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Five ways to make your home environmentally friendly (and save some cash at the same time)

By Kevin Kelly

With the effects of global warming really starting to show, and carbon emissions continuing to rise, we all need to be doing our bit for the environment. Here are five easy ways to make your Bunbury property eco-friendly (and help you save on your utilities bills).

1. Install energy efficient lighting

LEDs are four to seven times more efficient than normal lightbulbs, according to the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy (DoEE). Although LEDs may be more expensive, they have a far longer life and use less energy, making them a better financial option overall. Some of the poorer quality LED bulbs can emit less light, however, so make sure you do your research before you buy. 

2. Keep your water cool

Heating water makes up 21 per cent of home energy usage, and the DoEE says it is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the home. Turning down the thermostat on your water heater is a good place to start. Also, try having colder showers in summer – it's a great way to refresh and will make a significant impact on your hot water usage.

3. Invest in an electricity monitor

These measure how much electricity your household is using. Once you've had your monitor for a while, you'll be able to see patterns in energy consumption and make alterations accordingly. It will also allow you to pinpoint which appliances are using lots of electricity so you can switch to more energy efficient ones.

4. Reduce your heating and cooling costs

The DoEE reports that heating and cooling account for 40 per cent of Australia's household energy usage. This figure can be reduced dramatically by insulating your home. The easiest way to do this is by checking the sealing around your windows and doors. Also, try using fans instead of air conditioning during summer.

5. Install a solar power system

It's not like we're short of sunshine here in Australia, so why not harness it by installing a solar power system to generate electricity in your home? Though this is by far the most dramatic thing on the list, it also gets great results. According to solargain, a 5kW system in the Perth area will save you around $1,426 a year. The government even have a solar power rebate system in place, so you'll make back the money you spend in no time. Switching your outdoor and Christmas lights to solar powered ones is also a good way to save on your energy consumption.

Visit the Ray White Bunbury property page for new houses that you can improve by making environmentally friendly.

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