“Be energy efficient
with these energy saving
ideas from your
Today, more than
ever, we all need to be
aware of the energy we
use, how much it costs
and the impact on the
To help you be energy
efficient at home, we’ve
asked some of our
to share their top tips.
We’ve got the
answers to your
Remember, the energyanswers team are here
to help you with:
> energy efficiency advice
> a personalised over-the-phone energy audit
for your home
> information about switching to solar and the
available Government rebates
> details about Federal and State Government
energy efficiency programs and incentives.
Call the energyanswers
team on 1800 ENERGY
(1800 363 749)
Lasts between 6000 & 15000 hours
Casting a new
light on energy
Lasts around 1000 hours
Can changing a light bulb change the world? We’d
like to think so. Compact fluorescent light bulbs
(CFLs) may use up to 80% † less energy and last
significantly longer than traditional incandescent
bulbs – in some cases as long as 25 to 30 years.
To help you decide which bulb is best for your needs,
we’ve put together this overview of some of the
options now available. We recommend that you trial
some of the options before you change every light
bulb in your home.
9 – 13W
13 – 15W
18 – 25W
23 – 30W
30 – 52W
are moving to phase out
incandescent bulbs. It’s
easy to see why when up
to 90% of the energy is
wasted in heat generation.
OUT WITH THE OLD
IN WITH THE NEW
The days of flickering,
dull and ill-fitting CFLs
are long gone. Today, you
can choose from a variety
of sizes, shapes and
brightness, suitable for
every light in your home.
Spiral bulbs are one of the most
popular choices in CFLs. They can
easily replace many household bulbs
and are available in both Edison screw
and bayonet fittings. They also come
in a range of tones including daylight,
cool white and warm white.
Tube CFLs spread light differently from
spiral bulbs. They are available in a
number of sizes and fittings, and offer
varying brightness and tones, making
them suitable for a wide range of
fittings and lamps.
Covered CFLs look similar to traditional
bulbs so they’re especially suited for
light fittings where the bulbs are visible.
CFLs are now available in a selection
of compact sizes for smaller lamps,
wall lights and chandeliers.
Reflector CFLs are ideal for recessed
ceiling lights or fittings that provide
T5 Fluorescent Tube
T5s are an ideal replacement for
traditional T8 fluorescent tubes, as
they use about 50% less energy.
Special kits are available to adapt
T5s to your existing light fitting,
however you may need to replace
the fitting as well to achieve the
CFLs also come in a range of specially
designed dimmable bulbs.
The new generation of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
offer low voltage, low heat and high lighting output.
They are slightly more expensive than CFLs, however
they use less energy than traditional bulbs and may
last up to 30 years.
With a similar look to traditional bulbs,
LEDs come in a range of sizes, tones
and fittings including clear or opaque
tones, and screw or bayonet fittings.
LED downlights are an energy efficient
alternative to halogen lights and are
available in a range of styles and tones.
15.5W LEDs are a good replacement
for 50W halogen bulbs. LED downlights
can also be dimmed with the right
dimmer switch and transformer.
“LEDs use less energy and may
last up to 30 years. That’s
great for the environment...
and your own energy usage too.”
More and more people are looking to the sun for
renewable energy and cost saving solutions. Solar
photovoltaic (PV) systems – also known as solar
PV panels – are the most popular renewable energy
systems as they are the least expensive and can
work efficiently in most locations.
Solar panels are usually placed in a north facing
direction, angled to maximise exposure to the sun.
A grid-connected inverter converts electricity from the
panels to mains power electricity – from DC to AC.
Net metering allows for the electricity produced by a
solar system to first be used to supply your home or
business. When more electricity is produced than
needed, it can be fed back into the network. The saving
shows up on your bill as both a lower use of electricity
and an export credit at your feed-in tariff rate.
Gross metering describes a metering arrangement
where all solar electricity generated is fed into the
electricity network – your bill is then credited for the
exported amount at the relevant feed-in tariff rate.
Is solar a solution for you?
It’s important to do your homework on the type and size
of system that will best suit your property and budget,
and the metering options – net or gross – that are
available. You should then contact your energy retailer
to find out the availability and type of feed-in tariffs.
Essential Energy will provide your chosen Accredited
Service Provider (ASP) with a net or gross meter at no
cost, however the costs associated with installation
are your responsibility. Before committing to installing
your system, please discuss these costs and any other
electrical works required with your ASP.
To connect a renewable energy system such as
domestic solar panels or wind turbines to Essential
Download Essential Energy’s Grid
Connect Application from our website
Complete the Application with your
accredited solar installer and submit to us.
A list of accredited installers can be found
on the Clean Energy Council website at
Receive a Grid Connect approval letter from
Liaise with your accredited installer and
have your system installed.
Contact an Accredited Service Provider
(ASP) to arrange for the installation of a new
meter. To find an ASP in your local area visit
the Trade & Investment NSW website at
For more information about renewable energy
and connecting to Essential Energy’s network call
the energyanswers team on 1800 ENERGY
(1800 363 749)
Heating and cooling your home can be the biggest
contributor to your energy use. The following ideas
can improve your energy efficiency and help to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions too.
The most energy efficient choice for heating
large areas is a gas heater or a reverse cycle
Space heaters are usually more efficient than
central heating as you are only heating one
room, not the whole house.
Up to 70% of heat can be lost through ceilings
and walls and up to 10% through elevated
floors. Insulating your home can help to
reduce your energy use and increase the
temperature by up to seven degrees in winter.
Up to 10% of heat is lost through windows.
Hang close-fitting, heavy curtains (preferably
with pelmets) to make a significant difference.
Draughts can also put the heat on your energy
use – by as much as 25%. Seal gaps around
your doors to help you keep cosy and be
more energy efficient.
“A single degree in temperature
can make a big difference to your
energy use, so the first step to
becoming more energy efficient is to
make sure you’re not overheating
or overcooling your house.”
The optimum winter temperature inside a
home is between 18 and 20 degrees, every
degree higher can increase your energy use.
Use a ceiling fan even in winter to keep your
room at optimum temperature by pushing rising
hot air back down into the room.
On sunny days, open curtains on north-facing
windows to let the sunshine in – inviting free
heat into your home.
Hot ideas for
On hot days, keep windows and doors
closed and blinds and curtains drawn to help
keep heat out. In the evenings, open windows
and doors, on opposite sides of the house if
possible, for a cooling cross-breeze.
Shade your windows, particularly those
facing east and west. This can dramatically
reduce the amount of heat entering your
home, by as much as 80%. Consider awnings,
external blinds and trees or shrubs to provide
shade. If you’re building a new home, consider
deep eaves or verandahs.
Read your stars – check energy efficiency star
ratings before you purchase an air conditioner,
heater or any other appliance. The more stars
it has, the greater its energy efficiency – four
to six-star ratings are best.
The optimum summer temperature inside a
home is between 23 and 26 degrees. Every
degree lower can have a big effect on your
Insulation not only helps you to stay warm
and more energy efficient in winter – it can
potentially keep your home up to 10 degrees
cooler in summer too.
If you use an air conditioner, clean the air
filters regularly and ensure that outside units
are free from obstructions to help them run
at their most efficient.
“Most ceiling fans only
use about as much energy
as a light bulb., so they ’re
economical to run. ”
Don’t get into
hot water with
your hot water
Hot water accounts for up to 30% of your energy use.
Electric hot water systems, in particular, are energy
intensive – a typical system can produce the same
amount of greenhouse gas emissions as running a car
for an entire year. While no one wants to compromise
their comfort, there are some simple ways to reduce
both your energy and water use.
Solar isn’t your only option for greener, more
efficient hot water – you might also want to
consider a heat-pump system.
Replace your electric hot water system with
a five-star or higher energy-rated natural gas
hot water system.
Reducing your water use may also reduce
your energy use. A three-star rated efficient
showerhead can reduce your hot water usage
by as much as 50%, without compromising
the quality of your shower.
A dripping hot water tap can potentially waste
thousands of litres of water. Fix the drip and
you’ll be saving both water and energy.
Insulate exposed pipes if your hot water
system is located outside.
“Just by choosing a cold wash
over a warm or hot wash you could
use up to 90% less energy.”
If you are designing or building a new home or
extension, ensure that the hot water system is
positioned as close to the bathroom, laundry
and kitchen as possible.
When using a mixer tap, be sure to have
it turned all the way to the cold side if you
require cold water only. If it is in the warm
position it will still deliver hot water.
cooking in your
Feeding the family can take a lot of energy, in more
ways than one. Here are some practical ways you can
trim your energy use in the kitchen.
Keep your freezer frost-free. Put a reminder
on your calendar to de-frost your freezer every
six months or whenever the frost build-up
Fan-forced ovens can use up to 35% less
energy than conventional ovens because
they heat more quickly and can cook food
at lower temperatures.
Microwave ovens are highly energy efficient
using up to 70% less than an electric
Consider switching to natural gas for cooking,
it’s generally considered to be the most
energy efficient option.
Make sure seals are tight in both your oven
and your fridge to help them run efficiently.
Test seals by placing a piece of paper in the
door, which should hold firm when closed.
Use the right size pot for the job. Smaller pots
take less energy to heat. Use lids on pots and
cook on simmer, not boil. And if you’re only
using a small pan, use a smaller hotplate.
Check your fridge temperature settings.
The optimum running temperatures for energy
efficiency and food safety is between three
and four degrees for your fridge and between
-15 and -18 degrees for your freezer.
Only boil the amount of water that you need
when you’re making a cup of tea. Boiling a
full kettle wastes energy.
“Only boil the amount of water
that you need when you’re making
a cup of tea. Boiling a full kettle
Could you benefit
from Time of Use?
Most people pay a flat rate for their electricity,
known as a ‘continuous supply tariff’. With Time of
Use (TOU) pricing, higher rates are charged during
the Peak and Shoulder periods, and a cheaper rate
is charged during the Off Peak period.
7am - 9am and
5pm - 8pm, Monday to Friday
9am - 5pm and
8pm - 10pm, Monday to Friday
10pm - 7am, Monday to Friday, and
10pm Friday - 7am Monday
Time of Use suits customers who can control their
energy use to take advantage of lower prices at specific
times of the day or night. To benefit from Time of Use
rates, you will need a digital Time of Use meter.
To find out whether you would benefit
from changing to Time of Use, contact the
energyanswers team on 1800 ENERGY
(1800 363 749)
Say yes to an
This checklist can help identify some areas where
your energy efficiency may be improved. If you answer
‘no’ to any of these questions, you could benefit from
one of our over-the-phone energy audits.
Do you use an energy-efficient ENERGY STAR®
labelled refrigerator, washer or other appliance?
Do you only use one refrigerator?
Do your refrigerator and freezer have enough
room for air ventilation?
Have you checked if the seals on your refrigerator
or freezer need replacing?
Do you operate your dishwasher with full loads?
Do you dry your washing on the clothes line?
Do you regularly wash clothes in cold water?
Do you use a microwave for reheating and cooking
small quantities of food?
Have you replaced your incandescent bulbs with
compact fluorescent bulbs?
Do you ensure that you don’t overcool your home
in summer or overheat it in winter?
Have you draught-proofed your home?
Do you set your air conditioner to 18-20 degrees
in winter and 23-26 degrees in summer?
Have you installed energy-saving showerheads,
taps or flow restrictors?
The energyanswers team can help with information
about Government and community support that may
be available to you, including:
> Low Income Household Rebate of $200 * per year
Available to all electricity account holders issued
with an eligible card by Centrelink or the Department
of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), including Centrelink Health
Care Card, Centrelink Pension Concession Card, DVA
Disability Pension Gold Card, DVA Extreme Disability
Adjustment Gold Card, DVA Pension Card, DVA War
Widows/Widowers Pension Gold Card.
> Medical Energy Rebate of $200 * per year
> Life Support Rebates
> Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) scheme
This operates through a voucher system, with each
voucher worth $30 * . EAPA vouchers are issued by a
participating community welfare organisation such
as St Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army and Anglicare.
If you hold an eligible card and have not yet
registered for a Government rebate, you should
contact your nominated energy retailer.
Things you should know: † Information sourced from NECA at
ecosmartelectricians.com.au * Figures correct as at June 2011.
The information contained in this document has come from sources
believed to be reliable and accurate when printed. However, the
information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be
responsible for making their own assessment of the accuracy of the
information. For further details on the sources used, please visit
Essential Service Centres
621 Dean Street
90 Market Street
Bay Centre Plaza
160 Beryl Street
138 Sharp Street
40 Grenfell Road
26 Napier Street
91 Lachlan Street
16 Breese Parade
148 Auburn Street
17 Prince Street
310 Banna Avenue
102 Herbert Street
81 Lachlan Street
19 Pine Avenue
223 Balo Street
210 Araluen Road
102 Church Street
1 Logan Street
113 East Street
157 Oberon Street
187 Summer Street
Cnr Church and
140 Lake Road
2/209 Baylis Street
53 Boorowa Street
Call the energyanswers team on
1800 ENERGY (1800 363 749) or visit us at
For general enquiries call 13 23 91
For supply interruptions call 13 20 80
For interpreter services call 13 14 50