The use of eco or ‘energy saving’ electrical products in the home in 2016 has grown to the point where the July 2106 Australian Energy Audit revealed that the average Sydney home now uses 34 percent less energy – electricity and gas, than in 2002. This figure is astounding, given that the actual usage of grid supplied electricity has increased by over 40 percent. The exponential growth in usage of tablet computers,audio visual products, appliances, electric hot water systems, lighting systems, air conditioning and other appliances have skyrocketed in this period.
I interviewed Liam at Windon Electrical Services to get his perspective on the implementation of energy efficient components used by electricians in their day to day work and what the reality of ‘energy efficiency’ is at the ground level.
Liam explained that 40 percent of his day to day electrician work is involved directly in installing energy efficient lighting systems, ‘instant’ electric hot water systems and electrical connection the inverter type air conditioning systems that claim to offer 70 percent less electrical usage over the old compressor style air conditioning systems that were the main stay system just 10 years ago and are now the main seller in home cooling systems.
The Specifics – What Energy Savings Are Possible In 2016?
Liam indicated the following savings in electrical usage were possible:
1. L.E.D. Lighting . These modern light bulb replacements can offer a saving of 85 percent (!) over traditional light bulbs like incandescent. Quoting from Liams blog, there are huge environmental and economic benefits of this lighting technology:
LED Lighting and Energy Saving
From an energy saving perspective LED technology is preferred over incandescent and fluorescent lighting due to their significantly lower energy consumption – approximately 85% less energy consumption than halogen or incandescent lighting. Saving money is a top priority on everyone’s list and as LED’s provide reduced energy usage this will generate significant savings on your power bills.
Life Span Of LED Lights
Led lighting has a significantly longer life span than incandescent and fluorescent lighting. LED lighting has a typical life expectancy of up to 50,000 hours, which is approximately 50 times longer than an incandescent light and 10 times longer than a fluorescent lamp.
From replacement of your existing light fittings and bulbs to new lighting installations we can advise you on all aspects of LED lighting. LED lighting comes in a huge array of designs and we can recommend the most appropriate product for your application whether it is for your bathroom, kitchen or lounge room or your office or business lighting. With all their advantages, it is clear that LED lights are they way to go.
(reference - http://innerwestsydneyelectrician.com.au/led-lighting/)
Smart Metering – Next Generation
The old ‘spinning disc’ electricity meters are now a thing of the past. Modern electricity metering is based on ‘smart meters’ that allow for ‘ time-of-use pricing’. This allows for home owners and businesses to tailor their electrical usage to the time of day. For example, if electricity tariffs are lower from 10 am to 1130 am it makes a lot of sense to run electrical appliances like washing machines and, in industry, high demand electrical equipment during those hours. This can result in savings of up to 20 percent price wise and an even ‘grid electrical distribution curve’ meaning that the electricity supply companies can acually produce LESS electricity and less CO2 emissions.
More on Smart Metering – Reference “
If you’re mainly using your electricity during off-peak and shoulder periods—or are willing to shift your usage to these times—having a ‘smart’ or interval meter installed may be cost effective.
An interval meter measures your power use in 30-minute intervals and allows your distributor to charge different rates rather than one flat rate. Unlike the older mechanical meters, interval meters communicate meter readings directly to electricity distributors which means you don’t need someone to come and read your meter, saving money on connection and disconnection fees. Some models also allow two-way communications between households and energy distributors in real time. A web portal or in-home display connected to certain types of smart meters will allow your household to get a more detailed picture of energy use which can help you alter household preferences to save energy and money.
If you have a smart meter installed and decide to take up time-of-use pricing the more you shift away from peak power the more you save. For example, by turning your dishwasher on before going to bed rather than after dinner or by using your clothes dryer only on weekends. There are further savings to be made if you have appliances that use a lot of power, such as pool pumps or air conditioners. It can also work well with in-slab electric heating (check your operating manual or with the manufacturer to ensure compatibility with their products).
In considering time-of-use pricing, you need to look at your household preferences very carefully. It’s possible that if you switch to off-peak but then find you’re using more electricity during peak times, you’ll end up paying more. For example, if you’re a busy family with young children who all need to be fed, bathed and in bed by a set time each evening, you’ll have no choice but to use energy in the peak evening period. If you’re interested in off-peak hot water or smart metering, contact your energy retailer first to see if it’s possible and to find out what you need to do.
If time-of-use pricing isn’t the right fit for your household, or you’re not able to sign up for it, there are plenty of other ideas on Your Energy Savings you can take to reduce your energy bills. As these actions involve decreasing your energy use overall, they also save your hip pocket.”
In July 2016 we can not control our electrical usage through selection of energy efficient lighting and appliances AND by implementing ‘smart metering’ technology to match the time of our electricity use to the lowest electrical tariff periods. This works for the environment and our ‘hip pockets’
Thanks to Liam at Windon Electrical Services. He can be contacted at:
Windon Electrical Services
83 Arthur St,
Phone: 0401 955 254