Sustainable Living: Energy Efficiency in Brisbane


With rising energy costs and the increasing impact of climate change, it’s more important than ever to focus on sustainable living. Brisbane residents are no strangers to the heat and humidity that can drive up energy consumption, especially during the sweltering summer months. But there’s good news! Embracing energy efficiency isn’t just good for the planet—it can also be kind to your wallet. In this article, we’ll explore practical ways to enhance home energy efficiency in Brisbane, including the benefits of solar panels and other strategies to reduce energy usage.

Understanding Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency means using less energy to perform the same tasks, thereby eliminating energy waste. It’s a key part of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and curbing your personal carbon footprint. But what does energy efficiency look like in the context of a Brisbane home?

The Basics of Home Energy Efficiency

At its core, home energy efficiency in Brisbane involves optimizing your home to use energy more effectively. This includes proper insulation, energy-efficient appliances, and smart design that takes advantage of natural light and ventilation. By implementing these measures, you can maintain a comfortable home environment while reducing your energy consumption and bills.

Assessing Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

To get started, consider conducting an energy audit of your home. This assessment can pinpoint areas where your home is losing energy and recommend ways to improve efficiency. You might discover that simple changes like sealing leaks or upgrading to LED lighting can make a significant difference.

Energy efficiency in your home

Appliances account for around 30% of energy use in your home. When you replace old appliances with more energy-efficient models, you can reduce your power costs.

Energy-efficient appliances are also a more sustainable solution for the environment. Using them in your home can significantly reduce carbon emissions, contributing to a more sustainable future.

By using a 4-star or higher energy-efficient appliance, you could:

  • save up to $134 per year on your energy bill
  • reduce carbon emissions by up to 0.35 tonnes each year.

If you install an energy-efficient hot water system, your bill could reduce by up to  $1,118 per year, and your carbon emissions may drop by as much as 2.96 tonnes annually.

The table below shows how upgrading to a more energy-efficient appliance could benefit you.

Appliance Upgrade

Clothes washing machines | 2-star to 4-star | $117 | 0.31

Clothes dryers | 2-star to 4-star | $300 | 0.08

Dishwashers | 2-star to 4-star | $75 | 0.20

Refrigerators | 2.5-star to 4-star | $320 | 0.08

Air conditioners | 3-star to 4-star | $134 | 0.35

Heat pump hot water systems | From electric storage | $1118 | 2.96

Solar hot water systems | From electric storage | $1050 | 2.78


  • tCO2e = tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
  • Actual results will vary depending on household usage, location and appliance.
  • Appliance data is based on 
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  •  calculator for specific appliance types.
  • Hot water data is based on 
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  •  calculator data and Queensland FY2023-24 Tariff11 rate.
  • Emissions data based on average kilowatt hour (kWh) savings and 0.00088 tCO2e/kWh.

Air conditioning rewards

Beyond the Climate Smart Energy Savers rebate, Energex and Ergon Energy provide up to $400 cash back via the PeakSmart program for replacing an old air conditioner with a PeakSmart-compatible unit.

PeakSmart air conditioning reduces peak demand by switching your air conditioner to a lower performance mode (similar to economy mode) during times of network stress, which happens infrequently throughout the year.

The system is intended to operate on a ‘set and forget’ basis, meaning that after enrollment in the PeakSmart program, there is no further action required on your part.

Visit the Energex website 

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 (in South East Queensland) or Ergon Energy website 

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 (in regional Queensland).

Energy efficiency tips

There are lots of things you can do to manage energy use in your home, like adjusting the temperature on air conditioners or installing timers on appliances.

Read our Energy Efficiency Guide and our tips to reduce your electricity bill to learn more.

Removing your old appliance

When buying a new appliance, consider how to dispose of your old one. You should never put electrical appliances in your recycling bin at home.

  • Ask your appliance retailer or installer about taking them away.
  • Visit Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You website 
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  •  to find a drop-off location that will recycle them.
  • Your local council may also have drop-off points for some electrical appliances.

Whichever service you use, make sure you check if they will accept your appliance.

The Power of Solar Energy in Brisbane

Brisbane’s sunny climate makes it an ideal location for harnessing solar energy. Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, providing a renewable and clean source of power for your home.

Benefits of Installing Solar Panels

Solar panels can dramatically reduce your reliance on the grid and lower your electricity bills. In addition to cost savings, solar power reduces your carbon footprint, as it’s a green, renewable energy source. Plus, with various government incentives and rebates available, the initial investment in solar panels can be more affordable than you think.

How Solar Energy Works

Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells that absorb photons from sunlight and convert them into electrons, which then flow as an electric current. This current can be used to power your home or be fed back into the grid, often earning you credits on your energy bill.

Energy-Saving Tips for Brisbane Homes

Beyond solar power, there are plenty of ways to reduce your energy consumption. Here are some energy-saving tips that you can implement in your Brisbane home:

Use Energy-Efficient Appliances

When it’s time to replace appliances, look for those with high energy star ratings. These products are designed to operate more efficiently, using less electricity and reducing your energy bills.

Improve Insulation and Seal Leaks

Proper insulation helps keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter, reducing the need for heating and cooling. Additionally, sealing gaps and cracks around doors and windows can prevent energy from being wasted.

Smart Landscaping for Shade and Breezes

Planting trees and shrubs strategically around your home can provide shade, reducing the heat from direct sunlight. Additionally, consider the direction of prevailing breezes when planting to allow for natural cooling of your home.

Implement a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can help you manage your heating and cooling systems more effectively. By setting it to adjust the temperature when you’re not home or when you’re sleeping, you can save energy without sacrificing comfort.

The Future of Energy Efficiency in Brisbane

The push for energy efficiency in Brisbane is part of a larger trend towards sustainable living. As technology improves and awareness grows, more Brisbane residents are adopting energy-efficient practices and systems.

Innovations in Energy Efficiency

From smart home technology that allows you to control appliances remotely to advancements in insulation materials, the future of energy efficiency is bright. These innovations make it easier for homeowners to reduce energy consumption and live more sustainably.

Community Efforts and Government Initiatives

The Brisbane community, along with government entities, is actively promoting energy efficiency. Initiatives like the Brisbane City Council’s Energy Smart Brisbane plan aim to make the city carbon neutral by encouraging green living and reducing energy usage.

Conclusion: Embracing Energy Efficiency for a Sustainable Brisbane

Sustainable living and energy efficiency go hand in hand. By embracing energy-efficient practices, from installing solar panels to optimizing the use of appliances, Brisbane residents can play a crucial role in protecting the environment and reducing energy costs. The journey towards a sustainable future is one we can all contribute to, one energy-saving step at a time.

Remember, every action counts when it comes to energy efficiency. Start with small changes and gradually incorporate more sustainable practices into your lifestyle. Together, we can ensure that Brisbane remains a vibrant, green, and energy-efficient city for generations to come.

Brisbane skyline with energy-efficient buildingsby Zbynek Burival (

Take the time to evaluate your energy usage and consider the changes you can make today. Your wallet—and the planet—will thank you.

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