Household Energy

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The Household Energy Program supports Hume households, particularly those vulnerable to bill stress, to reduce bills, improve thermal comfort and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at home through our solar and energy efficiency programs.

Hume Solar Roll-out

It’s a great time to consider installing solar at home. By generating renewable energy on your roof, solar systems reduce electricity bills and help our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Victorian Government is currently offering generous rebates of $1400 and interest-free loans of up to the same amount for eligible households.

To help make the decision to install solar even easier, Council has partnered with the Yarra Energy Foundation (YEF). YEF have gone through a competitive process to select an accredited solar supplier that is offering good quality systems at a reasonable price for Hume residents.

To find out more and to get a free, no-obligation quote click the button below or call YEF on (03) 7037 6040

Register for a quote

 

Stephanie and her parents installed solar panels to their homes with ease thanks to the Hume Solar Rollout program. 

 

$250 Power Saving Bonus and Victorian Energy Compare

The Power Saving Bonus (PSB) is a one-off $250 payment to Victorian households to help ease cost of living pressure and encourage them to compare energy offers and save money.

Applications are open between 1 July 2022 until 30 June 2023.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the PSB you must be:

  • a Victorian residential energy consumer (have a residential electricity account)
  • the account holder.

Only one payment is available per household.

Anyone who has previously claimed the PSB will be able to claim the new payment again from 1 July 2022.

Victorian Energy Compare is the Victorian Government’s free energy price comparison website that allows you to find the cheapest electricity or gas plan for your household.

Victorian Energy Compare makes it easy to compare and find your best energy offer. All you need to do is answer a few simple questions about your energy usage, and the website will show you the best available offers based on your energy needs.

Typical households can save on average $330 every year by comparing offers.

For more information and to compare offers and apply for the bonus, go to the website Compare Energy Victoria.

Energy efficiency for a low cost comfortable home and a safe climate

Heating and cooling

1. Consider upgrading to a new split system for heating and cooling

Heating and cooling appliances are the largest users of energy in a home. A reverse-cycle air conditioner the most cost-effective and energy-efficient ways to provide heating and cooling for your home in one system, for year-round comfort. If you already have a split system air-conditioner, start using it for heating instead of your existing gas or electric heating to save on bills and to help our environment. Find out if you're eligible for the $1,000 rebate at Heating Upgrades Victoria.

2. Reduce the space you heat or cool

Shut doors to areas you’re not using and only cool or heat the rooms where you spend the most time instead of the whole home. Smaller spaces cost less to heat and cool.

3. Close blinds/curtains

Make sure your curtains or blinds seal your windows properly to keep the heat inside during winter. In summer keep your curtains or blinds close during the day to keep the sun off your windows so your home will remain cooler.

4. Adjust room temperature

Air conditioners and heaters are the biggest users of energy in the home. Set the temperature to 24-26°C in Summer and 18- 20°C in Winter. Every degree can add 10 per cent on to your bills.

Hot Water Unit

5. Rebates

Solar Victoria provides rebates for more than just solar (pv) panels. You can access up to a $1,000 rebate for installing solar hot water and heat pump hot water systems. You can apply for this rebate even if you’ve already claimed a solar PV rebate through Solar Homes program. For more information and to apply please visit Solar Hot Water Rebate.

6. Use hot water efficiently

Water heating is the next largest user of energy in the home. Limit the use of hot water by washing clothes in cold water, using eco settings in dishwashers and taking shorter showers. If your hot water system needs replacing consider an electric heat pump and check Victorian Government rebates (see section below).

7. Use free alternatives to a dryer

To save money and reduce your energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, dry clothes on a clothesline or clothes horse/airer instead of in a dryer.

Other ways to be energy efficient

8. Get the best energy deal (and the $250 Power Saving Bonus)

You may not be receiving the best offer on your electricity and gas bill. Call your energy retailer and request to be put on their best offer or compare all offers in the market at  Energy Compare. The average Victorian home can save $330 a year.  And you can access a one off $250 Power Saving Bonus.

9. Insulate your roof

An insulated ceiling can make a big difference to your energy bills. Effective ceiling insulation can save you up to 20 per cent on your cooling and heating costs.

10. Seal draughts

Cracks under doors and around window frames can also let a lot of cold air into your home in winter (or let hot air in in summer).  Simple draught sealing or ‘door snake’ products from hardware stores can make a big difference to home comfort.

11. Unplug appliances that you don't use

Empty and turn off a second fridge when not needed. A second fridge/freezer could easily be costing $200 or more a year to run. Do not locate it in a hot garage or veranda. 

Additional steps

12. Invest In solar panels

Solar systems reduce electricity bills and help our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Council’s Solar Roll-out program makes it easier for Hume households to install solar and access generous rebates Hume Solar Roll Out.

13. Consider GreenPower

GreenPower is renewable energy (such as wind power and solar power) from government-accredited sources.  Choosing to buy carbon neutral GreenPower from your electricity retailer may cost a little more but often savings from energy efficiency measures in your home can more than cover this cost. And the Vic Energy Compare website can help you compare GreenPower options too.  You can select the amount of GreenPower that works for your budget.

14. Use efficient appliances & transition to all electric

When buying new appliances always compare energy use to make sure you are getting a good value option. If you have appliances that run on gas consider transitioning to fully electric when these appliances need replacing. The priority order for replacement is in order of energy use: heating, hot water, oven and cook-top. For more information see Renew website.

More information

Visit the Australian Government's Your Energy Savings web page, Sustainability Victoria's energy saving web page and the Consumer Policy Research Centre's Energy Info Hub for more tips.

Council has created three videos on energy saving in the home in alternate languages:

  1. Energy saving in the home in Arabic
  2. Energy saving in the home in Assyrian
  3. Energy saving in the home in Turkish

Are you experiencing bill stress?

Utility Relief Grant Scheme (URGS)

Relief grants of up to $650 for each of your three utilities (electricity, gas and water) may be available for paying overdue energy or water bills are available to low-income Victorians experiencing unexpected hardship.

Who can apply for the grant?

An account holder who has one of the following eligible concession cards:

  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Health Care Card
  • Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card.

If you don’t have one of these cards but are part of a low-income household, you may also be able to apply. Your energy retailer or water corporation will ask you some questions to check if you are eligible.

The grant is available to renters and homeowners.

To request the grant call your energy retailer and/or your water corporation to apply over the phone.

If you have one of these concession cards listed above you will also be eligible for concessions on your energy bills.

Annual Electricity Concession

The Annual Electricity Concession gives you a 17.5 per cent discount off your household electricity usage and service costs. Call your electricity retailer and give your concession card details over the phone.

Winter Gas Concession

The Winter Gas Concession provides a 17.5 per cent discount off your gas usage and service costs from 1 May to 31 October each year. Phone your gas retailer and give your concession card details over the phone.

Other Concession (eg. Medical Cooling, Control Load, Life Support)

Depending on your individual circumstances you may be eligible for other types of concessions and benefits, contact the Concessions Information Line on 1800 658 521 or visit: Energy Victoria to find out more.

Good Shepherd - No Interest Loans (NILs)

No interest loans of up to $2,000 may be available for eligible households for essential households appliances (eg. heaters, washing machines) to learn more please visit:  Good Shephard Services

Energy and Water Ombudsman

The Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) (EWOV) is a not-for-profit dispute resolution scheme that helps Victorian customers resolve complaints with their electricity, gas (including LPG) and water companies. An ombudsman is another name for an independent service that investigates and resolves complaints. EWOV is free to Victorian customers and are independent, meaning they’re not on anyone’s side. EWOV look at the facts and circumstances of every complaint to make a fair and reasonable decision as quickly as possible. You can contact EWOV on 1800 500 509 or visit the Energy and Water Ombudsman Website

Financial Councillors

Financial counsellors are qualified professionals who provide information, advice and advocacy to people in financial difficulty. Their services are non-judgmental, free, independent and confidential. Financial counsellors are based in community organisations throughout Australia, from large charities to smaller community centres, as well as local government agencies. Call 1800 007 007 or visit: Moneysmart to find a financial counselling agency near you.

Who can I contact for more information?

Call Council’s Household Energy Officer - Sushant on 0447 772 429 OR email at sushantg@hume.vic.gov.au

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