Save energy in the home

Last updated: 12 May 2023

With ongoing cost of living pressures and the rising cost of utility bills, taking steps to reduce your household’s energy use will have a big impact on your hip pocket.

By reducing the amount of energy you use at home, you will:

  • save money
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Running costs in an average Victorian home

A bar graph showing household appliance energy use: Heating 43%, Water heating 17%, Refrigeration 8%, Home entertainment 7%,, Cooking 6%, Cooling 4%, , Lighting 4%, Washing machines and dryers 2%., Dishwashers 1%,

The above statistics are based on the Residential Baseline Study, 2021.

Household energy action guide

The Household energy action guide offers simple, cost-effective ways to reduce your energy bills by taking action around your home. Could you be doing more to save energy and money?


In Victoria, heating uses the most energy in the home. Significant savings can be made by improving the thermal efficiency of your home to reduce draughts and keep the heat from escaping. Upgrading your heating system can be the most effective way to cut your energy bill. Upgrading to an electric reverse cycle split system is the most energy efficient, lowest cost heating option available that generates the lowest greenhouse emissions. If you have both gas heating and a reverse cycle air conditioner, simply opting to use the air conditioner instead of your gas option will result in immediate savings with no capital investment.

Learn how to Heat your home efficiently and Choose the right heating system for your home.


Active cooling systems such as fans, evaporative coolers and air conditioners play their part when cooling a house, but passive techniques that focus on windows, draught proofing, ventilation, insulation and landscaping can reduce energy consumption and be instrumental in keeping a house cool during the heat of the summer months.

Optimising your home for passive cooling will greatly reduce your reliance on active systems and is the best way to reduce cooling costs and ensure your home is more resilient to extreme temperatures.

Learn how to Cool your home efficiently and Choose the right cooling system for your home.

Water heating

Hot water accounts for around 15% of the average Victorian household’s energy costs. The simplest ways to reduce the cost of water heating are to reduce your hot water use and ensure your system is operating efficiently.

Install a low-flow shower head. Take shorter showers. Wash your clothes in cold water. Fix dripping hot water taps. Insulate exposed hot water pipes. Have your hot water system serviced regularly.

If you have an old electric or gas fuelled hot water system, it will be less efficient and replacing it with a heat-pump hot water unit is a great option. The average hot water system has a lifespan of 12–13 years, so if yours is more than 10 years old, start to do the research and plan for its replacement.

Learn more about hot water systems.


Cooking accounts for a relatively small percentage of a households energy costs. However, if the stove is your only gas appliance or you are planning to electrify your heating and cooling, the gas connection charges will make up a large proportion of your bill. You should consider replacing your gas stove with an electric induction cooktop to improve indoor air quality, protect against future gas price rises and avoid paying gas connection charges.

Learn more about reducing cooking appliance costs.


Reducing the cost of lighting is as simple as upgrading older lights to LED, turning lights off when you're not using them and using natural light wherever possible.

Learn more about reducing lighting costs at home.


Small changes in the way you use whitegoods can have a big impact on your energy bills. If you have solar panels, run your appliances during the day when the sun is shining.

Wash clothes with cold water where possible and avoid using the drier, instead use the sun and wind by hanging clothing outside or under a carport or pergola. If you do lots of clothes drying, consider replacing your existing dryer with a heat pump dryer.

Check fridge and freezer seals are clean and free from damage and ensure the heat exchange coils at the back of the fridge are clean and well ventilated. Consider replacing an older fridge (greater than 15 years old) with a new high efficiency model and choose the right size for your needs.

Energy-efficient home appliances often cost more to buy. But they save money in the long run, as you spend less money to run them.

When you buy a new appliance, use the energy rating labels to compare models and lifetime running costs. The more stars the label has, the more energy efficient it is and the lower the running cost will be.

Understand energy rating labels.

Read how to choose the right appliance for energy efficiency, and how use them efficiently:

Solar PV

Install a solar PV system to generate electricity from the sun.

Learn about solar power.

Take control of your energy use and billing

Understanding your bill and how and when you consume energy in the home lets you take control and make easy savings.

Many retailers have apps that let you see your electricity use in half hour intervals – this can help you identify high use appliances or unexpected energy use. Alternately, in-home displays are available and allow you to monitor and check your household energy use as it occurs.

Learn how to organise an in-home display with Victorian Energy Upgrades. Knowing how to read your energy bill[ can help you reduce your energy use and save money.

To reduce your energy bills further, find a better rate with Victorian Energy Compare.