Cumberland Council is committed to working with the community to encourage a sustainable use of energy and water. Apart from helping the environment, reduced energy and water use also makes sense because it reduces costs for residents and businesses.
Council has led the way to save water and energy, including by:
- Installing solar power systems across many of its facilities
- Participating in the Light Years Ahead project which is replacing approximately 13,000 high emission mercury vapour street lights with low emission LED or equivalent lights.
- Undertaking an Energy Smart Cities and Homes Project to reduce energy use across seven council-owned facilities.
How residents can reduce energy consumption
Energy savings is a very important topic at the moment, as our energy consumption increases the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, it can increase 'peak energy demand', and as energy prices increase, so do our energy bills.
There are many things that can be done to reduce energy consumption at home or in your business and a lot of them are free. Just by changing the way you use power and identifying where and when electricity or gas is being wasted you can reduce your electricity bill.
If you would like tips on how to make your home more energy efficient, you can go to Merrylands, Wentworthville or Greystanes libraries and borrow a Home Power Saving Kit for free. This will give you the tools and instructions on how minor changes can improve the energy efficiency of your home.
The use of solar power is a great way for households and businesses reduce their electricity bills as well as their carbon footprint. If you are interested in installing a photo voltaic (PV) system, there are a few things to consider such as development consent and what type of system will best suit your home or business.
How do I reduce my energy consumption at home?
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs – they last up to 10 times longer and use 80% less energy.
- Turn off lights when you leave a room.
- Turn appliances off at the wall when not in use.
- Insulate your roof and ceiling and save 20 to 40% on heating and cooling costs.
- Wear warmer clothes inside in winter so you don't need the heater as much.
- Use draft excluders (door snakes) and rugs to keep your house warm.
- Plant deciduous trees near your home – they provide shade in summer and lose their leaves in autumn, letting in the warm winter sun.
- Install a solar hot water system.
- Use energy-efficient appliances – each appliance has a label with stars; the more stars you see, the more energy efficient the appliance is and the more money you save.
- Keep summer heat out by using external blinds to shade windows.
- Buy Green Power (electricity generated from renewable resources).
- When it comes to using water too, we often forget that water is not an endless resource. Sydney Water has a set of Water Wise Rules to help us be smarter about how and when we use water.
How do I reduce my water usage at home?
- Turn off the tap while cleaning your teeth, shaving or peeling vegetables.
- Take shorter showers.
- Make sure you have a full load before you put on the washing machine or dishwasher.
- Use water-saving devices that you can attach to your taps, available at hardware stores, e.g. aerators.
- Reduce the water used by the toilet – place a brick or toilet flusher saver (available at hardware stores) inside the toilet cistern.
- Water early in the morning or late in the afternoon; if you water in the middle of the day the sun will evaporate most of the water before the plants receive it.
- Water near the roots of plants, for longer and less often.
- Mulch around your plants to prevent moisture loss, with pebbles, woodchips or grass clippings.
Install a rainwater tank so this can be used to flush your toilet and water your garden.