Saving Electricity

Fridge Buyback now Available to Cessnock area Residents

Fridge Buyback is a residential energy savings program that actually pays you to help save the environment and reduce your power bills by giving up your old second fridge or upright freezer.

Old fridges are the biggest energy users in the home, consuming up to three times the energy of new fridges. Running your second fridge adds an average of $300 a year to your power bills and results in greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. And, old upright freezers use almost as much power as an old fridge.

Households that have been using a second fridge or freezer can hand in their old working appliances by calling 1800 708 401 during business hours to make a booking. The fridges and freezers collected are professionally degassed and the metals recycled. There are regular collection runs every few weeks in most built-up areas.

To participate in the program, your fridge must be a working second fridge that has been in regular use, is 200 litres or more in size and built before 1996. Fridge Buyback can also now take upright freezers that have been in regular use, are 200 litres or more in size and built before 1996.

Fridge Buyback provides residents with free collection by professional removalists and a $5 rebate if the removal of the fridge or freezer involves 6 steps or less. Appliances are collected for free if there are between 7 or 20 steps but no rebate is available. A fee will apply only if the property has more than 20 steps.

For more information call 1800 708 401 or visit the Fridge Buyback website at www.fridgebuyback.com.au.

Fridge Buyback is an energy savings program operating under the NSW Government’s Energy Savings Scheme and is supported by Council. The program is independently operated by Next Energy Pty Ltd.

Since joining this program (February 2012 - October 2013) 275 fridges have been collected inthe Cessnock Local Government Area .

Power Meters on Loan at Libraries

Did you know your dryer could be costing you $60 a year in electricity costs and could be releasing up to 500kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year! Residents now have free access to Power Usage Meters providing the tools to help households conduct a home energy assessment.

The assessment will help you pinpoint high energy consuming appliances and provide you with information on how much each appliance costs to run. By better understanding your energy consumption you can learn to make simple changes, potentially saving several hundred dollars a year and tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Power Usage Meter is a simple handheld devise used to measure the electricity consumption and running costs of electrical appliances. The device calculates how much money it costs you to run your appliances for every hour, quarter or year

The unit can even calculate the power used by appliances, like TV’s, that use standby power. Standby power is nearly 10% of household energy consumption. Just by turning appliances off at the wall, households can save around $100 per year.

FOCUS on Energy Reduction kits free to borrow from Cessnock and Kurri Kurri libraries. 14 Local Government Areas within the Hunter, Central and Mid North Coast are participating in this initiative which will see 123 kits available within 68 branch libraries and 2 Council Customer Service offices.

Energy Saving Hints

Free tips that cost nothing:

  • Turn down water heater thermostat to 55C (if the thermostat dial is sealed you'll need an electrician to do it for you)
  • Turn off lights, heaters and air conditioners when you go to bed or when you're away. If you're away for an extended period, it's worthwhile to turn off your water heater as well.
  • Use energy-saving settings on washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers, and refrigerators. Only use dishwashers and washing machines when you have a full load.
  • Wash clothes in cold water and air dry your clothes.
  • Clean your refrigerator's condensor coils once a year
  • Close drapes (and windows) during sunny summer days and after sunset in winter.
  • Set heating appliances to 18-21 degrees celsius during winter and cooling appliances is 23-26 degrees celsius during summer.
  • Turn electrical appliances off at the power point.  Leaving them in standby mode will allow them to continue to use electricity.

Simple and inexpensive tips that quickly pay for themselves in lower energy bills:

  • Clean or change air filter on your air conditioning units
  • Wrap extra insulation around your water heater tank
  • Insulate the first meter of hot and cold water pipes on your water heater
  • Insulate hot water pipes in unheated basements or crawlspaces
  • Install compact fluorescent light globes in the fixtures you use the most, including exterior lights
  • Make insulating shades for your windows in winter, or shade sunny windows or add solar gain control films in summer
  • Depending on your heating and cooling expenses, it may be cost-effective to add insulation to your ceiling, walls, and floors. Get a professional house audit, or ask an energy expert
  • Plant a tree to shade your largest west window in Summer. You won't save any money for years, but you'll get an A+ for long-range vision.
  • Purchase appliances with a high energy star rating and of an appropriate size for your family.  Using appliances that are too large for your family size may be costing you more money than you need to pay.
  • Ensure the seals on fridges and ovens are efficient in preventing the loss of hot and cold air.  If your seals are damaged it could be costing you money as appliances cut in more regularly.
  • Consider purchasing Green Power as an alternative to your current energy supply to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases your energy use produces.  For further information visit www.greenpower.nsw.gov.au.

For further information on how much it costs to run your different energy using appliances visit the Energy Australia website at www.energyaustralia.com.au and download a copy of their Energy Usage Guide.  Alternatively visit the Country Energy website at www.countryenergy.com.au or Origin Energy website at www.originenergy.com.au and put your current energy use to the test using their on-line energy efficiency calculators.

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