Our homes devote a significant portion of their energy usage to heating and cooling. In fact, a third to half of all home energy is used for heating or cooling.
So, in the heat of summer, how can you cool your house yet save energy and save money on your energy bill? Is it better to use a fan or an air conditioner? We’ve got some answers that might help.
Fan vs air conditioner
Chances are you either use a fan or air conditioner to cool your home in summer. But have you ever wondered which is more energy efficient?
In fact, the best way is to use them in tandem – but sparingly.
How much energy does each cooling method consume?
Typically, evaporative cooling costs less to run than refrigerative cooling. Fans are good for personal cooling and are cheap to run.
A fan costs from $8 to $15 per year to run. At the other end, a ducted reverse-cycle cooling system costs from $75 to $120 per year.
So, giving your air conditioner a break and using ceiling or portable fans could save you a significant amount of money.
Are air conditioners bad for the environment?
Not necessarily. Modern, well-maintained air conditioners can be energy efficient. Check the Energy Rating Label to compare them.
Air conditioners do typically use more energy than fans, so to save energy only turn on the aircon when you really need it.
It also matters how you use your air conditioner: keep the thermostat set between 23°C and 26°C, because every degree below 23°C could add 10 per cent to your cooling costs.
Is it better to only cool the room that I'm using?
Short answer: yes. It will cost less and be more effective to cool only the room or rooms that you are using on a hot day. Keep the rest of the house shut up and close doors, windows, blinds and curtains to keep out the heat as much as possible.
What other ways can I save money on my bills during the summer months?
Prepare for a hot day by shutting up the house early on, using fans until you really need the aircon, and opening up the house at night when it cools down to catch the natural breeze.
Draping a wet sheet over an open doorway or window is a natural air conditioner.
Also pay attention to insulation, draughts and passive heating/cooling, and make sure your windows are protected inside and out (for example, by awnings and blinds).
Maintenance is also crucial. At AGL, we recommend an annual service for most air conditioners to make sure they’re running efficiently.
For more energy saving tips visit our website here or share your tips below!
Authored by Emma Sorensen
Because fees vary according to the work required and the Distributor operating in your area, we are unable to quote a set fee. Charges are set by your Distributor and passed on by AGL.
While your acceptance of any standard fees is required as part of your application, if your Distributor classifies your fee as non-standard, we will get in touch before proceeding.
There are scam emails and phone calls currently circulating that pretend to be from reputable energy companies, which claim you owe money for an outstanding gas or electricity bill and ask you to:
- make a payment over the phone, or
- click on a link to view your account or to make a payment.
These communications may also threaten disconnection activity within 24 hours of contact.
They often involve you being illegally contacted by an individual or company who pretend to be from AGL and who try to gain your personal information by falsely saying things like:
These are just two examples, but if you receive a phone call or email that’s similarly unusual or suspicious that asks for your financial information, please do two things:
If you’ve provided your details on a website, by email or over the phone, and you believe you may have been a victim of fraud, please contact your financial institution immediately.
Remember, AGL will never
How the scams work:
How to protect yourself:
For more information visit the Scam Watch website.
A virtual power plant put simply is a collection of individual batteries that are managed in unison to help support the grid.
AGL’s Virtual Power Plant will involve the installation of 1000 batteries in individual households, helping to power customers’ homes while demonstrating new ways of managing grid stability.
The battery installed in your home stores excess solar energy produced by your system. This can help you to use more of your own solar energy and less from the grid. Any energy discharged from the battery will be used by the home first, with any additional energy then exported to the grid, allowing you to receive your standard Retail Feed-in Tariff (RFiT).
In some instances, AGL’s Virtual Power Plant uses the solar energy stored in individual home batteries to help support the electricity grid during peak usage times, helping you to use solar energy within your home while helping to increase grid stability for the community.
If you live in Adelaide and have an existing AGL or non-AGL solar system, you may be eligible to join the final phase of AGL’s Virtual Power Plant. Purchase LG Chem or Tesla Powerwall battery technology at a great price. Visit agl.com.au/powerinnumbers to learn more.
Depending on your state, you may have to pay a charge for your final gas or electricity meter reading. Your distributor will bill AGL for this, and it will appear on your final bill. Refer to fees here.
Digital meters, are the next generation of electricity meters, replacing analogue ones. They measure your home’s electricity use in 30-minute intervals, and can send this data automatically to your energy retailer every day using a secure wireless network.
Digital meters allow you to have correct meter readings and more accurate bills, plus they give you the power to track your usage, manage and pay your bills and even set alerts for yourself using AGL IQ in the AGL Energy App.
Digital meters are installed by qualified electricians, and depending on your home’s set up and situation, the installation process normally takes 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete.
You may qualify if you are a Queensland resident.
The QLD Electricity Concession is applied as a daily amount of $0.8489c per day (GST excl) for a total of $340.85 per annum (GST incl). It is paid in installments through each electricity bill.
To be eligible, customers must hold one of the following concession cards:
A concession can be claimed only if:
Cardholders are eligible to claim the rebate for premises where they live alone or share the home with:
The following cards are ineligible for the Electricity Concession:
Want to check if you are eligible? Try our online tool that helps you find financial assistance options.
Create your action plan here: https://www.agl.com.au/heretohelp
For information about Concessions visit the Queensland Government website at: https://www.communities.qld.gov.au/communityservices/community-support/queensland-government-concess...
Further information about this concession can be downloaded below:
If you’re looking to save energy and reduce your energy bills there’s more to it than just switching appliances off. You also want them to run as efficiently as they can while they’re on. That’s why energy ratings are important.
An appliance with a good energy rating uses less energy than one with a less efficient rating, and can save you money in the long term on your energy usage.
What is an energy rating?
You’ve probably seen the energy rating stickers on the front of many common appliances.
The Energy Rating Label or ERL system is a joint initiative of the Australian Commonwealth, state and territory governments, as well as the New Zealand government.
It allows you to quickly compare the energy efficiency of similar appliances.
The sticker shows from one to six or ten stars. A higher number of stars means the appliance is more energy efficient. It also shows an annual energy consumption figure in kilowatt hours (kWh) per year.
Why should I pay attention to energy ratings?
The Energy Rating Label allows you to consider the energy consumption of an appliance in addition to its price and other features.
Appliances can account for up to 30% of a home's energy usage. So, using an energy-efficient appliance can save you energy and money on your energy usage and helps you do your bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the product.
Do appliances with good energy ratings cost more?
Not necessarily. Pricing depends on the appliance’s features and brand as well as the energy rating. Sometimes models with high star ratings can cost more. However, choosing a cheaper product with a lower star rating could end up costing you more in running costs (ie. energy usage costs) over the longer term.
You can use the energy label like a "second price tag" to help you decide which appliance to buy, and consider how much it might cost to run.
And, depending on where you live, there could be rebates available to assist you with purchasing more energy-efficient appliances.
Which appliances can I compare?
The energy rating label is mandatory for appliances including:
While energy ratings are important in making an informed decision about which appliance to buy, the way in which you use your appliances also makes a difference to energy consumption.
~Authored by Emma Sorensen
A supply charge is a daily amount your energy provider charges to supply electricity or gas to your property, and is not related to your usage. To arrive at the supply charge on your bill, we multiply the daily rate by the number of days your energy is supplied.
You'll need to make sure that they can access your site. This means:
If your site is not in a satisfactory condition, the Distributor will attempt to speak to the site contact and alert us to advise of any issues. If we are contacted, we will then notify you.