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Electrification & Efficiency

Energy Efficiency 2 min read May 25, 2018

As Powershop (finally) announces we are launching gas to our Victorian customers, we are aware that while many of our customers use gas, there are some who would rather not because of its carbon footprint. We get that gas isn’t the best for the environment compared to renewable energy, but we’re doing gas in the best way we can.

So, in addition to offsetting 100% of the carbon associated with our customers’ gas usage, there’s some info below for our customers who are hoping to transition away from gas. We hope you find these useful, and please let us know in the comments if there are any resources you can recommend – we’re all ears!

Energy efficiency and gas usage are pretty closely linked – to get completely off gas could mean replacing gas-powered appliances and other potentially costly steps. At Powershop we’re big on energy affordability, so we’re suggesting these resources to help our customers consider how they could be using their existing systems and appliances more efficiently and therefore save money.

That said, research done in 2014 by the Alternative Technology Association found that despite heavy government subsidies to upgrade the gas network, some homes would be better off without gas and switching to more efficient electric appliances. However, gas is still a reality for most Victorian homes (over 80% of us), and there are plenty of things you can do to make your homes more efficient and use less of it.

The smart people over at Beyond Zero Emissions have literally written the book on making your home more energy efficient and have distilled all their knowledge into these nine steps to help you become more efficient and reduce your energy use overall.

Nine tips to help you become more energy efficient:

  1. Replace old bulbs with LEDs – and stop buying inefficient halogen or incandescent bulbs
  2. Stop draughts – two words = door snakes
  3. Improve insulation – in the roof, under the floor, around the water heater and around draughty light fittings
  4. Upgrade windows – consider installing double glazing
  5. Use energy-efficient appliances – when you need a new washing machine for example, investigate getting one with a better star rating than your old one
  6. Install reverse-cycle air-conditioning, for heating and cooling – this can make a huge difference to your energy bills
  7. Use solar or heat-pump systems for water heating – they’re about 3 times more efficient than a conventional water heater
  8. Monitor and reduce energy use – download the Powershop app to get in control of your energy
  9. Get solar panels to generate your own electricity

As more and more people, including renters, are looking to improve the efficiency of their homes, North Sydney local council has put together helpful fact sheets and recommendations for both homeowners and renters. Download these to get tailored suggestions for improving your energy efficiency, such as talking to your landlord about installing solar panels on your roof.

While it seems like there’s a never-ending list of things you can do to make your home more efficient, there are experts available to help. If you’re in Victoria, the Moreland Energy Foundation offers an affordable home energy assessment to give you personalised recommendations for how to reduce your home energy usage. Once you have this knowledge you can make a plan for what steps are affordable and accessible to you.

We’re super excited to be offering gas in Victoria – it’s something our customers have been asking about for ages, and we’re looking forward to shaking up the gas market the same way we did with electricity.

If you’ve got more tips to get off gas we’d love to hear about them – leave us a comment below.

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