Home Energy Audit Toolkits (HEAT) are currently available to borrow at the City of Hobart Customer Service Centre free of charge to Hobart residents. The HEAT provides practical tools and information to help householders conduct a simple home electricity use audit, but more importantly it will help you in making decisions that could save you hundreds of dollars each year.
Currently in Tasmania the average household uses around 10,000 kWh of electricity each year. On present prices (February 2014) this costs about $2700 for electricity plus $400 in fixed charges. With a little knowledge and care it should be possible to cut your electricity use by 25% giving savings of $575 per year. If you are already very careful about how you use electricity it will be harder to make this much saving, but you might be able to improve your comfort levels without using more electricity.
In a typical Tasmanian home 50% of the electricity use is for heating, a further 25% for heating hot water, followed by 9% for cooking and 7% for the fridge and freezer. However every household is different and the HEAT can help you to understand your own household electricity use.
The Toolkits are available at all Tasmanian Councils and some community organisations, and since February 2010 approximately 2300 households statewide have taken up the opportunity to measure their electricity use with overwhelmingly positive feedback being received to date:
- 'It sure busts a lot of myths about what applications use power.'
- 'I was able to see how much power I was wasting... it was very good. Thank you for offering this service!!'
- 'The separate sheets for each type of of appliance/heating item were very informative.'
Each HEAT contains:
- Power-Mate - Enables measurement of electricity consumption of all electrical appliances with a standard 3-pin plug. Useful for measuring the electricity consumption of appliances such as fridges; televisions, microwaves and computers and their standby consumption.
- Infrared radiometer - Used to check for leaks around fridge doors as well as checking for adequate ventilation behind the fridge/freezer and the effectiveness of ceiling insulation.
- Stopwatch - Assists in determining flow rate of hot water from showers & taps.
- Compass - Assists in identifying: (i) the home's orientation for solar aspect considerations and (ii) suitable orientation of roof aspect for hot water and electricity solar panels.
- Thermometer - Enables measurement of air temperature around houses, hot water system, fridges and freezers.
- Supporting instructions and information sheets including case studies of retro-fitting 2 ordinary Tasmanian houses - Developed specifically for Tasmanian households, they provide instructions on how to use the tools included in the kit and suggestions for doable energy efficient actions for various appliances and/or activities.
Feedback on your experiences using HEAT is sought via the HEAT Feedback survey.
Further supporting documentation and information sheets can be downloaded here:
HEAT was developed through Think South's Regional Climate Change Initiative (RCCI) by the City of Hobart.