Published: The Daily Telegraph Date: 10 October 2010
Stand-out participant ... Renae Dimovski and son Lucas.
Source: The Sunday Telegraph
Energy assessors describe Peter and Renae Dimovski as stand-out performers this week following the great behavioural changes they've made to save power.
Participants in the Sunday Telegraph – Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW's Save Power Challenge, the Illawarra couple, and their toddler Lucas, have managed to slash power usage from an average daily use of over 40kWh to under 10kWh per day on average since the Challenge started, with minimal sacrifice.
A new shower timer has got them down to four-minute showers, and re-using towels, rather than changing them every day, has almost halved their weekly washing.
It was getting ridiculous – every week I was washing 21 towels, Renae says.
Hanging clothes out to dry, rather than using the dryer, has further reduced their power consumption.
Switching off the bar fridge, which, unless they're entertaining, only holds a few cans of drink, was another simple change. The couple has also modified their pool filter to run for an hour in the morning and afternoon, rather than two hours each. Renae even replaced a gym session with some vigorous yard work to avoid using the electric blower.
An energy monitor in the family's kitchen, which was installed as part of the Challenge, has helped to keep the couple motivated in their energy saving quest.
On the opposite side of Sydney, Chrystalla Soghomonian has also adapted well to her energy assessor's recommendations, but convincing husband Shant to comply has been a bigger challenge. Getting the 10- to 15-minute shower man down to four minute showers was a significant breakthrough.
Due to give birth to their first child within the week, Chrystalla aims to start out as a mum with good energy habits.
Our last electricity bill was $1000 just for the two of us, she says. With the baby on the way, I don't want it to become even worse.
Becoming aware of peak and off-peak energy periods has been one of the greatest lessons the couple has learnt from their energy assessor.
They now wait until before they go to bed to run the dishwasher, so that it uses off-peak power, and do the same with the pool pump, which used to run for six hours during peak time each day.
Seeing their energy monitor tick away has helped encourage them to eliminate needless power wastage, such as leaving the bathroom fan and heat lamps on after showering, and keeping the kitchen lights on when they're watching television.