Mayor Simon Richardson, George and Judy Ryan, Patrick Halliday from Juno Solar Energy and Sarah Burke from Nickel Energy.
Mayor Simon Richardson, George and Judy Ryan, Patrick Halliday from Juno Solar Energy and Sarah Burke from Nickel Energy. Contributed

Couple cut power bill by a third

BRIGHT sparks Judy and George Ryan have been awarded $500 by Byron Shire Council after slashing their electricity bill by a third last quarter.

The Mullumbimby couple were the winners of council's latest Beat Your Power Bill competition after they cut their power bill by $139 to $288 from $427 in the same quarter last year.

Judy said their power use dropped from 26kw a day to 10kw (a 61% reduction) with simple measures including four-minute showers and installing powerboards, heavy curtains and a whirly bird (rotating roof vent) to help with heating and cooling.

They sold their old freezer and bought a more environmentally friendly model.

Every Sunday when her son and his family come round for a roast dinner, Judy pops in a tray of biscuits on the spare shelf which her grandkids enjoy after lunch.

Judy said they believed switching power devices off at the wall had the biggest impact of all the little changes they made.

"Previously the computer was never switched off at the wall and the TV we just used to switch off at the remote," she said.

They were surprised that such simple changes made such a big differ- ence and they were going to keep them up to continue to enjoy savings.

But they don't regard themselves as environmentalists.

"I wouldn't say that. We're just sensible people trying to do the right thing."

Mayor Simon Richardson said over the course of the competition which was sponsored by Juno Solar Energy and Nickel Energy, residents were given energy-saving toolkits and the opportunity to attend information sessions.

He said as a result, most residents were able to save on average 25% on their energy bills.

Rasa Dover of Goonengerry was the first winner last year after cutting her winter energy bill by 29%.

 

Slash your power bill

Here are some of George and Judy Ryan's tips:

  • Switch all appliances off at the wall.
  • Keep showers under four minutes.
  • Install devices that help maintain a comfortable temperature without heaters or air-conditioning.
  • Do bulk cooking sessions.
  • How Rasa Dover cut her electricity bill
  • Installed an undercover clothes line to reduce dryer usage.
  • Used a power board to eliminate appliances in "stand-by" mode.
  • Choosing solar hot water heating over electric.
  • Efficient oven use by bulk cooking sessions.
  • Reducing water use and associated pumping.
  • Being vigilant in switching everything off, including lights, jugs, kettles, lamps etc.


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