Thursday, March 17, 2011

Home Energy Reduction Podcasts Australia


Home Energy Reduction Podcasts are now available from Aussie Home Energy via their website and blog. 

A complete list of all postings, is also available in MP3 format for DOWNLOAD.

Advice on the go, for keeping your electricity costs to a minimum.

This blog post and podcast brought to you by Aussie Home Energy, a major player in the HOME ELECTRICITY REDUCTION SERVICE industry in Australia.


Maximising Solar PV Generation

The media is informing us, we are going to suffer more electricity rises in the near future. How will these electricity price rises, affect the financial gain of solar PV systems?

Shockingly enough electricity costs only have to rise a small amount, to create a large reduction in the financial gain of any solar PV system!

If you're not aware of the average Aussie home having a STANDBY ELECTRICITY issue, you need too be. Most homes we have visited, have a standby electricity rate, at anywhere between 25 watts to 250 watts plus. If your home has 150 watts of 24/7 standby electricity, this equates to 3.6 kW per day. Per year it is a staggering 1314 kW.

It does not take a lot of electrical waste within the home, to reduce a solar PV's gain.In our example Aussie home:

100 Watts Of 24/7 Standby Reduced Solar PV Gain By 40%!

Visit our website for more information on SOLAR PV GAIN.

This blog post and podcast brought to you by Aussie Home Energy, a major player in the HOME ELECTRICITY REDUCTION SERVICE industry in Australia.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Australian Electricity Supplier, Saves Homes $300 Over 3 Years

There seems to be a lot of adverts currently, for reduced electricity costs. Such as this one, aired on television last week. "Save $300 Off Your Electricity Costs, Over 3 Years".

Adverts such as this, along with a team of door knocking electricity provider's foot patrols, seem to be on every corner, of every street! Offering householders, supposedly great offers to help them save on electricity costs. And of course all too easy, when you change electricity provider.

Now whilst saving on electricity costs, is a good idea for all, is it the best way for the householder to save? Of course it is a great way for the electricity supplier, to increase market share, with the kickback being to the householder, a price reduction. But one thing it is NOT, is the best way for the householder to save on electricity costs. And what will some of those householders do, when they have switched providers? Well, assume they cannot do anything else!

The best way to save on electricity costs, is to follow the proven process of,


  • Becoming aware of how you are charged for electricity, and have a full understanding of the bill
  • Being aware of your electricity usage
  • Being aware of where you are using electricity
  • Learning how to reduce the electricity usage
  • Having a feedback system, to keep you on track

Failing with this proven common sense process, means you will carry on being, just a BILL PAYER!

Looking at the offer in more detail, $300 over 3 years equates to only $25, per quarterly bill! For most homes, that is not really a saving of great magnitude.

From experience we would say most homes, with a bill over $500 per quarter, could easily save at least $50 per quarter. So if your a home, with a quarterly bill of $750, $1000 or $1500 plus, imagine what you could be saving?

We would argue, all Aussie homes need to save far more than $25 per bill! It is not just the action of savings here, but energy reduction. These offers of reduced electricity costs, do nothing  to assist Aussie homes with home energy reduction. We need to slash energy waste, as we are very wasteful. Wasteful because we're, none the wiser. What Australia needs to become, is a nation that reduces it's home energy usage on mass. This will not happen though with a $25 per bill saving, but through a process that involves :


AWARENESS, EDUCATION & FEEDBACK!

Of course, that is what Aussie Home Energy offers all of their Home Electricity Audit clients with. And who knows, how much you could save over time, with that kind of an insight.

So what does the householder choosing the $300 offer get? Well exactly $25 off the bill, every quarter, for three years. But nothing more! 



NO AWARENESS.
NO EDUCATION.
NO FEEDBACK.


Simply put, the householder remains, a BILL PAYER!

Ask yourself, what would you rather be? Our clients would tell anyone, it 100% makes sense, to become an educated electricity user.

By doing this, you will not just move on from being a bill payer, but become fully aware of,


  • What uses electricity in your home and why
  • When the most & least electricity is being used
  • What the cheapest rates for electricity are, at various times of day
  • How to reduce your electricity usage and costs further
  • Smart shopping, when looking for new electrical appliances

The problem with adverts for switching electricity providers, when marketed solely as electricity savings, is that they simply keep householders in the loop of, BILL PAYER MODE ONLY! Householders who, are still not aware of home electricity reduction options. Options that could save them far more than $25 per quarterly bill.

Interestingly if you do the homework on some of these offers, you may find you are going to be charged exit fees, when you decide to change back to your previous provider. Exit fees of course, for breaking that three year contract. Fees that in some cases are so steep, most of your savings up to that date, will be gone in a flash!

So what makes sense here, is the fact that the best way to save, is to become educated on electricity usage and costs. Of course the electricity provider, would like you to remain just a bill payer.

So is it not time for you to start your Home Electricity Reduction Program?

This blog post and podcast brought to you by Aussie Home Energy, a major player in the HOME ELECTRICITY REDUCTION SERVICE industry in Australia.

Educated Aussie Shoppers Make The Best Choice

One of the most important ways to make the best choice of choosing a new electrical appliance, is to be educated on the energy label's information. By fully understanding the energy rating label, you will have an insight into the annual running costs for the appliance. 

Furthermore you will have a little knowledge to gain the upper hand on the salesman, thus being able to tell whether he or she is telling you the truth on other matters. Read our full analysis of the Australian Energy Label on our website.



Understand The Australian Energy Label When Shopping

Help Us Educate Others - Add This To Your Website


If you're online with a website and wish to educate your shoppers, then feel free to copy the code and add it to your site.

This blog post and podcast brought to you by Aussie Home Energy, a major player in the HOME ELECTRICITY REDUCTION SERVICE industry in Australia.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How Smart Is The Smart Meter?

How Smart Is Your Meter?
Ever wondered, what a smart meter's full range of capabilities are? What do you know about your smart meter?

Whilst most householders in Australia have heard of smart meters, there seems to be  little understanding by the householder, of what the smart meter can do, for both the householder and the electricity supply provider.

To gain an insight into what a successful installation of smart meters can do, we will use the major Italian electricity provider, Enel, as an example.

Enel, during 2000 to 2005, installed smart meters to its entire customer base of 27 million households.

Smart meters are fully electronic, and very smart. They come with integrated bi-directional communications, advanced power measurement and management capabilities, an integrated software-controllable disconnect switch, and are further, solid-state by design.

The meters are able to communicate over low voltage power lines, using a  standards based power line technology, from Echelon Corporation. This communication, is sent to Echelon data concentrators, further switching to internet protocol, before being sent to, Enel's enterprise servers.

Advanced remote features of the smart meter include:


  • Turning a customer's power on or off.
  • Reading the electricity usage from the meter.
  • Detecting a service outage.
  • Detecting unauthorised use of electricity.
  • Changing the maximum amount of electricity, that a customer can use.
  • Changing the meter's billing plan, from credit to prepay.
  • Changing the tariffs.

Concerns have been raised about low income and vulnerable consumers, not benefiting from the new 'time of use' tariffs. In Victoria for example, the Government halted the roll out of smart meters, because they were concerned new tariffs, would add to the hardship of customers already struggling, to afford their energy bills. Whilst smart meters, offer many potential benefits, there are concerns that many of the possible consumer benefits, will not be realised.

Questions have been raised about privacy issues, associated with smart meters. And there are many aspects of this 'smart metering' technology that remain questionable. Here in Australia, there seems to be a growing number of householders with billing errors, where bills have risen dramatically without the increase being due to the householder's usage increasing.

Could the methodology itself be a short sighted solution? Could the concept of peak hours change, as an increasing amount of householders use their appliances at night, creating a new peak time?

Further criticism, of the smart metering system, has raised issues of poor, or lacking system security. Such as the possibility of a virus, spreading throughout the system, creating an energy crisis, started by a foreign entity.

As with most new technologies, that are designed and installed correctly, great positive outcomes are achievable. It will always pay in the long run, to be fully aware of all possible variable outcomes, before bringing a new technology to the general population.

To learn about optional independent monitoring and analysis of your electricity usage and / or solar pv system's output, visit our ONLINE ELECTRICITY MONITORING page, where we make the task of getting your data online, very easy.

This blog post and podcast brought to you by Aussie Home Energy, a major player in the HOME ELECTRICITY REDUCTION SERVICE industry in Australia.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Energy Labelling : Appliance Efficiency Rating

Do Not Shop By Stars Alone!
During our research we have found that over 95% of the Australian homes we have visited, use the Australian Energy Rating label, when selecting a new appliance.Whilst this is good news, as householders are paying attention to the label's presence, it is not good news when you shop by the number of stars alone!

Householders using the energy rating of the appliance, to make a well educated choice, were found to be less than 1%, of the 95%. So why is this, when the energy rating is really more important, than the star rating?.

If you shop by the stars alone, you may be left in the dark!

Meaning you may choose the wrong appliance for your needs, or lose out financially by choosing the more expensive to run option.

So let us explain what is going on here with the label. As you can see with this example label, the star rating is three and a half, whilst the energy rating is stated at 384 kWh per year.

So what can we really learn here? Well whilst the energy efficiency of the appliance is stated, it does not tell us anything, except that the appliance was awarded the rating when compared to some unknown benchmark. So we are being told the appliance is energy efficient, but remember this, energy efficiency does not always mean less energy used!

So let us look at the energy rating. Now as already said, most Australians do not fully understand this figure.But they should, as it can easily be converted into the appliances yearly running costs! And afterall that is very important, as it is what is coming out of the wallet or purse.

To understand the energy rating on the label, let us assume a on-peak electricity rating of twenty-five cents per kWh. We can see that 384 kWhs per year, when multiplied by the on-peak rating, equates to this appliance costing $96 per year. If the home is billed quarterly, this appliance is then going to add $24 to the bill!

Now by knowing the costs of the appliance per year, you are further in a position to make a well educated choice, when it comes to comparing manufacturers models, running costs and sale prices.

Let us say there are two similar appliances, offered by different manufacturers. Both with a six star rating.

  • Appliance #1 costing $500 rated at 500 kWh.
  • Appliance #2 costing $400 rated a 700 kWh.

Up to this point most shoppers would choose appliance #2, as it is $100 cheaper. But is it really? In fact it is the more expensive appliance to operate! OK so let us say you plan to have the appliance for a period of ten years.

  • Appliance #1 is priced at $500 and costs $125 per year to run.
  • Appliance #2 is priced at $400 and costs $175 per year to run.

After the first two years, the savings of $100 if you chose appliance #2, have gone. After that time, appliance #2 is costing you $50 more per year. During the last eight years of the ten year period, appliance #2 will cost you $400 more than appliance #1. Therefore appliance #2 is not the best choice!

As you can see it does pay to fully understand the energy rating label. Paying more attention to the energy used per year. Thus allowing you to make a well educated choice, on the total costs of your next appliance.

Remember, if you shop by stars alone you may be left in the dark!

For more information on energy label analysis and how you can further use this knowledge to benefit your sales choice, visit our website Aussie Home Energy.
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