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Keeping it simple ...
  Have your say about sustainability.
All about WMSA.
The cost of convenience.
More about keepiong warm for less.
How much are you paying? - Your energy bills.
Keeping your house warm for less.
Getting the most from your wood heater.
Eating well on a budget.
Keeping cool without air conditioning.

The cost of convenience

by Colin Kemp

What is the cost of convenience? With electricity costs rising and rumoured to double in the coming years, do you look at your power bill and wonder why it costs so much? Today we have so many electronic devices connected around the home, making our lives easier. We often overlook the fact that when not in use they are still costing us money to run. Any appliance that sits on standby is costing you money.

Most homes have at least one television plus are other devices like DVD players, game consoles and home entertainment systems, just waiting to be turned on. The fact is they are already on, using a small amount of power to keeping themselves ready to go when you hit the remote. Estimates are that having electronic devices on standby could account for 10 to 50 percent of your power usage. The common phone charger, for example (and most homes have more than one), still use power when left disconnected but turned on at the power point.

My money saving tip is turn off your appliances at the wall. This will not only save you money it also helps the environment. I noticed my power bill drop by over $50 a quarter! Yes, it takes a little bit of training but reduction in my bill out-weighs any inconvenience.

I know of one family that took note of their power meter everyday for a week, noting the power used on an average day. They then recorded their usage over the next week but this time turning off all appliances that would normally be on standby. The exercise showed a reduction in power use of 50%!

Power prices (tariffs) can vary depending upon the type of meter you have at your home. Some households still have single-rate meters. This means you pay a fixed rate. With the roll out of smart meters, retailers have more flexibility to change prices over the course of a day to encourage cheaper off-peak use, so you the opportunity to shift some of your power use to a time when it is cheaper. If you have access to the cheaper off-peak rates, you could consider heating your water or running your dishwasher or washing machine during those off-peak times.

Understand what tariff you are on and then shop around for a better deal. The market is competitive and Victoria has a number of retail providers you can check out.

Sustainability Victoria through the resourceSmart program has further useful information on reading your energy bills. Go to www.resourcesmart.vic.gov.au for more details.

Please Contact WMSA for more information.

Sustainability Tips
  In the Home consider low water use plants for the garden.

At work open window shades for light rather than running electric globes all day.

When driving don't drive. Consider walking or riding to the shops or work.
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