Take heat out of sum­mer bills

Benalla Ensign - - Communityvoice -

With the fes­tive sea­son here Be­nalla house­holds are hang­ing up lights, plan­ning Christ­mas lunch and mak­ing sure the air­con­di­tion­ing is in work­ing or­der.

Un­for­tu­nately, they are also brac­ing for bill shock, with elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion typ­i­cally peak­ing in the sum­mer months.

En­er­gyAus­tralia chief cus­tomer of­fi­cer Chris Ryan said there are things Be­nalla lo­cals can do to take the heat out of sum­mer bills and ease their im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment.

1. Re­place your old halo­gen Christ­mas lights: Halo­gen lights are not ef­fi­cient, and when draped over your home and pow­ered day and night, can run up costs. In­ves­ti­gate cost-ef­fec­tive al­terna- tives, like switch­ing to pow­ered Christ­mas lights.

2. The magic air-con­di­tioner num­ber: Try set­ting the ther­mo­stat at 26°C, at least to be­gin with. Ev­ery one-de­gree lower in­creases run­ning costs by about 10 per cent cent.

3. Up­grade and save: If you have an old air-con­di­tioner 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 to 15 years old can be up to 40 per cent more ex­pen­sive to run.

4. Make laun­dry while the sun shines: Wash­ing your clothes in cold wa­ter can save you about $115 a year and dry­ing them on a so­lar- clothes-line out­side (or in­side) in­stead of in an en­ergy-hun­gry dryer is su­per-fast in the sum­mer and ab­so­lutely free.

More house­holds in Be­nalla 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.

It is the pro­gram that 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 the num­ber of Vic­to­rian house­holds that 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,’’ Mr 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 Be­nalla 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 right by our beau­ti­ful planet.’’

En­er­gyAus­tralia is aim­ing to have one mil­lion cus­tomers join the Go Neu­tral move­ment by 2021.

One-hun­dred per cent car­bon­neu­tral elec­tric­ity is avail­able to En­er­gyAus­tralia’s res­i­den­tial elec­tric­ity cus­tomers.

New cus­tomers can opt-in when set­ting up their ac­count and when six months rolls around, En­er­gyAus­tralia will au­to­mat­i­cally put them on the pro­gram.

Cus­tomers can find out more and opt-in by vis­it­ing en­er­gyaus­tralia.com.au/go-neu­tral

More home cool­ing tips can be found at en­er­gyaus­tralia.com.au/ about-us/me­dia/fact-sheets

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