Cut your energy consumption in half with this neat new innovation
Article by Ben Tosi
Coming out of the quaint Queensland Sunshine Coast is the claim that Aussies could soon cut their energy consumption in half, resulting in cheaper power bills and much-needed relief for energy grids across the country.
The nifty new gadget behind all of this is the Gswitch, a home energy management system designed to empower homeowners with a new set of tools that will help quash their wasteful energy habits and maximise their solar-generated power.
The Gswitch is making headlines after it recently announced a partnership with energy retailer, Energex and property development groups Stockland and Thompson Sustainable Homes to showcase the product in a new Caloundra-based housing estate, Aura.
The new innovation will be rolled out across select households in Noosa, Palmview and Warana as part of a 12 month trial.
"As an organisation that provides electricity to 1.4 million homes and businesses in South East Queensland, technology such as this may have the potential to reduce unnecessary demand on the region's power grid which assists in providing more affordable power," said Energex’s Demand Management Channel Manager, Ben Carberry.
So, how does this thing work? Installed on your home’s switchboard, The Gswitch gives you all of the real-time energy usage features your standard smart meter would but also allows you to control, direct, distribute and schedule when you use your solar power.
The data it generates is visualised on an online dashboard that you can access via your smartphone or computer - allowing you to see exactly where and when you’re using precious and increasingly pricey, kilowatts.
The man behind the innovation, Mark Coates, says the Gswitch will make sure you’re only using energy when you actually need to be.
“The Gswitch transforms the household from one that consumes power without constraint to one that only uses the power that it needs. And it does it without you having to think about it,” he said.
Standing out among a stack of features is the use of bluetooth technology to detect when somebody is home, cutting off costly standby energy when people aren’t and taking away the tedious task of turning appliances off at the powerpoint.
In August, Origin Energy announced they would be rolling out similar tech that allowed households to track which of their home appliances are sucking up the most power. But the Gswitch differs in that it will actually reduce your usage.
“This unit offers up to 50% power reduction on multiple fronts - providing energy efficiency, reducing wasted power and educating homeowners about how the power is used in their home,” said Coates.
With summer officially here, Aussies may be looking for a way to taper energy usage right now! If that is the case, check out our top tips to keeping both the your kilowatt count and temperature low this holiday period.
How to cut energy costs and keep cool over summer
- Stay shady: On days when the mercury is expected to climb pretty quickly, close windows, pull the curtains and shut the blinds - a dark room stays cooler for longer.
- Cut cooking time: Ovens and stoves are huge energy drainers so make the most of summery salads, seafood and fresh fruits that don’t require much cooking.
- Stock the fridge: On the topic of food, a well-stocked fridge retains the cool much easier than an empty one. So keep yours topped up, check its seals and keep the thermostat at 3 degrees for the fresh food compartment and -18 degrees for the freezer to keep your fridge running at maximum efficiency.
- Tune out and get out: You know what’s better than Netflix? Nature! Turn off those consoles and TVs and get outside - the great outdoors are pretty awesome.
Make sure you’re on the best value energy plan heading into summer by using our Compare & Save Energy tool. You can find out which providers are offering the best deals in your state, by checking out Mozo’s Experts Choice Awards for electricity.