Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Busting our electricity bills: Part 2

Read the previous article in this series: Busting our electricity bills: Part 1

My portable air conditioner (the neck-tie cooler from the 'Bust Your Household Electricity Bills' pack) has proven a hit for keeping cool in the garden, a place where no air conditioner has ever gone before. This makes it's technology (that crystal stuff that swells to ten times it's size in water) super cool. My bathroom mirror now sports a triangular sticker that reminds me 'short showers save water', that I feel the need to add to with 'and saves power = saves $ + saves carbon = saves the planet'. I guess the sticker writing gurus didn't stick that on there as it may be a little bit more maths than the bathroom can handle. The thermometer is now telling me that it is 29. 1 degrees in my office, despite the breeze from my ceiling fan and the fact that this is the coolest room in my house. Eeep, what is summer going to bring? I feel that I and and my partner Cameron (he grabbed the free drink bottle from the pack as it fit perfectly in his bike drink holder, and because I think he really just wants to be a pirate as it says 'arrhg' on it, which apparently stands for something sustainable which I can't remember) have put in the effort using the resources of our free council pack to reduce our electricity consumption. Onto our next effort...

Electricity pole

I was recently informed by a nice solar engineer when he visited to give me a quote for solar panels (more on that very soon...) that if I am not receiving a discount from my electricity supplier then I should ask one. So I called Energy Australia and asked for a better deal, armed with the information that AGL was offering a 10% discount in exchange for signing a three month contract, plus $175 off the first bill. They offered me 12% off my bills (including the green power component which AGL wasn't discounting) plus $100 off my next bill. This was in exchange for signing a two year contract. Their rates are the same as AGL's for the first and second pricing tiers on a single meter plan. Where Energy Australia and AGL do differ is in the difference of their thresholds of electricity use, that once met, increase the rate to the second pricing tier:

Energy Asutralia:      First  1000kWh/annum @ 24.40c 
                               Next 1000kWh/annum @ 25.50c                    
                               Balance 34.30c      

AGL:                        First 4000kWh/annum @ 24.40c 
                               Next 4000kWh/annum @ 25.50c
                               Balance 34.30c  

These prices exclude GST 
We chose to stay with Energy Austraila, as whilst their usage thresholds were not as generous as AGL, our plans to reduce our consumption meant that the higher discount was likely to give us larger savings than the better threshold. This is however just one example of the challenge of comparing electricity plans offered by various suppliers. Currently the competition is fierce between the electricity suppliers, which puts us, as the consumer, in a fantastic position to negotiate the best deal..... knock, knock.... just on time, believe it or not, that was AGL at my door right now wanting to nab me as a customer.

PROJECTED  COST OF ELECTRICITY for the next 12 months: $3,000.00*
*based on our last 12months of consumption for our house-hold of two

- 12% discount + $100 off the first bill = saving of $460.00*
*over 12 months on projected costs

Read the next article in this series...
Busting our electricity bills: Part 3 - Going Solar 

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