Regardless of the type of hot water system you use, here is a number of common-sense ways to reduce the amount of hot water you use and pay for:
• Install a low-flow shower head for a satisfying shower using the minimum amount of water.
• Take shorter showers. Use a shower timer to encourage your household to take four-minute showers.
• Wash your clothes in cold water where possible.
• Fix dripping taps.
• Insulate exposed hot water pipes with closed-cell rubber insulation, available from hardware stores.
• Service and maintain your hot water system using a licensed tradesperson according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Plan for your hot water system’s replacement, especially if it’s more than ten years old. Choose a hot water system to suit your household’s needs.
Choose an energy efficient hot water system
The type of hot water system you have makes a big difference to your energy bills. There are a range of energy efficient hot water heaters to choose from, depending on your fuel source, household size, budget and preference for instantaneous or storage systems. Choose the right hot water system for your needs and use it wisely, and you can save energy and lower your hot water costs.
Electric hot water systems
Electric storage hot water systems – the most common type in Victoria – heat water with an element in the bottom of the unit and store it in an insulated tank, ready for use throughout the day. Electric hot water systems are the cheapest to buy but the most expensive to run.
Gas hot water systems
A high efficiency gas hot water system is one of the most economical types of water heaters, when operated on natural gas. Gas and electricity prices are rising, so if you have a conventional gas or electric hot water system that needs replacing, consider a more efficient gas or solar hot water system.
Solar hot water systems
A solar hot water system is more expensive to buy and install, but the running costs will be significantly lower. The cheapest and most environmentally friendly type of water heating to run is natural gas-boosted solar.
Heat-pump water heaters
A heat-pump water heater uses heat from the surrounding air to heat water in a storage tank. A heat-pump water heater uses much less electricity than an electric storage water heater, but are generally better suited to warmer climates.