Family keeps power bill low

June 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

DOWN, DOWN: Fred Stokes from Coolum gives tips on how to keep electricity bills down. Warren Lynam

COOLUM’S Fred Stokes has managed to keep his household power bill under $200 a quarter and he doesn’t use solar.

With electricity bills due to rise by 13.6% from July 1, the Stokes family’s lesson in saving is something many could do with.

The Queensland Competition Authority says average electricity use for a family of four is $501 a quarter (or $2005 a year).

This will go up to $556.25 a quarter (or $2225 a year) after the July 1 price increase.

By making a few simple changes, the Stokes family also uses less than half the water of an equivalent Sunshine Coast household.

And no, he doesn’t make his kids, Joel, 13, and Phoebe, 15, bath together.

Mr Stokes said he decided three years ago to make some basic changes after the family’s electricity bill was hitting more than $300 a quarter.

“One of the first things I did was get rid of the swimming pool,” he said.

He also replaced his home’s normal light bulbs with lower- voltage compact fluorescent light bulbs – the “twirly ones”.

“We also got rid of the big plasma television downstairs,” Mr Stokes said.

And the second “beer and bait” fridge got the toss, saving the household “about $30 a quarter”.

Living in a classic Queenslander saves the family on the need for air-conditioning, thanks to its high ceilings and good airflow.

Mr Stokes does remind his kids to switch off lights and not to stand with the fridge door open, and he also ensures the family switches appliances off at the wall.

The family still lives an ordinary life, with its one television going most of the day, and they cook a roast or use the oven “about three times a week”.

They also water their garden and use the shower, but the family’s last water bill was $232 – well below average.

SAVE ON POWER

 Limit how much you use the heater in winter. Use extra blankets and warm clothes where possible.

 Seal gaps around doors and windows to stop warm air escaping.

 Save more energy by closing off areas that don’t require heating.

Source: http://www.dews.qld. gov.au/energy-water- home/energy-saving/ tips

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