Unlike your average energy supplier we are keen to work with you to help manage this incredibly precious resource, reduce costs and reduce our impact on the environment. Here is some practical advice and information we’ve put together that should go a long way to achieving these goals!
HotSource – the “secret weapon”
One of the big benefits of having Source as your electricity provider is that with our advanced metering system we can give you access to real time information regarding your own energy consumption. Don’t wait until you get
your bill to find out how much energy you have been using. Jump onto your dashboard at your HotSource account and see what you are using right now, how much you used yesterday, how much you used last week or even last month. It’s all there and it is a really powerful tool to help you understand and manage your energy consumption and costs.
If you are having any trouble accessing your account or wanting some help to navigate through your dashboard please get in contact with us and we will help you through.
Once you have a handle on how much and when you are consuming energy the next stage is to work out where it is going and put it into context with some averages.
The average household consumes around 25 units of energy each day. Due to the efficient nature of our customers and the buildings we operate in the average Source customer runs at about 10 units per day. While there is a big variance it is good to know where you sit. Pat yourself on the back if you are under 10 (but know that there are plenty of people under 5) and definitely read on for energy saving tips if you are over!
A “unit” is a measure of energy and equates to one kWhr or is the equivalent of having a 1000W load on for one hour. When your gas retailer provides you with a bill a unit of gas is equal to 1kWhr of 3.6MJ.
If you have moved from a home that had both gas and electricity to a home that has just electrical appliances, then to compare the two you need to add the units of gas and electricity together from your previous bill to get your total previous consumption for an accurate comparison.
To give you a feel of where this energy goes we have put together this rough estimate of what an “average” dwelling looks like.
These are just averages
Keep in mind that these are only averages and while it is handy to help identify what the big ticket items might be, every apartment runs differently. These are just a few factors to consider:
Obviously the more people you have in your house the more energy you are going to consume unless they are well behaved energy efficient types.
Through peak of summer we find that pretty much everyone’s consumption jumps considerably with the extra load placed on the air conditioner. Then in the middle of winter it will jump again with the heater, extra demand on hot showers, a bit of additional lighting and generally people staying indoors a bit more. In spring and autumn Perth has an absolutely brilliant climate and you should see your usage dropping. Use HotSource to see how your usage is fluctuating on seasonable basis – it’s an interesting exercise!
Heating and Cooling
You may use your reverse cycle air conditioning system for both heating and cooling. These systems are big energy users and typically draw 2-4kW when they are running. So if your unit was running for 8 hours straight that could be as much as 16-32kwhr! Modern air conditioners control their power draw once your room hits a set temperature point. So asking your AC to achieve a cool temperature in summer of 20degC will cost a lot more than if you set it at 23degC. On a hot day that extra 3degC could be costing as much as 8kWhr to get the room down to 20degC and even more to hold it there. The same logic applies to heating your home in winter.
Hot water service
This is a big one that catches a few people out. If you are used to having gas hot water and you have moved into an apartment with an electric hot water unit you will have a noticeable jump in your electricity bill. But of course you won’t be receiving as large a gas bill, or no gas bill if you only have electric cooking. Depending on the type of electric hot water service you have you will notice some interesting results in your dashboard. An instantaneous electric hot water system will use a lot of electricity but only whilst you are using the hot water. The system can draw as much as 14kW while you are having shower. So a half hour shower can add 7kWhr or 7units to your bill!
You may have your own solar pv system connected directly to your home. You will be able to see this on your bills and your dashboard and if used well can substantially reduce your consumption.
If you don’t have your own solar you still may be benefiting from the projects central solar system that is helping reduce your energy tariff and environmental footprint.
Once you have you gone through the obvious culprits and think there is something else going on here are some things to look for: Bar heaters, big plasma tv’s, heated towel rails, aquarium heaters, standby power and hydroponics.
Have a look at your appliances and they should have a sticker on them that tells you how much power they are pulling when on. For instance a kettle may draw 2,400W when on and a laptop might 50W. You then have to have a think about how long it runs for. For instance the kettle is only for a few minutes so while it runs hot it wont add too much to your consumption where as the laptop if it’s going all day may add up.
Go back and check your dashboard on your HotSource account
Now that you are armed with a bit more knowledge go back and check your dashboard. You will be amazed at how much you can deduce from it.
For instance in the middle of the night or when you aren’t home you’ll see your fridge humming along. Those big spikes in the morning and evening will be things like hot water use, air conditioning and maybe some cooking.
You can experiment and play with appliances and check your load profile to see what happens.
Helpful tips to cut it down
Start with the big items first as small changes with these will have the biggest impact.
Hot Water: Low flow shower heads, shorter showers, cold wash your clothes.
Air conditioning and heating: In summer try and maximise the cooler nights and natural breeze and in winter look for that woollen jumper before cranking the heater. Try and close doors and heat or cool only the rooms you are actually in rather than the whole home.
If you are still having trouble understanding where your energy is going please get in contact with us and we’ll do our best to help work it out with you.