With Australians currently facing one of the most expensive winters on record thanks to soaring energy prices, rising interest rates and significant increases in living costs, things have only been made more difficult with the Australian Energy Regulator’s latest decision that will ultimately see electricity prices increase between 20% and 25% from 1 July this year. The latest increment in the cost of electricity is one of the largest the country has ever seen.
How will this increase impact Aussie households?
The increase will impact hundreds of thousands of households and businesses across Victoria, NSW, Queensland and South Australia. Many households and businesses are facing price increases of thousands of dollars as a result. Victoria has already announced a 25% rise.
People need to take action now. Do not wait for the price increase to take effect, the impact is going to devastate many people financially at a time when things are already tough. Most households have no idea what type of activity or usage is contributing to their bills, they only know that they are going up and it is getting harder to find the money to pay for them.
Our job is to help Australians assess their energy usage and suggest how they can make changes to reduce their consumption. In nearly every home we assess, we are able to find ways to reduce the household’s energy bills by up to as much as $3,000. With the rise in power bills from 1 July this year, this figure is going to increase considerably, making it even more important for households to understand where and how they can reduce consumption.
Energy assessments are easy to undertake and result in almost immediate financial improvements for the household. The Australian people are genuinely shocked when we show them how they can save thousands by making simple changes. They also can’t believe the service is free to them if they are living in certain states including Victoria.
Clearly more needs to be done to help households understand the services and supports that are available to them to help them save money, without any strings attached. Energy assessments are not only good for their pockets, they are good for the environment too.
There are significant opportunities for households to increase the efficiency of their home and spend less on their energy bills. For example, the average household in Victoria only rates three out of ten on the government’s Scorecard energy efficiency rating scale.
What is involved in an energy assessment?
What is an energy assessment?
A home energy rating assessment is an assessment of the energy performance of a house and the fixed appliances within, carried out by a suitably qualified professional. The result is a rating which details the energy performance and advice which informs homeowners of possible actions they can then complete to improve performance and reduce energy bills.
What are the benefits of an energy assessment?
An energy assessment shows households how to change their usage habits and save money. In addition, getting a Scorecard rating from a government-accredited assessor helps them to make the best choices by providing targeted information to ensure that any money they spend on upgrades will lead to a cheaper to run, more comfortable home.
How can I use the scorecard?
Once the assessment is completed the household is then provided with a Scorecard certificate. The Scorecard certificate includes detailed information about the household’s:
- energy efficiency star rating out of 10 stars. The higher the stars the lower the costs over a year,
- comfort rating showing how well the home copes with hot and cold weather,
- star rating with and without solar power,
- efficiency ratings for each of the fixed appliances such as heating, cooling, hot water service,
- energy consumption of the fixed appliances over one year,
- greenhouse gas emissions for the fixed appliances over one year; and
- provides practical options to improve the home’s energy efficiency.
As part of the energy assessment, we discuss how to better use appliances and features of the home to improve their efficiency. We also offer tailored advice to help the household achieve money saving goals and ensure any money spent on upgrading the household’s energy efficiency will lead to a cheaper to run and more comfortable home.
Is there a cost involved?
Booking an energy assessment through Australian Energy Assessors is free. The cost is funded by government programs. For example in Victoria, the Victorian Energy Upgrades Scheme subsidises the cost of energy inspections. The Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program is a market-based program that helps Victorians to cut their power bills and reduce GHG emissions by encouraging energy consumers to upgrade to energy efficiency tech.
Anyone who either owns or rents a home in Victoria is eligible for a free inspection. Hostels, boarding houses and retirement villages do not currently fall under the Victorian Energy Upgrades Scheme. There are different programs across each state and territory. If you are unsure of the nature of what is available to you, give us a call and we can assist.
Nicholas Makris is the Head of Commercial for Australian Energy Assessors.