Reasons to consider sustainable living

Here are a few reasons to consider making the switch to an energyefficient lifestyle 171 6013050 0 14100939 300

Australians are becoming a more energy-conscious nation. Not only are jumps in electricity and gas prices having an impact on how consumers use power, but the availability of alternative sources are also encouraging more people to take environmental concerns into their own hands. According to research from the Climate Institute, 87 per cent of Australians who think that climate change is occurring believe that humans have some part to play in the changes. 

Renewable energy is growing in favour - and for good reason. Renewable energy is growing in favour - and for good reason.

This shift in attitude has seen some interesting trends emerge. Sustainable electricity generation has come to the fore, with the Australian government taking initiative and opening a number of large-scale solar farms in recent months. Similarly, generous incentive schemes have encouraged households across the country to reduce their carbon footprint by making greener energy choices.

For the everyday consumer, there are more and more opportunities to grasp the move toward environmentally-conscious living with both hands. For instance, new research from the Grattan Institute shows that feed-in tariff schemes have provided incentive for 1.4 million households to put solar panels on their roofs.

While these measures are being wound back somewhat, opportunities abound for Australians households. So what are some of the benefits of energy-efficient living?

It saves you money

Unfortunately, bill shock can be a common occurrence. According to a survey conducted by Ernst and Young (EY), rising electricity prices are one of the biggest factors behind Australians' ability to pay their utility bills. The results show that being unable to afford the payment was the biggest reason for not paying on time. In the same vein, more than one in ten households admitted that energy bills were an everyday worry. 

More than one in ten households admitted that energy bills were an everyday worry.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission found that an individual under 35 could spend around $20 per week on fuel and power - and these costs can quickly spiral if things are left unchecked.

However, making an effort to cut down on your energy use and choosing more sustainable options could offset some of these concerns. For instance, the average cost of running incandescent bulbs in your home is around $1.68 per hour - on the other hand, using compact fluorescent lighting could trim this to just $0.37 cent per hour, according to the South Australian government.

Improving energy-efficiency can cut greenhouse gas emissions. Improving energy-efficiency can cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Better for the environment 

Consider this: Electricity creates around 87 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions every year, according to the Department of Industry and Science. In fact, a single household produces over 7 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from its premises every year. Living in the most energy-efficient manner can significantly reduce your environmental impact. Renewable energy sources, whether connected to the grid or standalone, are rising in favour - and it's little wonder. 

They can cut down on your electricity bills, while also helping to improve the country's productivity - something that is of benefit to everyone. The Grattan Institute found that electricity generated from small-scale solar photovoltaic systems can cut down on emissions by around four million tonnes of CO2 a year - worth $2 billion to society.

Once you've got your head around the basics of energy efficiency, the decision to change your lifestyle seems relatively simple. To help bolster your efforts, why not switch energy providers? According to an EY survey, 55 per cent of respondents have recently switched or have considered switching electricity suppliers in the past 12 months - and a large bill can be the trigger.

If you have received a large charge or want to switch up your energy habits, the free electricity comparison services at Make It Cheaper can ensure you're receiving the best deal possible.​ 

Posted by Jeremy Elliott