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Smart homes slash $2m off bills

Leanne Cawthorne has saved money on her energy bill since implementing the Climate Smart program a year ago.
Leanne Cawthorne has saved money on her energy bill since implementing the Climate Smart program a year ago. Rob Williams

MORE than 7000 Ipswich homes are collectively slashing $2.35 million a year off their power bills after signing up for the ClimateSmart Home Service.

Ipswich residents like Leanne Cawthorne say they are slashing their electricity bills as a result of the program, which was started by the State Government in January 2009.

Ms Cawthorne said she has saved about $400 each quarter –$1600 a year – thanks to the one-hour service.

She said the service, which includes a visit from an electrician and a wireless power monitor, had forever changed her family’s energy habits.

“We got it about a year ago after seeing an ad on TV. Our bills now are nearly half of what they were for the same time of year before we got the service,” she said.

“Our first bill after we had the service was $780 – the one before that was $1200.

“I didn’t know what to expect when we signed up, but it has been great. I would recommend it to anyone considering it.”

She said apart from the obvious changes her family made – including cutting use of air-conditioning and setting the temperature to 24 degrees – the service picked up previously undetected energy wasters.

“The electrician said one of our freezers wasn’t working the way that it should. Our power dropped 20 cents an hour when we turned it off and he said a freezer shouldn’t make that much difference, so we got rid of it,” she said. “We don’t use the dryer at all anymore because of how much it was using. The electrician said the dryer is one of the things that sucks a lot of electricity – so we’re much better off now.”

In August this year the service passed the 200,000 customer milestone.

Under the program, a licensed electrician will conduct an energy assessment and install power and water-saving devices, a wireless power monitor and up to 15 free power-saving light globes. Where suitable, a free water and energy efficient showerhead will also be installed.

The wireless power monitor shows home owners how much power is being consumed in the residence at any given time and how much it is costing.

Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones encouraged more householders to take up the service.

Ipswich facts

  • 7232 Ipswich customers have had the ClimateSmart Home Service.
  • Up to Up to $2.35 million saved a year.
  • Up to 128,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions saved so far.
  • That is the equivalent of 31,000 cars off the road.
  • To book a ClimateSmart Home Service, visit www.climatesmarthome.com or call 133 600

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