E33: Cutting your energy bills

Whether it’s for the planet or your hip pocket we all want lower energy bills.

You can do a lot to cut energy use, and your bills without installing solar panels.
Today’s guest is working on reducing his own bills by a massive 95% with a few simple changes.

Rob Murray-Leach, head of policy at the Energy Efficiency Council, is walking the talk in his seventies apartment in Melbourne. He replaced electric wall radiators with an up to date reverse cycle air-conditioning unit, an improvement that has cut his use by 60% already. His home is now a comfortable 20 degrees year round. He estimates that by installing insulation, and draft proofing, he can cut use even further.

Rob says while there’s a lot of focus on installing rooftop solar, there are other changes that can make a big difference to energy use and make your home more comfortable. Heating and cooling as well as heating water are the big ticket items when it comes to energy use, so he suggests focusing on them first.

He recommends a home energy audit via your council or state government to get the best advice on how to cut bills before you make changes. Insulation, draft proofing and changing from electric heating to energy efficient reverse cycle air-conditioning can make a big difference.

You should also make sure you are getting the best deal from your energy provider. Go to one of the energy retailer comparison websites, put in your energy bill details and it will help you find a cheaper provider. You can also approach your retailer directly to ask for a better deal. Watch out for cheap deals though, because they can expire quickly, and rates can go up.

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