Pamela MacDonald of Conservation Volunteers saves energy a number of ways, including only boiling enough water for the number of cups actually required.
Pamela MacDonald of Conservation Volunteers saves energy a number of ways, including only boiling enough water for the number of cups actually required. Chrissy Harris

Ways to stay warm in winter

WITH winter stealthily approaching, it's time to start thinking about how to keep warm while still conserving energy during the cooler months.

As tempting as it is to crank up the heater, electric blanket and tumble dryer all at once, it's important to be conscious of how much electricity these popular winter appliances consume.

Being aware of energy consumption is not only important environmentally, but can also save you a bundle of cash.

Even the sorts of appliances you use can make a huge difference to your electricity bills.

As general manager of Service Delivery for Ergon Energy, Steve Leighton, points out.

“The average cost of running a 2400 watt radiator is 51 cents an hour, substantially more that the 23 cents an hour it costs to run a 6.3kW reverse cycle air-conditioner set at 18°C,” he said.

There are also appliance options that can assist you in both summer and winter.

Bob Pleash, corporate communications manager of Ergon Energy, said that while buying an air-conditioning unit may be the last thing on your mind during winter, it could actually be an excellent investment.

“If you're contemplating buying an air-conditioner, choosing one with a reverse-cycle capability is not only a cheaper and more efficient form of heating, but will also see you through all of the seasons.”

Ergon also recommends when purchasing a heater or air-conditioner, it fits the room.

For more recommendations on how to put your energy sense into action, visit

Tiny steps to saving energy resources

Pamela MacDonald knows how she likes her water boiled.

Pamela, of Conservation Volunteers Australia, is passionate about energy conservation and believes that making even the smallest changes in your everyday routine can make a huge difference to energy conservation overall.

“Why boil an entire jug of water when you only need to make two cups of tea?” she asks.

“It might not seem like it makes a huge difference, but all these things do add up in the long run.”

Pamela is the first to admit that it can be difficult to contemplate decreasing your energy consumption when we live in a world that is so dependent on technology.

But rather than throwing out the stereo and using a candle to cook breakfast, Pamela again emphasizes that it's the “small little tiny steps”, that really do add up.

In winter, if you're cold, “put some more clothes on!”, she advises.

Also, things such as plasma televisions are huge consumers of energy, yet so many of us are happy to leave them blaring in the background even when nobody is watching.

“If you're not using it, turn it off at the wall,” she said.

“And if you applied this rule of thumb to all of your gadgets, it is actually saving quite a lot of energy.”

Pamela's dedication for conservation also extends to the conversation on water.

“Let's face it,” she said.

“These days water is a precious commodity.”

Once again, Pamela's practices aren't hard to implement.

“When I brush my teeth, I wet my toothbrush and then turn the water off while I do the actual brushing,” she said.

“You don't need all that water gushing out of the tap while you're not using it.”

One of the best things about energy conservation, apart from taking steps towards creating a healthier environment, is that it will also help bring down the figures on your bills.

“And in a time when, I think it's safe to say, we're all trying to pinch our pennies, how can you go wrong?”