Thursday, 2 August 2012

Reduce rising energy costs - Save your breath { $500 Giveaway }

Who isn't concerned about the cost of rising energy / electricity bills.We got our power bill yesterday and the service availability (power )  has risen from 98.004c per day to 125.48c per day and cents per kWh from 26.228 to 31.290 ...boring and painful as it may be it is all about encouraging us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. It is going to hurt.

I was offered an Energy Efficiency Opportunity Assessment where an assessor comes into your home to assess how you can reduce the low carbons emissions of your home.

It sounds high tech but it was really quite simple and very interesting , though I find climate change very confusing.

An initative of the Empower campaign , created by ClimateWorks Australia with funding from the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, The Program aims to:
• raise awareness and understanding of the vision for a clean energy future for Australia
with key target audiences;
• inspire AustraliaŹ¼s business community and householders to act and capitalise on the
opportunities arising from energy sector transformation; and
• showcase existing success stories.

Knowing my brother has huge energy (electricity) bills I decided to put his home under assessment instead. I won't tell you exactly how much but well over $1000 a quarter. We set aside 2 hours for the assessment in reality in was 3hrs and that didn't cover everything...

Our Energy Expert assessor David, started by asking to view electricity, water and gas bills , for the audit, from the last 6 months.He explained what a Kilowatt was and to calculate  Kw of various household appliances and lights etc.

It was very interesting to note that many actions can be done at low cost or through small changes in behaviours. Like reducing the thermostat on your air conditioning , using it wisely with ambient temperatures and simple measures like putting a jumper on and sealing up draughts and gaps through door ways.

Very simple changes like shorter showers make a huge difference as well. My teenage nieces spend a long time in the shower , , as you do - doing what girls do. We measured the per litre rate from the shower heads in the main and ensuite bathroom.

How : Take a bucket , fill under the shower head for one minute - measure !

The ensuite was under 7.5L per minute - pass . It has recently been renovated.The main bathroom was 18L per minute ...FAIL - it's no wonder with two teenage girls having long showers that their family frequently runs out of hot water. A very sore point in their their 10min (more like 15) shower could be using over 90 litres or more of hot water - each !

David said to change to a water efficient ,low flow shower head is about $30. Inexpensive - and it will save them water and power because they all might get a hot shower without the solar booster needed every DAY at the moment. To encourage the girls to change their behaviours and have shorter showers would make a difference too...that might be a little tougher.

The other big energy sucker in their house was 61 downlights ...yes 61 ! Major power suckers with halogen globes and transformers. David showed a range of retro fits options and replacement options. The retro fit option is to change globes (especially bedrooms with less use and using desk lamps) and possibly more energy efficient and newer transformers .

Outright replacement to dimmer LED downlights was a big investment but could be considered for areas of high usage (kitchen and family rooms). He advised a few websites to check the options. The newer light units also don't contain mercury.

David was pleased their second fridge, outside under the patio ,was switched off at the moment.He suggested if it was needed to relocate to a better location. Their upright freezer would do well to be moved inside the garage too.

We were shown how to use a power mate to measure the Kw usage of various appliances. These can be hired from local libraries and it is a simple do it your self way to measure what you use.
One flick of a switch - turn off hard to reach items/power boards so appliances /devices aren't on standby
 Turning off appliances at the power point rather than leaving things on stand by is a small behaviour change too. Changing to LCD monitors and Tv's too. reduce greenhouse emissions. It might help you decide about changing to more energy efficient appliances when you update. It pays to check the star ratings and comparative energy consumption shown in kilowatt hours too.

My brother's pool  (pumps) is another huge part of their energy costs and they already had plans to get quotes for replacement , David spoke about a few other options too like changing to salt water.

Whinging about paying more is an absolutely waste of energy - the only way is to manage your energy is to use it smarter. At the completion of the assessment David developed a simple action and practical plan that listed 3 easy and 3 more serious actions that you can undertake to reduce your energy usage.

I am also very keen to practice living greener so we can pass on our land in a better condition to next generation.

Read more here :

Empower Campaign -
Low Carbon Growth Plan -

To help you reduce your energy costs and in turn carbon emissions I have a super $500 giveaway

One reader will win a Energy Efficiency Opportunity Assessment where an assessor will come into your home or place of business and assess how you can reduce the low carbons emissions of your home or business.

This give away includes an assessment to value of $250 and retro-fit to $250 bonus =$500

  1. Watch the above video about

    How are the Nugent family saving in their energy costs? 

  2. Leave a comment below answering in 100 words or less : Which ideas could also be beneficial in your home and why ?
  3. This is a competition of skill the most interesting or original answer will win.
  4. Australian Residents Only
  5. Competition runs 1st of August to 1st of September, 2012. 
  6. Please read the Terms and Conditions
Visit With Some Grace for a second chance to win

This is a sponsored post for Climate Works Australia. All opinions expressed are my own. Participating sponsors do not have editorial control. I received compensation for this post as a member of Digital Parents Collective.