Know Your Power Use
I used to think my local council did nothing but collect rubbish and take a long time to approve a tree to be removed. I was mistaken. I started reading the community newspaper, looking on the councils website and reading the bulletin board outside the council and what did I find? The council has a BUCKET load of cool initiatives on offer, many of them free, and all available to the local residents.
I had not seen these before because I didn’t go looking for them and when I did, I became far more impressed with the efforts of local council, so much so I wrote this blog on it.
My favourite little initiative is about helping families to save power in the home. Those of you who pay the electricity bill know the painful feeling you get every quarter as you pay even more money, even if you are using less power! Well my local council, in the northern suburbs of Sydney, and plenty of others are helping you to understand your power consumption so you can do something about it.
The power bill you get each month is meaningless. It provides little direct action assistance to help you save money, apart from the colourful pamphlet included in the envelope. However my KuRingGai council is loaning out power consumption measuring units from the Library. This idea is so brilliantly simple, it is just fantastic. You go to the library and borrow the testing unit. If you don’t know how to use it, you go along to a regular ‘how to use class’, where the library will show you. You take the measuring unit home, run around testing all your devices (even the pool pump!) and you can see how much each is using in power. You grab your electricity bill, times the cost per kilowatt with the amount of kilowatts each device is using and you can see what each device in the home costs to run, per hour of use.
All of a sudden the things you use daily take on a different meaning. The pool costs X to run per week. The TV costs Y, the fridge, the drier etc all have a cost. Your brain starts to ticking over and you start to swap power consuming for non-power consuming, because you can see the direct cost.
Will your bill get smaller? How should I know! However, you will at least know where your money is going and that is good thing. Also you have not had to pay for the equipment to do the testing, it was provided by local council, like many other things.
About Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown is one of Australia's foremost commentators on consumer lifestyle technology. He publishes, produces and hosts CyberShack, is Channel 9's technology expert, and hosts Life & Technology and 2GB and NewsTalk 4BC.
Charlie is able to communicate, educate and inspire a huge audience, without confusing technological jargon.
Life & Technology is on the air Sunday mornings at 10am on 2GB and NewsTalk 4BC.