Householders are being confronted with confusing energy savings information on two issues; the real cost of gas, and the issue of “smart meters”.
Energy Rating Systems has done some research to help you make an informed decision.
Gas: Householders with a mix of gas and electrical appliances face an uncertain future in power charges.
Gas companies are in an aggressive marketing drive to entice consumers over but it’s a well-known fact that the industry is in crisis. Australian gas exports have flooded Asia. This glut has collapsed the pricing structure. Asian manufacturers now buy Australian gas at half what Australians pay. Experts predict this scenario will exist until at least 2022.
Do we really need gas? Many traditional household gas users now operate highly inefficient older gas heaters and hot water systems. The running costs of these old appliances can be as much as three times the latest technology of an electrical hot water or heat pump alternative fuelled by solar.
ERS says mixing gas and electricity is a sure-fire way to fuel your spiralling utilities bills.
Smart meters: The current buzzword among power utilities is “smart meter”. They are encouraging householders to upgrade their “old” switchboards for a “modern”, digital version that monitors power usage. While it sounds like a worthy objective, it actually gives the supplier a revolving assessment of your power usage. What does this mean?
Consumer advocate Choice explains: “Smart meters have the potential to be detrimental to consumers if retailers turn them into pre-payment meters rather than post-pay (in which you consume the energy and then get billed for it later, rather than having to pay before consuming the energy). Some consumers may prefer being pre-paid, however retailers may not give the household the option.
“Smart meters can limit the amount of electricity that a house can consume in a certain time – for example, three kilowatt hours over a 30-minute period. This has the potential to be used to restrict energy to consumers with credit issues.”
Choice Warns: “It’s not whether smart meters are a good or bad thing for consumers, but rather how they are used by the networks and retailers or regulated by government.”
ERS says power utilities aren’t in the business of giving consumers something for nothing. Having the power monitoring system installed on the supplier’s side of the switchboard or meter box gives them the potential to control a household’s power usage.
The energy saving systems we sell have their own management controls installed on the customer’s side of the switchboard. This meter system provides better value by allowing the householder to source the best value power from what is available.
Our message is: Don’t rush in to accepting the offer of a utility provider’s switchboard upgrade. Say No its all too early