I’m back for a few weeks in one of the places I call home. Mullumbimby is where my brother and his family, and many of my close friends live. Staying with my friend Debra in her Mullumbimby cottage is always a pleasure unless I leave the lights on! Debra is a power woman, in more ways than one. A midwife educator, she knows how to get her power point across as she teaches midwives in northern New South Wales.
On the home front, Debra completed a Sustainable Streets course. One of the modules was about energy. We don’t often think what is powering our phones, televisions, fridges lights, hot water, and computers. That is until we open up our quarterly electricity bills, then it’s often akin being electrocuted. Hair standing on end, steam coming from the top of our heads and lots of swearing at being ripped off by a giant corporation. According to the Australian Government, taking into account the general increase in prices across all goods and services-prices for households increased on average by 72% for electricity and 54% for gas in the 10 years to June 2013.
The thing is electricity is a big nasty business and private companies are invested in our laissez-faire consumption of energy. In fact, energy companies perpetuated the myth that it was better to leave our power on because turning the lights on and off was more expensive. Debra calls bullshit on rip off energy companies.
In the last couple of years, she has reduced her energy bills from $360 to $100 per month. The reason? She is economical with her power. She uses between 4-7 kilowatts per day which works out at $3 per day.
Last summer, Debra went to Europe and had a tenant rent her house. While she implored him to use her methods, as bills were included in the rent, the tenant obviously didn’t heed her tips. He used 25.3 kilowatts per day working out at around $7.50 per day. Doesn’t sound much? It’s $52.50 per week for one person’s electrical needs! Now you can see why your bills are so frigging expensive.
Here’s how Debra keeps her bills low.