ONE lucky BDN reader was given some simple tips to save on their electricity bill – but the advice is universal.
Eileen Andrew of Bega won an energy audit by Origin Energy expert Anne Armansin, as well as $1000 to go towards energy efficiency improvements, in the BDN’s recent competition.
On Thursday, Ms Armansin took down the details of all electrical appliances in Ms Andrew’s home to conduct an audit, and gave advice on how to make her energy usage more efficient after listening to how the appliances are used in the house.
Ms Armansin also offered some general tips anyone can do to make their energy consumption more efficient.
“The more we know the better decisions we can make,” she said.
Simply installing an energy efficient shower rose can reduce an electricity bill by 40 per cent, she said.
“Be careful of cheap heaters – something that costs $20 to buy can increase your bill by hundreds.”
Ms Armansin said reverse cycle air-conditioners are the most efficient way of heating a house – up to five times more efficient than a plug-in heater.
The ideal temperature for air-conditioners during winter is 20 degrees, while during summer it’s 24 degrees - any increase or decrease in temperature can make an energy bill more expensive.
These days LED lights are available for most fittings in the house, which give the same quality of light as fluorescents, but use less power – operating down to nine Watts.
Front-loader washing machines are more effective than top-loaders, and using a dryer every day is a sure way to increase your bill.
“If you are concerned something is not right with your bill, read the meter at the same time every day,” Ms Armansin said.
“Then you will be able to turn things off and get an idea of how much energy difference appliances actually consume.”
Ms Andrew’s mother entered her in the competition and she was surprised to have won.
While she initially wasn’t sure what it would involve, she found the audit by Ms Armansin to be “fantastic”.
“Anne was very pleasant, and it was very interesting,” Ms Andrews said.
“I can see that you [Ms Armansin] do make a difference if people listen to your advice.
“It was a fabulous opportunity and a great competition.
“I’d like to thank the Bega District News and Origin Energy – I never win anything!”
* An Origin Energy Customer Service Hub arrived in Bega on Thursday and will continue Friday at Thornleigh on Newtown. Origin encouraged residents to share their views about all areas of their energy use and engagement with energy retailers.