WA’s biggest energy-efficiency trial reduces home power costs

Western Power has released results from Western Australia’s most comprehensive research into energy efficiency that shows households can cut their power bills in half.

Announced in the 2011 annual report into the $73.5 million Perth Solar City program, Western Power ran a series of trials into energy efficiency that showed that even with no cost to the householder, electricity bills can be easily reduced by nearly 10 per cent.

Since its launch in November 2009, the program has become the most comprehensive energy-efficiency initiative in Western Australia and is managed by Western Power on behalf of the Federal Government.

Perth Solar City has developed and implemented more than 30 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for households within Perth’s eastern region. The preliminary results show a broad range of positive results.

Western Power’s acting chief executive officer Paul Italiano said the report shows that energy efficiency has clear benefits for customers – saving money and helping the environment.

“It has become clear that access to real-time energy use information, rather than a bill every 60 days, is key to real savings for households or bigger energy users. Schools that had access to this type of information were able to save up to 54 per cent on their energy costs by better understanding and changing how they used energy,” Mr Italiano said.

“Overall, the seven schools that participated in the schools project saved a total of $16,000 off their power bills in seven weeks; a fabulous result,” he said.

“Households were able to save 8.5 per cent on their power bill by very simple cost-free actions like turning off lights and appliances when not in use.

“On average, households that invested in the benefit of solar energy reduced their power bills by 58 per cent.

“The real benefit of this comprehensive research is that not only Western Power but the state will be better informed in its future decisions.”

Western Power will continue to evaluate the results of the four-year program with final results expected in 2013.

Residents in Perth’s eastern region can still join the Perth Solar City Program until September 30, 2012.