Reduce hot water use

Unless you have a solar hot water or wetback system, hot water requires electricity or gas to produce. So reducing your hot water usage will be a cost saver as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from gas or electricity.

Often households have their hot water cylinder turned up higher than necessary. It is recommended that the temperature is set at 55 or 60°C. Most cylinders can be adjusted using a small dial under the control panel cover. If in doubt ask your electrician.

Check your temperature

Wash your clothes in cold water - a hot water wash can use up to 10 times more electricity than using a cold wash cycle.

Wash clothes in cold water

A deep bath can use more than 200 litres of hot water, but a three-minute shower uses only 80 litres. So where possible, use short showers, and shallow baths over deep baths.

Take a shower instead of a bath

Reduce your water flow

It can be hard to get shower lovers to cut the length of their shower, so changing the flow rate of your shower with a more water efficient showerhead will automatically reduce your hot water usage. Note that reduced flow rate shouldn't be confused with reduced water pressure, which is the amount of force (from gravity or pumping) pushing water through the pipes. Modern shower heads pull air into the water stream instead of dropping flow and pressure, so the water droplets are hollow. You get the same feeling of a full-pressure shower but with a lot less water flow.

Look for models with a flow rate of 6 litres or lower a minute. Also select at least three stars of higher on the compulsory Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme for showerheads.

For a small investment you can also place aerators or flow restrictors on other hot water taps to reduce the volume you use by up to half, while still having good water pressure.

Encourage shorter showers, particularly for kids, with an in-shower egg timer, a timer with an alarm, or a piece of music that stops after a certain time. 3 - 5 minutes is ideal.

Take shorter showers

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