THE onset of summer means households are bracing for hotter weather as well as bill shock, with electricity consumption typically peaking in the summer months.
However, major energy retailer EnergyAustralia says there are simple things locals can do to take the heat out of summer bills and ease their impact on the environment.
• Replace your old halogen lights, and not just your Christmas lights: Halogen lights aren’t efficient, and when draped over your home \ and powered day and night, can run up costs. Investigate cost-effective alternatives, such as switching to solar-powered lights
• The magic air-conditioner number: Try setting the thermostat at 26 degrees Celsius, at least to begin with. Every degree lower increases running costs by around 10 per cent
• Upgrade and save: If you have an old airconditioner it might cost less in the long-run to invest in a new one. Newer models have better refrigerants and improved technology, such as inverters. One that’s 10-15 years old can be up to 40 percent more expensive to run
• Make laundry while the sun shines: Washing your clothes in cold water can save you around $115 a year and drying them on a clothesline outside (or inside) instead of in an energy-hungry dryer is fast in the summer and absolutely free.
More households are also opting for a sustainable summer by choosing carbon neutral electricity.
This can be done at no extra cost by joining the EnergyAustralia Go Neutral movement, which offsets the emissions produced by customers’ electricity consumption against climate action projects, such as bushfire management in Australia’s outback, native forest regrowth and renewable projects in developing countries.
EnergyAustralia analysis shows that the number of Victorian households which have taken up carbon neutral electricity is nearing 50,000.
“The last thing any household needs is for a big electricity bill to take the shine off the festive season,” EnergyAustralia chief customer officer Chris Ryan said.
“Fortunately, there are things everyone can do to keep their electricity costs under control while still having a good time and helping the environment.
“We want customers to think of carbon neutral electricity the same way they do decorating their front yard – in friendly competition with those on either side. It doesn’t cost a thing to join the movement and do the right by our beautiful planet.”