DIY Energy Audit
Cashback incentives are available from Ergon to eligible customers in selected areas to reduce electricity usage at peak demand times. By reducing peak demand, costly network infrastructure upgrades can be deferred to help minimise electricity price increases for everyone.
What’s a tariff?
A tariff is a pricing package for the purchase of electricity. It specifies how much you pay for the electricity supply to be made available, for the electricity you use, what time of the day you use it and how much you use at any point in time.
The electricity tariffs available through Ergon Energy Retail are set by the Queensland Competition Authority.
How do I know what tariff I’m on?
To check which tariff or tariffs you’re currently on, check the Electricity Charges section on the second page of your electricity bill. The most common residential tariff is Tariff 11.
What tariffs are available?
There are a range of tariffs for household needs. Which one suits best will depend on how much electricity you use and when, and whether or not you have appliances that can run during off-peak periods.
Does it cost money to change tariffs?
Changing your household tariff from Tariff 11 to Tariff 12 or Tariff 13 can be made at no cost to you. Fees may apply to change back to Tariff 11. Changes between economy tariffs can be made once in a 12-month period at no cost to you. Fees may apply for additional change requests in this period.
Switching appliances to an economy tariff will require the assistance of a licensed electrician.
Will I need a new meter?
Depending which tariff you change to, you may need a new meter. If so, you will need to make sure your meter board complies with current standards. If you’re not sure, please arrange for a licensed electrician to assess your meter board and wiring and complete any work required.
Australia now has a PV capacity of over 3,300 megawatts with one in seven homes generating electricity with rooftop PV. In South Australia, the figure is one in four homes.
The cost of producing and installing solar power systems has fallen dramatically over recent years, and continues to fall. The solar panels installed on rooftops today are more than 500 times cheaper to produce than the first solar cells of the mid-1950s and costs are still coming down fast. Four years ago a solar system could cost as much as a small car; now it costs about the same as a big TV.
- It would take only around 0.3 per cent of the world’s land area to supply all of our electricity needs via solar power.
- The area of roof space available in Australia is enough to provide all of the nation’s electricity, using solar panels.
- Weight for weight, advanced silicon based solar cells generate the same amount of electricity over their lifetime as nuclear fuel rods, without the hazardous waste. All the components in a solar panel can be recycled, whereas nuclear waste remains a threat for thousands of years.
- Solar and wind power systems have 100 times better lifetime energy yield than either nuclear or fossil energy system per tonne of mined materials.
- The amount of energy that goes into creating solar panels is paid back through clean electricity production within anywhere from 1 – 2 years, depending on where they are used. This compares with a serviceable life of decades.
- The Earth receives more energy from the sun in an hour than is used in the entire world in one year.
- There are now more than one million home solar power systems installed in Australia.
- Manufacturing solar cells produces 90% less pollutants than conventional fossil fuel technologies.
- The solar industry creates 200 to 400 jobs in research, development, manufacturing and installation for every 10 megawatts of solar power generated annually.
How does solar power work?
A solar system has three main parts:
- Solar PV panels capture energy from the sun and create direct current (DC) electricity.
- An inverter in the power box converts the DC power into alternating current (AC) that is suitable for use by homes and businesses.
- A two-way electricity meter records the amount of electricity generated and, if required, measures any power the home or business feeds into the grid.
Solar hot water
Solar hot water systems use energy from the sun to heat water. The system has solar collectors on the roof, which are filled with water.
The sun heats the water within the collectors and it’s then fed to the tank of the household’s electric or gas hot water system where it’s stored ready for use.
Solar hot water systems use less energy than conventional systems because the water is already pre-warmed.
Solar power does two things: it reduces emissions and produces electricity, whereas under the Commonwealth’s scheme a company can purchase a carbon offset which reduces global emissions but does not help supply Australians with electricity.
The solar power industry brings another benefit: it supports a lot of local jobs.
When viewed holistically solar stacks up well as not just a method of reducing emissions, but of simultaneously providing other social and economic benefits.
Buying solar panels for your home can seem pretty confusing at first. How do you know what sized system to install? Will you need to notify your electricity company? How do you choose a trustworthy installer? And what on earth is a feed-in tariff? Relax – the Clean Energy Council is here to help.
Alternatively, click HERE to find a solar retailer.
Replace halogen lights with LEDs
The lifetime for the new generation of LEDs is about 100,000 hours of use, or 30 to 40 years of normal operation.
As they are a semiconductor device, they are also very rugged and are not subject to fail when dropped or vibrated as are incandescent or fluorescent lights. Replacing a 50 Watt halogen light-globe with a 7 Watt LED will:
- Save 8,944 Kilowatt hours of power usage every year.
- Save 9.552 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
- Save money in replacements due to much longer life of LED globes.
- Save you time and labour in replacing globes.
Check your electricity bill for how much you pay per kilowatt to work out how much money you could save every year.