Turnbull government reviews energy legislation to cut power bills

By Ceyda Erem ·

For the first time, the Turnbull government will be conducting a review of the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act (GEMS) for energy efficient appliances.

The review will then give the Federal Government permission to set a national energy efficient standard for Aussie home appliances and equipment, potentially reducing energy bills.

The GEMS legislation is reported to have saved the country between $879 million and $1.58 billion and cut carbon emissions by between 4.5 and 6.9 megatonnes, but despite these figures, the Turnbull government reported a 0.7% increase in emissions in June 2017.

“To date, standards under the GEMS Act have saved the average household between $140 and $220 on their electricity bill each year,” said Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg.

RELATED: Renewables could be the cheapest energy option sooner than you think

“From 2015 to 2020, the act is estimated to have reduced Australia’s emissions by at least 27 megatonnes; that’s the same as taking over eight million cars off the year for a year.”

Energy Consumers Australia's Director of Advocacy and Communications, Chris Alexander believes that the GEMS review will positively affect energy affordability for Aussies, giving them more control over their energy usage and bills.

"This review is an opportunity to make sure the standards and rules around appliances are working for consumers, that they reflect new insights about the way consumers use energy and the rapid improvements we’re seeing in technology,” explained Alexander in a recent statement to Fairfax Media

RELATED: Following in South Australian footsteps: Victorian renewable energy use on the up

With energy efficiency and affordability on the mind of many Aussies around the country, households may be unknowingly switching on appliances guzzling down more energy than necessary.  

So if you’re thinking ridding your home of energy sucking appliances, we’ve got five places to start: 

  • Old appliances - As they say: out with the old and in with the new! You could shave the top off your energy bill by breaking up with your old ‘big ticket’ appliances, like your washing machine and replacing them with a sparkling new (and energy efficiency) model.
  • The pool - Now we’re not going to ask you to throw out your pool, especially with summer temperatures hitting the 45°C mark. Instead, try heating your pool with solar power and use a pool pump timer to reduce energy usage. And while you’re at it, skip the pool cleaner and roll up your sleeves to clean out those pesky leaves.
  • Leaving your appliance on standby - We all like to be lazy from time to time, like leaving our laptop or TV on standby, unintentionally draining energy, so make the effort to shut these appliances down completely when you’re not using them.
  • Power points - Power points are another area where laziness often gets the better of us. But did you know that leaving power points switched on can add as much as 10% to your total energy bill?
  • Light bulbs - And while you’re running to switch off the power points, you might want to think about switching out your incandescent light bulbs for fluorescent or LED bulbs. 

But if you really want to slash your energy, Mozo research found that you could save up to $929 on their energy bill by switching providers! 

Our Energy Cost Cruncher compares local plans and quotes in your area and can help you make the switch today.

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Ceyda Erem
Ceyda Erem
Money writer

Ceyda Erem is Mozo’s authority on Energy, as well as having broader expertise as a personal finance writer. She loves to put her researching and writing talents into stories that help our readers to make more informed financial choices, whether that’s about finding the best energy deal or writing about the latest sneaky bank tricks. Ceyda has a Bachelor of Arts (major in writing) from Macquarie University.