Myth: The carbon pollution produced by households is insignificant compared to that produced by business
Reality: Households account for about a third of the electricity used in NSW; the average home creating 160,000 balloons of carbon pollution a year. Around 3.7 tonnes of black coal – about the same weight as three small cars – is needed to supply the average Sydney household with a year’s worth of electricity. By reducing your power use at home, you can reduce the impact on our environment and save money too.
Myth: Appliances use no power when turned off
Reality: Equipment and appliances may continue to use electricity if they are not switched off at the power point. It’s called stand-by power and can add up to 10% on your power bill. Everything from PCs to TVs, air conditioners to gas room heaters, and even mobile phone chargers continue to use electricity until they’re switched off or unplugged at the power point.
Myth: Leaving a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) turned on is cheaper than turning it off and on again
Reality: You should turn off your CFLs if you’re leaving the room for more than a few minutes. While CFLs draw more power to start up, this only lasts for a fraction of a second which is tiny compared to the normal running requirements.
Myth: Lowering the thermostat will cool the house faster
Reality: Set thermostats at 23-26°C for summer cooling. Lowering the thermostat won’t cool your house faster, it just makes the fan run longer, increasing running costs for cooling by up to 10% per degree.
Myth: A few draughts won't effect my power bill
Reality: Draught proof your home now. In winter, draughts can increase your heating costs by up to 25%. Sealing up gaps around windows and doors is easy and cost effective, helping you save on your energy bills every year. Fitting effective coverings on your windows can cut your power bill dramatically. Just consider how many windows you have in your home and you'll see how many chances heat has to escape.
Myth: Computers should be left on when you're not using them
Reality: A computer and monitor (not ENERGY STAR® enabled) left on for a year generates the same amount of carbon pollution as a car travelling from Sydney to Perth. Look for ENERGY STAR home electronics and office equipment. They use up to 75% less energy than standard products because they automatically switch into a power-saving "sleep" mode after a pre-set period of inactivity.