"Were you born in a tent?.... What do you think this is, a lighthouse?"

While leaving the lights on or the doors open may have driven your Dad crazy, the rising cost of electricity is something we could do without. Fortunately there are some simple solutions when renovating or building a home that can help reduce your power consumption and save you money.

Heating and cooling are the biggest cost factor for most people. Getting the right temperature in your home and maintaining it with minimal use of energy draining appliances like electric heaters and air conditioning, is what will save you the big bucks long term. So how do you achieve this?

Firstly by engaging an architect or drafts person that is passionate about energy efficiency and knows how to create a clever design that will minimise the need for artificial heating and cooling. Secondly, by insulating your home and thirdly by using materials known for their temperature regulating qualities, such as concrete floors.

Lighting is another important factor when it comes to saving on power. All Character Living homes have LED lighting installed as standard. We believe these are the most efficient way to light a room and unless our clients specify they want something else such as a pendant light, we stick to LED. If you have light sockets already installed, energy saving globes are also a good option. If you have the ability to remove existing light fittings and want to replace them with LED fixtures, we are happy to recommend our electrical contractor to help you out with the job.

Then there are the small every day ways that you can save power and money. Turning switches off at the point, ensuring all your household appliances are working at their optimal efficiency, turning the TV off if you’re not in the room, controlling temperature of hot water units and hanging washing outside if it is a sunny day. All of these actions are extremely simple, but over time, add up to big savings for both you and the environment.