You can’t get away from the debate about carbon tax. With the cut and thrust of political machinations, the basics are forgotten. Tony Abbot claims in a burst of energy that the carbon tax will increase family´s power bills and that is why it should not be allowed. Well hello! The purpose and intention of the tax is to make the use of energy more efficient so if it didn’t increase the cost of power, it wouldn’t be effective.
However, the experience in other countries which already have a price on carbon, including all the EU countries and New Zealand, is that the price on carbon works by reducing power demand. As the price of electricity increases, so the population takes action to reduce their wastage of power and electricity bills stay more or less the same.
Clearly this is the purpose of a market based mechanism and people do respond. In fact, given the generous compensation, it is possible for families to in fact be better off financially as long as they address the issues of how much power they use. Another way to augment your power savings is to invest in a solar energy system which can produce power with almost no maintenance for around the next 30 years. That is some insurance policy!
Here are a few tips to help reduce your electricity usage and end up being a carbon winner both in the atmosphere and in your pocket.
- Short (4 minute) showers, or invest in a solar hot water service.
- Turn off computers completely when not in use, imagine how many million computers sit on idle out there in the world contributing untold tonnes of CO2 to the air.
- Turn off entertainment equipment at the wall when not in use. Use a divider board with a switch and you can turn everything off at one place.
- Make use of natural light during the day.
- Turn off lights as you leave the room.
- Air conditioning is one of the biggest contributors to power consumption, using 40 times more power than a ceiling fan. Use it only when really necessary. Using fans along with natural ventilation for cooling.
- If you do use aircon or heating, isolate one part of the house.
- Fix any hot water leaks or drips quickly.
- Use cold water in your washing machine unless you have solar hot water.
- Hang washing on a line instead of using the dryer.
- When going away for holidays, turn off most electrical devices at the power point.
- Try to use only one fridge, or if buying in bulk keep a second fridge or freezer well stocked to improve efficiency Happy saving!