Day: June 26, 2013

How our electricity usage compares to others

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EnergyAustralia, the electricity supplier we use for our house in inner-city Sydney, has been doing a big promotion of their eWise online tool. To quote:

eWise is a free and exclusive online tool available to EnergyAustralia residential electricity customers. It compares your electricity usage to similar homes in your area and shows you where you could save money.

It’s great to see these kinds of initiatives. While they’re not perfect (more on this below), they help to the issues more mainstream, and hopefully give people constructive suggestions on what they can do.

Our stats

The at-a-glance comparison of our hose to 'other similar houses'.
The at-a-glance comparison of our house to ‘other similar houses’.

In the latest bill, we’re using an average of 10kWh per day, which is actually pretty good I think! During the year, our usage varies between 8 and 10kWh, depending on the season (more in winter than summer).

Some observations

In no particular order, some observations:

  • Who exactly are these “more efficient” homes? 29% less energy equates to 6-7kWh per day, which is impressively low!
  • While the comparison is good, the tips are weak. Turn off the lights — this isn’t exactly going to make much of a dent in the 29% difference.
  • Considering all the eco changes we’ve done (LED lights, no aircon, massive insulation, double & triple glazing, efficient appliances, etc), is there any practical way of closing the gap between us and the supposed best case?
  • EnergyAustralia is obviously only looking at electricity usage, leaving gas usage out of the picture, which doesn’t really make sense from an eco perspective.
  • Solar panels (which we have, and get the rebate for) aren’t considered at all.
  • While it is possible to fill in extra details about our house (do we have aircon? a pool?, etc) it’s still not clear how eWise determines the like-for-like comparisons it offers.

In short, the tool is broadly a good idea, and I’d encourage people to sign up, just for interest.

Can and should it be further improved: definitely yes. Hopefully they’re not planning to now just sit on what they’ve launched…

What do you think?

Are these types of online tools useful?
What could be done to make them more effective?