Electricity & Gas

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How Using Energy Efficient Appliance Will Save You Money

Most of the power consumption in your home is because of particular appliances that include dishwashers, refrigerators, clothes washers and heaters. These machines consume a lot of power that leads to the hefty bills you pay at the end of every month. The biggest problem about the issues of high levels of power consumption is when the machines you are using in your house more than ten years old. Old machines consume more power than the new-generation ones. The machines that are being manufactured in the present times do not consume as much power as the old ones, because there are regulations set and those machines must conform to the minimum energy-efficiency standards. The standards are reviewed and tightened every year. In that case, every machine, you buy after a particular duration is using less power than the previous one. For example, a clothes washer that you buy today and replace another that you have used for the last ten years will use half the power that the previous old one was using.

By buying energy-efficient appliances, you will save a great deal of money. The initial cost of replacing the old models of the appliances will be high, but you will definitely see the outcome in the long-run. In addition, the latest machines do not have the benefit of reducing power consumption, but they are also environmental friendly. If we all by energy-efficient appliances, we will be reducing the overall power consumption by a huge margin. The effect of this is that power plants will be closed down or reduced because there will be less demand for power. This means the rate of pollution will also lower. To achieve the objective of lowering your power bills you will need to know what the exact appliances that you are supposed to buy are.

Energy Star Label

The most energy efficient machines in any category of machine products are the Energy Star models. These models are manufacture with standards that are even below the minimum that the federal government has set. In that case, they consume less power even than the government wants them to.  Keep a reminder when you are buying the appliances and look for the energy star sticker. To entice manufacturers and consumers, some government offer rebates for the use of Energy Star-rated appliances.

Buy the right Size

You need not to buy a huge washing machine when you have only three people in a family. Buy the right size for your needs. Oversized appliances will only waste energy, which will translate to a waste of your hard-earned money.

Natural-Gas Verses Electricity

Out in the market you will find appliances that use electricity and others that operate on natural gas. You should always go for those that run on gas. It is more efficient to use natural gas domestically than in huge power plants. Always remember that a long-term solution is the best and for that reason, you should spend the required amount of money on energy-efficient appliances that will save you a lot of money as time goes by.

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China Coal Company Considers Australian Wind Investments

The bigwigs on investment in China may be heading to Australia after all. This appears to be a reality after one of the main Asian investors who is the leading coal producer, is investigating the wind power industry in Australia. The Asian business giant doesn’t target to go it alone in this venture but wants to make it a joint venture and link with Hydro Tasmania and together they are expected to pool some 1.6 billion US dollars into that project. This project is expected to be up and running by the time the decade ends and the result will be Australian wind farms. The Asian giant by the name Shenhua Group has partnered with Hydro Tasmania in some other projects and are still projecting to join hands in another 700 megawatts wind project. The Australian government will have a huge benefit if this agreement between the two companies goes through, because Shenhua Group has pledged to support the government to realise its projected program of generating not less than 20% of electricity power through renewable energy. The Australian government on its own planned to invest 15.5 billion US dollars on wind farms in addition to the already existing ones and what the two companies are to come up with.

The Australian company is still busy patching up a proposal for a 600 megawatts project which is to be set on the Tasmania’s King Island. The projected cost of the venture will be a rough estimate of 2 billion US dollars. Reports show that the Australian giant decided to sell its shares of Musselroe Wind Farm about 75% on February to the Chinese company Shenhua, which is a unit of Guohua Energy Investment Company. To follow that is another deal that was made in the year 2011 of selling another 75% of Bluff Point and Studland Bay Wind Farms.

It is the hope of all of us who are for the fight against global warming to embrace similar ventures. Great companies that are capable of starting green energy project will play a great part. Shenhua Group is one example that will reduce the generation of carbon dioxide by venturing into a different industry that is focus on producing energy and at the same time saving our planets for the betterment of our future generations. In this fight against the degradation of our mother nature, there should be no barrier whatsoever to make us avoid potential options of making a change. There are major companies that can join hands like in the case of Shenhua Group and Hydro Tasmania to show the world that nothing is impossible. Holding onto ventures that are not friendly to the climate will one day get back to haunt us. The best option is to phase out the bad practices that are degrading our environment through the production of harmful emissions. There are obvious hardships when the change is effected but it will not be as dire as the effects of global warming.

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Emissions from Power Sector Drop to Decade Low

The fight to save the globe from the pangs of power emissions is gaining ground according to a recent report, gas emissions from greenhouses that generate electricity in Australia has reduced significantly. The use of coal to generate power is also at its lowest in a decade. This can be credited to the use of renewable energy. Coal power has lost ground in the National Electricity Market (NEM) after its share dropped to a low of 74.8% this is the lowest that it has been in a duration of ten years. Four years back the share of coal was ranging at 85% of the NEM. This is according to research that was carried out by RepuTex, which is an Energy and Carbon research firm. This is definitely some good news, but the more encouraging news is that the share for renewable energy in the same market has risen beyond 12% and it is still escalating.

If you check the current statistics, you will see that renewable energy is taking the place of coal, which is a very positive aspect. Generation of power through wind is at 3.8%, gas energy is at 12.7% and the generation of hydro energy is at 8.7%. These are some of the factors that have brought down the emission of CO2. After the introduction, the mechanism of carbon pricing the generation of coal has dipped steadily and the cost of wholesale electricity almost double. Less demand for coal and the increase in the production of renewable energy is pushing coal generation to the corner, and the hope is that eventually it will push to extinction.

The worry is that the fixed period of the increase cost of coal will expire in the year 2015, which might result in the coal gaining ground in the market. The relationship and ties that Australia’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) with the Carbon Market of Europe will end at around the same time, and it might lead to dire effects in the fight against coal generation. Forecasts like those done by Reputex show that the cost of a tone of carbon will take a nose dive from the present fixed cost of 25.40 US dollars to as low as 8 US dollars. Coal generator will be very impressed by this occurrence. The good news is that it will only be positive for them for less than two years because the Federal Government’s compensation of the coal industry will expire leading to a great struggle of the coal industry after the year 2017.

The prediction again by Reputex show that the increase in projects that are being focused on renewable energy will lead to the increase of energy generation. In addition, it might go beyond energy demand. This will provide added revenue to Australia, who can take the advantage by sourcing out the surplus electricity powers to regional and neighboring customers. Energy sector is working hard to try and meet the agreed Renewable-Energy  Target (RET), which was that by the year 2020, 20% of Australia’s energy will come from renewable sources.

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Green funding increases

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation, known as the head of the clean energy production industry in Australia, has decided to write up to a maximum of $800 million in terms of green loans, to a whole host of different projects that are likely to establish within Australia. This move comes right on the cusp of elections, and denounces the call made by the Coalition that no contracts should be signed before September 14 (the date of elections), or otherwise Tony Abbott is likely to scrap these contracts.

More importantly, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has also stated that it is actively discussing new terms and conditions with over 50 different projects, all of which combined are seeking up to a maximum of  $2 billion in order to get operations started within Australia. Adding to this, around 119 proposals have also been put forth by other companies who are looking for funding that goes up to a maximum of $3.3 billion. So, are these figures reliable and worth it? Yes of course, these figures were obtained in an email sent by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to the opposition, requesting that these contracts must not be scrapped and that they hold important value within the industry.

The green energy revolution is in full swing within Australia, as more and more people are currently installing solar panels and creating wind farms to provide electricity in their households. Since 2008, the country has been massively turning over to renewable sources of energy, primarily because of the fact the people have begun tremendously tired of the escalating electricity bills that they had to pay.

Electricity costs in Australia have more than tripled, and in places such as Queensland and New South Wales, people are being asked to pay in excess of a $1000 as their monthly electricity bills. More and more companies are releasing figures that show around 60% of their customers are requesting for automated installments to be created of their monthly bills. As a result, this has made it apparent for most people that relying on energy companies is a foolish idea.

Coupled with the reducing prices of photovoltaic cells as well as the number of feed in tariffs provided by the government itself, the amount of expansion within the solar and wind energy sector has been nothing short of spectacular. More and more people are opting for the installation of solar energy systems within their homes, while investment from overseas has also begun to take place within the wind energy sector. With more than a million different homes in Australia now powered with solar power exclusively, it is likely that the balance of power is going to shift rapidly from coal and gas powered generators to renewable sources of energy. It is predicted that by the year 1930, the country is going to be powered fully with renewable sources of energy. More importantly, other new technologies such as carbon capture are also being introduced, and the government is trying to provide maximum funding for these.

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Flexible Energy Pricing

Flexible Energy Pricing

Many customers from different energy retailers are now looking to increase the payback periods on their electricity bills, mainly because they cannot afford to pay them on time. This is partially due to the fact that the prices of electricity bills have gone up by over 62 percent in the past three years, and people have been worried about how to manage their costs and still receive adequate energy. However, companies are now realizing the position of their customers, and that is why a flexible electricity pricing system is about to be implemented by the middle of 2013.

What is flexible electricity pricing?

There are certain times during the day when the power consumption throughout Australia is not as high. When demand is low, the pressure on power stations is also minimal. Companies are looking to provide people with a flexible electricity plan that charges different amounts for electricity at different times of the day. For instance, you are likely to be charged slightly more at times during the day when electricity consumption is high. If you think that you can manage your electricity consumption, flexible pricing might work best for you.

Is this a voluntary decision I can make on my own?

Yes, as a customer you are at full discretion to decide whether you want the flexible energy pricing plan or not. Some people aren’t ready to switch over to flexible energy pricing plans, and are satisfied with the flat tariffs only, so that is by no means a problem.

Can it help save money?

Research has shown that a large number of people generally use a bulk amount of their electrical energy at certain periods of the day, so if you are able to control your usage of electricity at certain periods of the day, you will definitely be able to save a lot of money.

 

 

What if I want to go back to my flat tariff plan?

You can easily switch back to your flat tariff plan as long as you do not change your energy retailer. There will be no administration fees charged by the company until 31st March 2015.

How can I get access to flexible pricing?

If you are looking to get access to a flexible pricing plan, you will require a smart meter installed in your home. For that, you must establish contact with your energy retailer and ask them to get one installed.

How dose flexible pricing work?

The main concept of a flexible pricing plan is to charge different amounts of tariffs at different times during the day. For instance, you will be paying more for your electricity during the peak hours, while you will pay less than the peak hours during the ‘shoulder’ period. While during the ‘off peak’ hours, the amount of tariff charged will be lowest throughout the day.

For some this might sound to be a great option, while others will resent it. Either way, you can contact your energy retailer for the most up to date details on tariffs and changes!

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Smart Meters

Smart meters are something quite debated across the world, especially when it comes to how to get cheaper electricity. As a whole, when the planet is considered, many countries are considering moving to the smart meter system, because it is supposed to be more convenient.  A large percentage of the countries are planning to use a full grid of smart meters from 2020 onwards. There have been numerous polls about these decisions, and it has been proven that not a small amount of people living within these countries are happy with such a turnout of events. However, this is not true everywhere.

For instance, it Australia there have been numerous debates about smart meter implementation and there are some good reasons for this. Whereas some claim that this will be a great step towards convenience, others say that this is actually an unnecessary thing to do. Many activists believe that this sort of solution impeaches the users’ capability of free will when it comes to electricity and definitely do not agree with such a system. It is evident that this sort of grid will be much stricter at all costs, but it is hard to say whether this is a good or a bad thing at the moment.

For those of you who do not know, smart meters are not actually answers to how to get cheaper electricity. It is actually quite the contrary, and there are a few reasons why. What defines smart meters is the fact that they do not require anyone to check them, gather the data and send it off to the electricity service. Instead, they use either long radio waves or SIM cards in order to transmit completely accurate data to the electrical companies servicing you, which definitely has its pros and cons. Of course, this means that there are no ways to underpay or overpay the service any longer. This is good news for those who have always been fair in paying, and bad news for those, who have been trying to cheat the system.

As a whole, if you are thinking about how to get cheaper electricity, smart meters will not exactly be the answer to your needs. They are not designed to save power, they were created to keep track of it accurately so that there are no more people trying to cheat the system, and in order to make sure that people are satisfied with their electricity coverage. However, there are some things, which should be considered, which actually might lower the bills slightly. First of all, it is evident that stable power means stable work of all the electricity distributors. By getting a good look at how much power the country needs in order to function properly, they might be inclined to make changes and even lower the bills. From then on, there are some additions, which connected with the smart meter, will be able to give you precise coverage of how much power you are using and how exactly. This of course will make it possible for you to highlight ways to lower your consumption effectively, and therefore make sure you pay less.

To put it simply, the smart meter problem is a highly debatable one for many reasons. Probably there will always be someone against it, but there is no question that these new grid machines are actually pretty accurate and do not leave any room for cheating. For this reason, it is expected that a majority of the countries worldwide will accept such means of measuring power output. The only thing we can do is wait for decisions.

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Pushy energy sellers creating a lot of problems

A new report that was recently published states that salesmen who become very pushy are becoming a cause for fear for migrants and residents who have newly moved in to their homes. The Footscray Community Legal Center states that migrants who do not have a very good command of the English language find it very difficult in order to understand the difficultly worded energy contracts that they are being sold, while they are also unable to identify the deceptive methods of selling energy contracts as
well.

The report states that door to door energy salesmen, which are known to use a variety of different deceptive methods in order to sell their energy contracts, should be banned altogether and should not be allowed on public housing estates. Denis Nelthorpe from the group stated that even though energy regulators provide clear support for these salesmen in order to maintain competition within the energy market, yet he states that they should be banned since rather than marketing, they have now begun to fool the people.

Denis stated that even though misleading sales are becoming a major problem throughout the energy sector, it was becoming a much larger issue in those areas where new migrants have begun to settle in, from different countries which are not English centric. Hence, since they do not know English or have very limited knowledge, these people find it difficult to translate the extensively worded contracts. Denis stated that these people are coaxed in to misleading sales, which leaves them with losses or in a worse off position than they were. The report was compiled after extensive interviews were carried out in numerous different communities in order to establish ground realities, and how these salesmen generally convince unsuspecting people in signing up contracts. The report also stated that it was becoming more of a legal problem for many people since they could not really do anything but challenge the decision in courts.

The Do Not Knock campaign was started in order to bring about a halt to these forceful marketing practices that are used by different companies, and a petition has also been filed in courts in order to pass a legal injunction to stop these practices. However, it is unlikely that action will be taken immediately so at present, it is likely that these practices will continue for now. However, it is indeed positive to see that efforts are being made in order to protect the interests of the people and provide them with a safe outlet.

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Door-to-door energy salespeople, what to look out for?

We in Australia are one lucky people. We have many things to be proud off and show to the World. To add just one more, is the amazing de-regularised energy market which lets us “shop around” for the cheapest electricity and gas rates. And to top it all you don’t have to even leave the comfort of your home to go shopping. An energy salesperson will visit you and tell you how you can save a lot by spending some time with him. This is his deal to you.

Here’s the real deal. Before you call your friendly energy sales person, I think you should consider getting to know him/her before you meet him/her. Let me guide you on your way to better and cheaper utility rates without the headaches that come with the “Knock, Knock, Knock”.

First thing first, be assured that the whole process of selling energy is self-regulated by the energy industry through a “Code of Practise” for energy salespeople. And yes the Government monitors the regulators through its various departments and the office of the Ombudsman which gives an assurance that there is someone “watching the watchers”. But today we are more interested in helping you decide and be on the look out for the following things when using the services of these salespeople.

The Obvious things

1. They make sales calls only at “permitted hours” and provide you with information regarding the price, terms and conditions of the service contract
2. Don’t show up on premises that clearly display the notice “Sales activity not allowed”
3. Properly identify themselves by show of “identity card” from the energy retailer being represented
4. Not to remain on consumer’s premise for more than “an hour”
5. Explain that in case of complaint against him/her, the consumer should contact the energy retailer or Ombudsman

The Not so Obvious things

1. You should ensure that the salespeople has all the necessary documents, you need to make a valid contract (you can call the energy retailer anytime for that purpose)
2. The salesperson should provide you in writing information about the right to terminate the contract and the manner in which you can exercise that right
3. Information about any penalties that you may have to pay in case of termination of the contract
4. Information about how the bills will be calculated and about the security deposit to be made
5. The fact that he/she will earn a commission on the contract that you sign
I am sure that this will get you started on the right track after all that is my promise. I would further recommend using an “energy broker” service, if you are looking for end-to-end solutions for your home and business.

You may find it your times worth to check out Company X @ www…..
They provide you with a unique customer experience, which will save you money and many hours of headache for now and the future.

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Pros and Cons of Smart Meters

Today in this technological world, everyone out there is looking for new and advanced gadget through which they can save some and look to get more in the best possible manner. However, research is going on each and every field today to create some extra ordinary result, which can make people’s life simple and easier. In this regard, electricity is considered as the main power source of human establishment and survival. Electricity is also considered as the limited source of power, so everyone looks for its best alternative and reduces the wastage as well. Due to these reasons, demand and popularity of smart electric meter is going higher and higher, which can be considered as excellent electronic gadget that is used to record and track the electricity use of customers to prevent any sorts of wastage.

This device is also taking the place of old or traditional analog meters, which can only offer manual report one time in a month. However, this automatic or digital smart meter capture any sorts of information about the use of electricity as well as send update reports to electricity companies in a positive manner. It is really making a great change in the use of electricity and reduces any kind of wastage and save it for further use and requirement. Like any other, these Smart Meters are having both pros and cons, so you must stay aware about it to get the best possible results in a positive manner. These are the following challenges and advantages, which are offered by Smart Meters to customers, electric utilities, as well as surrounding.

In case of pros of smart meter, it offers more advantages and benefits to electricity supply companies like:
• Reducing the meter reading process in manual way
• Quick monitoring process on entire electric system
• Make effective use of power resource in excellent manner
• Offering actual time data, which is useful to manage or balance the electric loads as well as eliminate the power blackouts problems
• Allowing dynamic pricing for lowing or raising the amount of electricity as per demand
• Reducing capital expenses to create new plants for power generation and to manage the growing demand
• Assisting optimized profits within the accessible resources to avoid any sorts of additional investment.

After complete installation by the electricity company customer can get numbers of advantages from this device by offering complete feedback of power use, help them to eliminate the use of excess or unwanted power and reduce the issues of electric failure and blackouts like issues. Apart from it, this device can prevent the atmosphere from receiving excess pollution and excess power plants requirement as well.

In case of cons of smart meters, some are saying this device is having few negative effects, which can create more problems for human health because wireless phone technology is used in this meter to transmit data. However, experts are ignoring such type of issues. In this regard, Health Protection Agency is offering more awareness and assistance to its users about health risk issues of smart meter. So, you must make more research and comparison before making any sorts of decision regarding it.

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Simple Electricity Usage Tips that Make A Huge Difference

Electricity is one of the most used resources throughout the world today. Other than water and oil, electricity makes up for a huge amount of consumption. While it is widely used, people throughout Australia are finding it hard to keep up with the rising electricity rates simply because they don’t take the necessary precautions and don’t use electricity in a proper safe manner. Given below are a few simple electricity usage tips:

  • One of the first things to think about is the electricity wiring in your home. One of the biggest reasons for electricity shock is old or faulty wiring. In many cases, various external factors like rats can create a safety nightmare that ultimately results in electrical shock.
  • Quite a lot of people end up with a huge electricity bill simply because their devices are not installed properly. This will not only result in more energy usage but will also put you and the device at huge risk. Computers can crash and TVs will malfunction because the device is not installed the right way. Spike guards tend to be the major culprits. The best way to avoid this is by getting all your electrical appliances professionally installed.
  • While spike guards are considered to be a safety aspect they are often used in the wrong way. Plugging in spike guards the wrong way or keeping spike guards dangling in mid air due to lack of space are some of the reasons why electricity leak takes place.
  • It is also necessary to ensure that all devices which are not being used are switched off. During stormy and rainy weather it is essential to plug out every electrical device in the house. Even when your TV is not working, it is possible that lightning may end up damaging it permanently and beyond repair.
  • Electrical point installation is another major thing to consider. Avoid installing the points on walls that might get wet or have a lot of moisture seeping in since electricity and water are a deadly combination. Before getting an electrical point installed, consult an experienced electrician to ensure that the point is in a safe location.
  • Keep checking the internal and external wiring in your house regularly. Broken or frayed wires will result in intermittent electrical current and will also expose family members to electrical shocks and injuries.

The tips given above can be followed to ensure electrical usage in your home is safe. You must also check the devices that you use at home. Quite a lot of manufacturers put in good due diligence to ensure durability and safety o the product. Purchasing high quality, energy star components and electrical devices is the best thing to do since it will ensure hassle free and safe usage because these products have enhanced and extended security features. These products are easily available today in stores throughout Australia as well as in online stores that deal in electrical appliances.