Save up to 20 per cent on power bills

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
Energy expert Martin Jurat offers useful tips for people wanting to save on summer power bills.
Camera IconEnergy expert Martin Jurat offers useful tips for people wanting to save on summer power bills. Credit: Supplied

Energy expert and former Geraldton boat builder Martin Jurat offers some useful tips to help save on summer power bills.

“As a former Geraldton resident for 21 years, I have first-hand experience of how the information residents and businesses need can be slow to get to regional areas,” the Amanda Energy director said.

“No electricity supply company ever explained to me that the lowest electricity rate, saving less than 5 per cent, made little difference compared to minimal electricity management saving 20 per cent.”

Mr Jurat said homes could be used like a battery to store the cold to be discharged later.

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“By using your thermostat or air-conditioning at different times over summer, you can save money on your bill while using the same amount of electricity,” he said.

“Almost all modern air-conditioners have timers, and you can use those timers to your advantage.”

Mr Jurat said the Synergy Smart Home Plan rewarded those who strategically managed their electricity with different rates for different times of the day and week, rather than a flat fee.

He said while it looked complicated, it was easy to switch to the plan and it rewarded those who used these techniques.

“According to Synergy’s website, the off-peak charge is about 13¢ cheaper per unit,” Mr Jurat said.

He advised people with solar power homes to cool the house between 10am and 4pm when solar energy was free by setting their air-con a few degrees cooler than usual.

“At 4pm, turn the cooling off, and allow the stored cold to discharge over the rest of the evening,” he said.

“Not only is it a more efficient use of your solar, but it means you’re not using your most expensive appliance when everybody else is, as they get home from work.”

Mr Jurat said a similar principle applied to homes without solar power.

“It’s better to cool your home earlier in the day when it’s not too hot, as opposed to later in the day when demand is higher,” he said.

“You can use the same approach for other high-consumption parts of your home, like a pool pump for those with a pool.”

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