Take heat out of summer bills
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