Participating householders across the country will be making real savings in their electricity costs, thanks to the ‘Our Green Home’ Project, under a program supported and funded by the Australian Government.
Under this project qualifying households receive free installation of an energy monitoring device, giving real-time information on power consumption via their mobile phone or computer. Rather than waiting for a bill to arrive, households can access their electricity usage and associated costs anytime via their online accounts, just like online banking, and users can immediately see the cost impact of turning on an electrical appliance, such as a dryer or air conditioner, and they can also budget their energy usage.
Nicole Green from Bankstown (NSW) says she joined the program to help her family to save money – with three teenage children she was concerned about rising bills. Now she can see how much it costs each time she turns on a device. It’s encouraged her to turn off lights, flick power points off too and change the daily routine for activities like washing.
David Swan, a retiree from Denistone East (NSW), has been using an energy monitor for two years. He said he was surprised by how much power was being used, even in the dead of night.
“The monitor told me that, even at three in the morning, I was still consuming 200 watts of power. It all mounts up.” Now he limits his usage by turning devices off fully at night.
Glenn Beames is an electrical contractor who has installed many of the monitors for householders in the ‘Our Green Home’ Project. He says people sign-up to save money, but they also have an interest in lessening their ecological footprint.
“Retirees in particular want to avoid bill shock. But many have also said to me that they have been on the planet for a long time, and they see this as a way of helping to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Mr. Beames says it doesn’t take long for people to see the impact of their actions. For example, few people expect microwave ovens to be so much more economical than conventional ovens; or understand how much energy can be saved by replacing halogen lighting with more energy efficient lighting.
This government funded program is offering the monitor and installation service completely free to 600 households with annual incomes up to $45k for singles, $60k for couples and $75k for households with dependent children. Applications are open until 31st March 2015, at www.ourgreenhome.com.au/takepart.
To be eligible households must also have a broadband internet access connection and applicants cannot be renting from a government agency, such as public housing.
Background : "Our Green Home"
Funding : This program received funding from the Department of Industry as part of the Low income Energy Efficiency Program.
Project Lead: Sustainable Business Australia
Consortium Partners: Connection Research, Ecocreative, KPMG, McCullough Robertson Lawyers, Object Consulting
Community Partner : APEX Australia