outcome.



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