Are You Paying Too Much for Your Energy Bills? Find Out How You Can Start Saving Today.
Like many Australian families, over the last few years, due to the increasing rise in the cost of electricity, my husband and I have become far more conscious about the power we use in our home.
This has mostly involved:
- Trying to instil into our three young children the importance of turning off lights and TV’s etc when they are not in use.
- Making sure taps are turned off properly (is there anything more annoying than finding that a hot tap has been dripping away down the sink for hours?)
- More often than not, following aforementioned children around the house, pulling our own hair out, when these things are not done!
We’ve also made a concerted effort, when purchasing new appliances to stretch our budget as far as possible in order to buy the model with the best energy-rating, with the knowledge that in the long run we will save money on our energy bill by doing so. (We’ve had to replace our dishwasher, washing machine, clothes dryer and hot water heater in the past four years alone – urgh!!!)
A few years ago we also took advantage of the government rebate and installed 8 solar panels on our North-facing rooftop. If you are wondering, yes it does make a difference to our bill, if there was more roof space, I am sure we would invest in installing more.
So, we’ve done everything we can to keep our bills down, right?
Last Friday I was lucky enough to be paid a visit by one of AGL’s expert assessors for a Home Energy Check Up. To my surprise (and relief) there are actually a whole host of things that we can do around our home to reduce our energy bills further, and many of them involve very minimal cost.
My husband, being an air-conditioning mechanic has installed a reverse cycle air conditioning unit into our main living area, for those hot summer days.
However, in the corner of the room, we still have one of the old style box units in the wall. I think we may have used it once or twice around ten years ago when we first moved in, but it was largely useless and sounded like an airplane engine. Getting rid of it and bricking up the hole in the wall, somewhere along the line got put into the too-hard-basket…so there is has remained.
Whilst we may be able to forgive the old air-conditioning unit for being a bit of an eye-sore, what we hadn’t really given much thought to was the effect it might be having on the cost of cooling or heating our home. How much of our cool air during summer, and our warm air during winter was being sucked out?
Chris, the AGL assessor, explained that it would in fact be a very substantial amount and suggested that there was a quick solution to the problem that would suffice until we do take it out (and at very little cost)– and that was to insulate the outdoor fan. Within about 10 minutes of Chris leaving my husband had dug out the necessary bits and bobs from his collection of weird and wonderful things he keeps in his shed, and had the outdoor portion of the old unit taped up and insulated!
Fitting draft excluders (particularly around our front door) is another cheap way of making our home more energy efficient.
Did you know that if you have spider webs in your home (which I most certainly do) it is a sign that you have drafts? Another good reason to get them sorted, eh?
Another area that Chris identified that could be made more energy efficient very easily was our hot water system. You know the pipes that come out of it? Put your hand near them. You can feel the heat, can’t you? Well, that’s energy escaping. For around $20 Chris advised us to get a cap to fit over the fitting, and insulate around the pipes. Easy!
There were two other main areas that were identified in our Home Energy Check, which will be more costly to remedy however – improving insulation in the walls and roof, and switching our energy-sucking down-lights to LED lights. (This will save energy and also importantly be safer, as the LED lights don’t get hot and emit heat into the roof space like our current ones.) Needless to say we will be making this job a priority!
Overall, the AGL Home Energy Check took 1 hour, during which time everything from our homes structure and orientation were addressed, to our appliances, lighting, and even window coverings, with Chris giving us solutions to implement to overcome the issues and within an hour of him leaving I had a full, personalised report sitting in my inbox detailing all the points we had discussed.
It might be going a little overboard to say that I’m looking forward to receiving my next bill…but I will be very interested to start reaping the benefits of making the necessary energy-saving changes around my home!
If you are interested in learning more or arranging an AGL Home Health Check in your home visit the AGL Smarter Living website.
Home Energy Check Ups are currently available in Melbourne Metro areas only at a cost of $69.
AGL are offering Melbourne Mums Lounge readers the opportunity to go into the draw to win an AGL Home Energy Check Up.
For your chance to win complete the sentence below, and complete the entry form below.
‘I would much rather spend my money on………………. than on my home energy bills.’
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. However all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.