With the festive season here Kinglake Ranges households are hanging up lights, planning Christmas lunch and making sure the air-conditioning is in working order.
Unfortunately, they’re also bracing for bill shock, with electricity consumption typically peaking in the summer months. But, says EnergyAustralia Chief Customer Officer Chris Ryan, there are things Kinglake Ranges locals can do to take the heat out of summer bills and ease their impact on the environment.
- Replace your old halogen 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, like switching to solar-powered Christmas lights.
- The magic air-conditioner number: Try setting the thermostat at 26 degrees Celsius, at least to begin with. Every 1-degree lower increases running costs by around 10 per cent.
- Upgrade and save: If you have an old air-conditioner it might cost less 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 per cent 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 clothes-line outside (or inside) instead of in an energy-hungry dryer is super-fast in the summer and absolutely free.
More households in Kinglake Ranges 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’s the program 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.
Energy Australia analysis shows that the number of Victorian households to 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,” Chris 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 Kinglake Ranges customers to think of carbon-neutral electricity the same way they decorate 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,” Chris said.
Energy Australia is aiming to have 1 million customers join the Go Neutral movement by 2021.