I want help with no-cost energy efficiency or energy savings options?

I want help with no-cost energy efficiency or energy savings options?

HINT: while giving advice, you need to be mindful to phrase any behaviour change suggestions as positive and helpful. Show that you want to help. Consumers don’t want to feel judged or deprived. Remember to use the phrase “while still keeping comfortable”. Be mindful that you’re not giving people something extra to worry about – just suggest when they are replacing something to simply check the energy efficiency star rating and to purchase the most energy efficient model that they can afford. Remember: people who can’t afford new appliances are often reliant on 2nd hand, out-dated and inefficient models.

Talking points:
We are a for-purpose organisation whose work benefits all Australians. We know all roofs are different, they are not all suitable for solar, and we know all households are different, with different budgets. We provide advice for everyone.

Some No-Cost Options to reduce your energy bills.

Have you done any of these recently:

1.    Choose a better energy deal (energy compare websites)
Go to these “energy compare” website Victoria

2.    Checked your energy bill
Have your spoken to your energy retailer?
We recommend that you call your energy retailer and ask them: “Am I on the best deal?” [they are obliged to tell you].
Do you look at the snapshot on each of bills to see if you using more or less than the same time last year?
Can I help you understand your bill a bit better?
Are you eligible for concessions?
If you are eligible for concessions – you need to confirm with your retailer every 12-months that the concessions are being applied. Each concession that you are eligible for is applied in addition – you may be eligible for multiple concessions. For instance:
•    Energy concession - DVA / Health CC / Pensioner (saving of about $80 quarter);
•    Medical cooling concession;
•    Life-support concession;
•    Firewood / bottled gas concession.
A pay-on-time-discount is separate from a concession. Check your bill.
If you are struggling to pay – inform your retailer – see retailer hardship policies

3.    Choose to use less energy during peak times (see which type of tariff is right for you)

4.    Choose the way energy is used in your home while keeping comfortable
•    heat / cool the smallest area possible in your home - close doors to utility rooms and close ducted heating / cooling vents in unused rooms
•    closing curtains at night will reduce the amount of energy needed to maintain a constant temperature in your home
•    use fans as a priority (they cost ~$0.02/hour) before you turn on the AC
•    only use the dishwasher or washing machine only when they’re full
•    consolidate fridge / freezers – do you need the bar / 2nd fridge plugged in all year?

5.    Choose more efficient appliances (both plug in and non-fixed appliances)
When you are upgrading your things in your home like your lights [LEDs], fridge, freezer, TV… try to consider the energy efficiency of the appliance - go for as many energy-rating stars as you can!

If you have done the above, here are 5 more tips that won't cost you a thing:

a.    Hot water - Hot water is potentially the single biggest source of energy use in your home.
Wash clothes in cold water and only wash full loads. Run the dishwasher only when it's full and scrape plates first then rinse in cold water if they need it. Fit a low-flow showerhead (it’ll pay for itself in no time) and take shorter showers.

b.    Climate control - Heating and cooling are usually the next biggest energy guzzlers.
In winter, set your heating thermostats between 18°C to 20°C. In summer, set your cooling thermostats between 25°C to 27°C. Every extra degree increases your heating and cooling energy use by between 5% and 10%. Close internal doors and only heat or cool the rooms you are using.

c.    Window watch - Up to 40% of the heat in your home could be leaking out your windows.
In winter, open curtains to let the sun in and close curtains before it gets dark to keep the heat in – especially while your heater is on. In summer, close curtains during the hottest part of the day. At night you can open curtains and windows to let warm air out and cool breezes in.

d.    Use appliances wisely - Appliances (including fridges and freezers) could be responsible for as much as 30% of your energy bill. Turn off additional fridges and freezers when not needed and think about getting rid of these. Use lids on pots while cooking, fill the kettle and pots with only as much water as you need. Reduce pool filter running time to the safe minimum set out in the manual. Dry clothes on the line not in a dryer—it's free.

e.    Turn it off at the wall - Standby power can account for more than 10% of your household electricity use.
Any items with a little light on or clock are using power, and your mobile phone charger is drawing power even when your phone is not plugged in. Turn off appliances at the wall when you're not using them—it's a very easy way to save energy.

*Older housing stock can be not well insulated / maintained. If the climate is colder (for instance Tasmania / Canberra) people may struggle to afford major upgrades.  

EAP Advice

The range of energy efficiency solutions focuses on no-cost options. Solutions depend on each customers’ circumstances and budget as well as their home / environment / climate and the range of other energy efficiency measures already installed.

Check if participant has internet access.

If you have internet access, you can visit our website:
•    to access this information at any time,
•    register for a quote from any of our carefully selected suppliers or
•    purchase any AEF service that you wish

In the EAC, we provide energy efficiency advice that includes high investment, low investment and no cost options. Solutions depend on each customers’ circumstances and budget as well as their home / environment / climate and the range of other energy efficiency measures already installed.

You can attend any of AEF’s free webinars. Many of our webinars are hosted by our partner organisations or local councils throughout Australia. Some webinars are invitation only. Contact your local council to see if they are interested in hosting a webinar. Some examples of event topics:
•    How to make your home energy efficient
•    How to save energy and money while safe at home
•    How to create a warm, efficient home this winter
•    Prepare your home for summer
•    Understand your energy bills
•    Solar and batteries for Victoria / NSW / QLD
•    Intro to solar and batteries for seniors
•    Maximising your solar
•    Solar for investors
•    Claiming the power saving bonus
•    How to save energy in your apartment
•    Clean energy options for apartments
•    How to save energy in your rental home

Check EventBrite for availability https://www.eventbrite.com.au/d/online/australian-energy-foundation/
If customer doesn’t have an email address, book the webinar for them in their name and use advice@aef.com.au as confirmation email for the webinar.

Web chat / email queries to advice@aef.com.au