Hot water systems are one of the biggest consumers of electricity in most Australian homes. Often, around one-third of the monthly or quarterly electricity bill can be attributed to the hot water system alone. In some homes, that figure is even higher.

With this being the case, in order to save money on those constantly rising electricity bills, you’ll need to figure out some ways to reduce the cost of running your hot water system. In this article, we’ll be covering some tips on how to save power on your hot water system.

Lower the Temperature

Lowering the thermostat on your hot water system can significantly reduce energy consumption.

Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances

If your hot water system is old, consider upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient model. Look for heaters with a high Energy Factor (EF) rating.

Take Shorter ShowersBenefits of a low flow shower head

If everyone in the household has the discipline to do this, one of the easiest ways to save money on your hot water is the reduce the amount of time spent taking showers. Using a simple egg timer is a useful way of regulating shower time. Without some sort of timing device or reminder, people will simply forget how long they’ve been in the shower.

Baths can consume loads of water as well, so if the goal is to reduce the amount of hot water your household is using, it’s best to stick to short showers instead of baths.

In the summer months, you could have cool or even cold showers.

Install Low Flow Shower Heads and Tap Fittings

Another way to reduce the amount of water being used and thus reduce the electricity your hot water system uses is to install modern low flow showerheads and tap fittings. These low flow devices are designed to produce a satisfying and powerful jet of water, while at the same time using less water. This is a simple, yet very effective method of reducing hot-water consumption.


save power on your hot water system

Switch To a Front Loading Washing Machine

Top loading washing machines use a lot more water than a front-loading machine. If you really want to save money on hot water consumption and consume less water in general (good for lowering those water bills), then invest in a quality front-loading washing machine. These machines also tend to be very energy efficient and consume less power to operate. It’s a win-win situation all around.


Wash Full Loads In Your Dishwasher

Dishwashers are great in the sense that you don’t have to spend loads of time standing at the kitchen sink scrubbing dishes. However, if you use your dishwasher for only small loads on a daily basis, you’re going to be using a lot more hot water.

Instead, always wait until you have accumulated a full load before operating the dishwasher. You’ll use a lot less power and water this way overall.


Don’t Use Hot Water When Cold Will Do

When it comes to simple things like brushing your teeth, shaving and washing your hands, you really don’t need to turn on the hot water tap. Cold water will do. Often it’s not even necessary to wash the dishes with hot water, not unless they’re oily. If you’re just washing up some coffee mugs and glasses, cold water is good enough.


Reduce the Size of Your Hot Water System

Another way you can reduce your energy consumption when it comes to using hot water is to downsize your hot water system.

For example, if there are only one or two people in your household, you hardly need a giant hot water system designed for a family of 6 people. Smaller hot water systems heat up quickly and are generally more than enough for small households.

Some homes are equipped with tanks that hold 270 litres of water. For one or two people, you only need a 90-litre hot water system.

Insulate the Hot Water Pipes

If the hot water pipes that run from your system to the kitchen and bathrooms are not insulated, then a lot of heat is going to be lost as the water travels through those pipes or sits in those pipes.

Think about when you turn the hot water tap on in the kitchen or in the shower. You’re often waiting for ages for the hot water to come through. That’s a lot of wasted water as well as electricity, as the system constantly has to reheat.

With insulated hot water pipes, you’ll discover that the waiting time is reduced considerably when you turn on the hot water tap, as the water in the pipes is kept warmer for longer.


Dripping Taps Should Be Repairedcommon plumbing problems

Dripping taps, not only wastewater, they could be wasting electricity as well if the drip is coming from the hot water source. The same goes for showers that are constantly dripping. All drips need to be fixed ASAP so as to conserve water and possibly electricity as well.

If you don’t know how to repair the drips and leaks yourself, call in a licensed plumber to take care of it for you.


Consider Solar Water Heating

Installing a solar water heating system can significantly reduce your reliance on conventional energy sources for heating water. It utilizes renewable energy from the sun to heat water, reducing your carbon footprint and energy bills.


In Conclusion

There are many different ways you can conserve water and lower the cost of your electricity bills in the process. There’s no need for your hot water system to account for a third or more of your electricity bills. With just a little bit of effort, energy consumption from hot water can be vastly reduced. Contact your local plumber and talk to them about how they can help you to save power on your hot water system.

More reading about hot water systems:

Convert from Electric to Gas Hot Water System 

Ultimate Guide to Hot Water Systems

Original article by Refined Plumbing Sunshine Coast