Saving energy and money at home

COUNTRY Energy has recently launched a new 'energyanswers' advice and support helpline to assist customers to manage their energy use around the home.

Regional general manager Far North Coast, Richard Wake, said the service had been designed to provide information to help customers lower their bills through energy efficiency measures.

“A little commonsense and awareness of high energy-consuming appliances goes a long way to running an energy efficient home,” Richard said.

“Using less energy can potentially save families hundreds of dollars each year, as well as contributing to reduced greenhouse gas emissions - meaning a win-win situation for the environment and the household budget.

“In every room there is potential to make savings, without sacrificing the creature comforts.”

As an example, he said there were ways customers could minimise the cost of staying cool in summer and warm in winter.

“Over-cooling in summer is a common mistake,” Richard said. “One degree difference in the temperature between indoors and outdoors adds 10 per cent to cooling costs.

“Likewise in winter, there are heating solutions for every budget but the answer to reducing heating costs is often as easy as closing the windows and using a draught snake under doors.

“Heating and hot water consumption alone can account for up to three quarters of an average household energy bill.”

He said an effective and economical heating system was more than just a good heater. A 'heating package' should include: insulation; sealing off draughts; effective window coverings; closing off unoccupied rooms; choosing an appropriate size and style of heater for your home; and using heating efficiently.

Richard recommended householders also try the interactive online 'energyanswers' calculator - at www.countryenergy.com.au/calculator - which has the ability to calculate energy consumed by individual appliances, rooms or a whole house and provide low-cost energy saving tips.

For example, the calculator can show how much it costs to run a certain type of heater and the potential savings if a customer adopts the advice offered. Some of the tips for individual appliances can result in savings of up to 50 per cent.

The 'energyanswers' hotline number is 1800 363 749. Country Energy also has an 'energyanswers' guide, which is available from any Country Energy customer service centre.

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