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Articles in the Electricity Category

Electricity »

[25 May 2009 | 11 Comments | ]
Converting Halogen Downlights To CFL Downlights

My experience with changing halogen downlights over to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and the electricity savings I measured.

Electricity »

[23 May 2009 | 32 Comments | ]
My Chest Fridge Conversion

I finally got the chance to set up my chest freezer as a fridge a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been testing it out so I could write up this post.

You may recall I mentioned that we had an old fridge/freezer running in our garage as a second fridge. With three young kids in the house, we go through a lot of milk, juice, yoghurt and wine. Having a second fridge lets us buy larger quantities of these things once a week, instead of needing to go to the …

Electricity »

[18 May 2009 | 29 Comments | ]

OK, our solar power system actually got installed a week ago, but I wanted some photos so I had to wait until the weekend.

Anyway, we now have solar power!

We got a 1 kW grid-connected solar power system from Earth Utility. Once again (we previously got solar hot water from them), their service was great and the finished job looks very neat and professional. The electrician who did the installation was very knowledgeable and friendly.

WARNING: Earth Utility appears to be in trouble (updated 28-04-2010).

The system consists of 6 photovoltaic panels on the …

Electricity »

[23 Apr 2009 | 2 Comments | ]

My FridgeMate Mk II digital temperature controller arrived in the post today.

If you are thinking of a similar project, or just looking for home brew supplies, I highly recommend MashMaster.

I left a question about the FridgeMate for them via their web site, and they answered it within a few hours (and this was outside of business hours). That’s always an early sign of great customer service. They answered my questions about the product very clearly, and even gave me some tips on using it for a chest fridge.

The parcel arrived …

Electricity »

[21 Apr 2009 | 9 Comments | ]

One of the big energy hogs in our house is our clunky old second fridge in the garage. I measured its energy consumption with the MS6115 power meter, and it uses a whopping 2.5 kWh/day!

Many Aussie houses have one of these beasts, which is a big reason why the NSW State Government is now offering money to people to hand them in for recycling.

Simply getting rid of the fridge is difficult, though. We have three young children, and so go through a lot of milk, yoghurt, and juice (and, truth …

Electricity, Illawarra Councils »

[31 Mar 2009 | 2 Comments | ]

If you want to reduce your energy bills, you need to know what it is in your house that’s using all the electricity. An Efergy energy meter is a great way to do that.

The Efergy meter is installed inside your electricity meter box, and transmits real-time energy usage information to a display panel inside your house. You can then go around the house turning lights and appliances on and off, and see the effect they have on your electricity usage. It can also add up your electricity usage over time, …

Electricity »

[26 Mar 2009 | 7 Comments | ]

The NSW Government has been trialling their Fridge Buyback Scheme in Sydney for a while now, and starting next month the scheme will be broadened to include the Illawarra. At this stage it will only encompass the Wollongong and Shellharbour Council areas, but hopefully it will extend to Kiama in the near future.

The scheme aims to encourage people get rid of their big, old spare fridges (larger than 250 litres and older than 10 years), by paying owners $35 for them. These old clunkers cost on average $190 a year …

Electricity, Events »

[23 Mar 2009 | 8 Comments | ]

Are you interested in learning more about getting grid-connected solar power for your home?

You may be able to take advantage of the $8000 means-tested Government rebate which ends 30th June 2009, or the new non-means-tested solar credit scheme starting from 1st July 2009!

Jamberoo FutureCare will be hosting two information sessions, in association with Solar Shop Australia. The presentation will explain the technology, existing government rebates and the new solar credit scheme.

Full information is contained in the Jamberoo FutureCare Solar Power Information Sessions Flyer.

JFC is organising a discounted group purchase through …

Electricity »

[20 Mar 2009 | 7 Comments | ]

We had our solar hot water system installed about 4 weeks ago now. I wanted to wait a little while for it to settle in before writing up our experiences.

We got a Chromagen system – they’ve been around for a long time, and seem pretty well-made and reliable. We bought through Earth Utility, one of the sponsors of the Sustainable Illawarra program we’re participating in. Note that we didn’t get any special deals or anything; we were just another regular customer to them. The service and price were both excellent.

WARNING:¬†Earth …

Electricity, Transport, Waste, Water »

[13 Feb 2009 | 6 Comments | ]

If you live in Australia, did you know that you can now access green retrofits for your house for free?

Check out all the sustainable retrofit rebates available here in Australia. Make sure you scroll to the bottom and find your state ones, too.

You could get a rainwater tank, a solar hot water system, solar electricity, roof insulation or a number of other items.

OK, maybe I’m a bit cheeky calling this stuff ‘free’. Some certainly is (like the free roof insulation), but some you will still have to pay something for …