Outsmarting your smart meter ebook


Published on

Find loads of smart meter information in our ebook, including ways to use them to save on your electricity bills.

Published in: Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Outsmarting your smart meter ebook

  1. 1. Outsmarting yoursmart meterA guide to smart meters and how you canuse them for cheaper electricity billsa publication of
  2. 2. This Ebook is designed for readers that have:• Received a letter in the mail informing you that a new smart meter is on the way; or• Had a new smart meter installed already; or• Heard about the roll out of smart meters and want more information.If this is you, read on! This guide contains everything you need to know about the new smart meters as well as howto outsmart them for cheaper electricity bills.Jonfollow @jontipstaJasonfollow @jason_scottyIs this Ebook for you?AuthorsThis guide is a collaboration between Bundl employees Jon Rout and Jason Scott.Jon has written various articles on smart meters and other electricity related subjects. Jason does most of theblogging for Bundl and also manages various content projects. Both Jon and Jason graduated with degrees from theUniversity of Wollongong in 2009.Front cover image: Vassilis OnlineOutsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills2 Outsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills2share this Ebook!share this Ebook!
  3. 3. ContentsWhat is a smart meter anyway? ..................................... 4Do we need smart meters? ..................................... 6Why are (some) people so opposed to smart meters? ..... 8Smart meters in Victoria .....................................11Smart meters in NSW .....................................16How to reduce your electricity bill .....................................18The future of smart meters .................................... 26Outsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills3share this Ebook!
  4. 4. part1What is a smartmeter anyway?share this Ebook!
  5. 5. A smart meter is an electrical device that tracks energy usage and sends these readings directly to your energysupplier. Smart meters are a replacement for the old manual meters and are available for both gas and electricity.They also go by the name of interval meters.A smart meter acts as a communication device between your household and the main database of your energysupplier. Every 30 minutes it measures and records the amount of energy used by your house or business.This information is then sent directly your electricity distributors over wireless networks, eliminating the need forsomeone to come and physically check your meter every month.Recording how much electricity is being used and exactly when it is being used opens up a whole range ofopportunities to better monitor and manage how we use our energy resources.For the individual consumer, smart meters will eliminate the need for some bills to be estimated in advanceand adjusted the following month. In the case of a power outage, meters will alert your supplier in real time ofyour need for a solution. They make waiting a few days for an installer to reconnect the power when you movehouse a thing of the past! All smart meters are controlled remotely and can be turned on and off or switched to adifferent account within a matter of minutes.On a larger scale, the additional information provided by all the data from users around the world empowersproviders and consumers to use power sources more efficiently. Read on to find out how.A typical smart meter. Different models are used around the world.Image from aaron_andererOutsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills5share this Ebook!
  6. 6. part2Do we needsmart meters?share this Ebook!
  7. 7. Smart meters are being installed in homes right across Australia and the world with the US, Canada andmost countries in Europe rolling out some planned installation of them in homes and businesses. What,exactly, is the big deal about these smart meters?• Peak DemandSeasons of extreme weather patterns, like the heat of summer and the cold of winter, generatesurges of electricity usage. To keep up with demand and provide the energy when it is needed,suppliers must spend large amounts of money on network infrastructure. In fact, at least half of allelectricity bills go to infrastructure expenditures; maintaining power lines, connecting distributiongrids and expanding services to new households. If we continue our current usage patterns, as thepopulation continues to grow, infrastructure costs are going to get higher and higher. The costs ofthese upgrades would inevitably be passed onto consumers. Providing incentives to spread poweruse more evenly throughout the day reduces the need for these expensive infrastructure upgrades.• Flexible Pricing / Time Of Use TariffsTo tackle the problem of peak usage, smart meters allow the introduction of flexible pricing,otherwise known as Time Of Use (ToU) Tariffs. Flexible pricing means that the cost of electricitychanges depending on the time of day it is being used. For example, electricity used in peak hours7am – 9am will be more expensive than electricity used in the middle of the day.There are usually three time periods in flexible pricing, although some retailers are only utilizingPeak and Off Peak periods. You will need to check with your electricity retailer on the specific timesfor your area, but the following is a rough guide:Peak: Highest prices when most people are using energy, typically between 7am – 9am and 5pm –8pm.Shoulder: Time period between the two peak periods, typically during the day (9am – 5pm)Off Peak: Night-time when most people are asleep and not much energy is being used (8pm –7am)Check out Part 6 for tips on using the flexible pricing option to save money on your yearlyelectricity bill!Example of a flexible pricing plan showing different times. From theVIC switchon website.Outsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills7share this Ebook!
  8. 8. part3Why are (some)people so opposedto smart meters?share this Ebook!
  9. 9. HENDITlAMETVEThe mandatory installation of smart meters in the majority of homes and businesses in Australia hasbeen one of the most controversial topics in the past decade. The issues behind the most vocal concernsagainst smart meters are debated strongly from both sides. Here we give you an overview of theconcerns and the official responses. Our aim is to empower you to make a decision about your and yourfamily’s well being for yourself.1. Some households cannot shift behaviour and will be penalisedThe primary argument against flexible pricing is that it creates an unfair system. There are manyhouseholds, particularly those in the lower income brackets, that aren’t able to shift their energy usebehaviours due to set work times or schedules. The opposition comes from the possibility that thesehouseholds will be penalised by an increase in electricity bills with the shift to flexible pricing.The responseSwitching to flexible pricing is optional. A Deloitte report suggests that changes to the averageconsumer’s bills, providing there is no change in usage behaviour, would range from a reduction of 4% toan increase of 2%. Allowing the consumer to make the decision about what works best for them in theirparticular situation should reward households that can shift their behaviour without penalising those thatcan’t.2. Installation costs will be recouped in electricity billsThe total cost of refitting every household and business in Victoria, for instance, with new smart metersis estimated between $1.8 – 2 billion. This is a huge investment in infrastructure that is supposed toreduce investment in infrastructure. This cost will be passed on to consumers. Are households actuallyany better off after paying for the additional cost of a smart meter?The responseThe cost to install a new smart meter in your house will be recouped the same way the cost of otherinfrastructure is; from your electricity supplier through your bills. Most retailers are including the cost asan additional line item on your bill or bundling it into a supply charge to spread out the cost over a longtime period. Check the FAQ’s section of your supplier’s website for the cost being charged to you if itisn’t clear.Whether or not the implementation of a smart meter leaves the consumer better or worse off financially isdependent on the individual’s consumption habits. Check out Part 6 for tips on how to take advantage ofthe flexible pricing option for lower electricity bills.Outsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills9share this Ebook!
  10. 10. 3. Perceived Health Effects• RadiationSmart Meters use wireless technologies that emit radiofrequencies. Some citizens, particularlythose who claim electrohypersensitivity1, are concerned about being subject to electromagneticexposures without a choice.ResponseAll smart meters are required to comply with ARPANSA’s2regulated limits of radiofrequencyexposure. Independent studies suggest that smart meters located outside the house emitradiofrequencies at a level of 0.82, less than mobile phones and baby monitors.• OverheatingThere have been disputed reports of smart meters overheating and catching on fire.3The concernis that smart meters are a potential fire hazard and could put families’ lives at risk.ResponseAll smart meters are required to be installed by approved contractors under safety protocols. Aregulating body oversees these procedures and reviews have been carried out confirming thatprocedures are being followed and installations are safe.41 http://stopsmartmeters.com.au/radiowave-sickness-microwave-syndrome/2 http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/smart-meters/safety/health3 http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?page_id=12804 http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/smart-meters/safety/installation-safetyOutsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills10share this Ebook!
  11. 11. part4Smart metersin Victoriashare this Ebook!
  12. 12. 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 01 00%CompletedYear 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013UDMAGNIBHEXHistory of smart meters in VictoriaThe first mandated roll out for smart meters was in 2004 by the Victorian Essential Services Commission(ESC). It was based on the following four considerations:1. Based on an analysis by the ESC, there would be an economic benefit to a state-wide roll out ofsmart meters.12. It was unlikely that the use of smart meters would become widespread without assistance becauseof the large amount of upfront and timely investment and cooperation required.3. Regulation would be required to achieve the economic benefits from a large scale roll out.4. The cost of installing new smart meters was expected to decrease over time, making them becomemore price-competitive with older meters.The Advanced Metering Infrastructure Mandate (AIMRO) was approved in 2007. It required that allhouseholds and businesses have a smart meter installed over a four year period, beginning in 2009.Legislation began to be written surrounding the roll out and trials took place to test available technologies.Over the next few years, the project underwent a number of reviews and additional reports by OakleyGreenwood and Deloitte were produced. In 2010, the new government initiated a review of the project,confirming in 2012 that there were economic benefits to continuing the roll out and the project shouldcontinue.“The Victorian Government has mandated that all residential and small business electricity customers havea smart meter installed by the end of 2013.”Installation of smart metersIn 2009 approved distributors began rolling out smart meters. By the beginning of 2013, over 95% of smartmeters were scheduled to be installed and operational.Smart meter scheduled accumulative completion by year.2The companies responsible for rolling out the installations are the five energy distributors in Victoria;Citipower, Powercor, Jemena, United Energy and SP AusNet. Electricity retailers have been given rights toon charge consumers the costs of installing and maintaining the smart meters.1 http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/smart-meters/resources/reports-and-consultations/advanced-metering-infrastructure-cost-bene-fit-analysis/2.-background2 http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/image/0005/136076/fig6b-regulatory-targets.jpgOutsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills12share this Ebook!
  13. 13. Pricing changes from smart metersCurrently, electricity is charged at the same price per kilowatt hour (kWh), regardless of when it is used orhow much of it is used. Flexible pricing changes this. It allows retailers to set a different cost for energy usage(per kWh) depending on the time of day.Flexible pricing tries to encourage consumers to use energy at times of the day when it is not in high demand.This reduces the overall load on the electricity distribution system and saves in infrastructure costs in thelong term.Research shows that consumers stand to make savings on their electricity bill from the flexible pricingstructure. (We offer tips on how to do this in Part 6) However, if you’re not able to change your usage patternsand use large amounts of energy in peak times you may find that the savings don’t apply to you.For this reason, flexible pricing is optional. Consumers can choose to stay on their current flat-rate tariff anduse electricity at the same price regardless of the time of day.How do I decide if I should switch to flexible pricing?1. Don’t move to flexible pricing immediately. Give your smart meter a couple of months to provide youwith data about how much electricity your household uses and when. You’ll also be able to compareyour household usage with similar households, giving you an idea of whether you have room forimprovement.2. Ask your retailer. Once your retailer has information about your general electricity usage, they will beable to estimate the cost of your previous bill had you been on a flexible pricing scheme.Regulationwould be required to achieve the economic benefits from a large scale roll out.3. Calculate the difference in money a) if you had been on a flexible pricing scheme and b) if you hadalso made behavioural changes to take advantage of it.4. Be realistic about whether you can make the changes necessary. Not everyone will be able to makethose changes. Decide which ones will work for you and your family.5. Compare the two and choose the cheaper option!Remember, you can change your mind if you want to. If you switch to a flexible pricing structure and find thatit’s not working for you, you can change back to a flat rate tariff anytime before March 2015. Just keep in mindthat you must have been on the flat rate tariff with that provider before; if you change providers and begin onthe flexible pricing plan, you will need to stay on that plan.Flexible pricing is scheduled to be available from mid-2013.Who pays for the smart meter installations?The costs to the distributors of installing and maintaining the smart meters are passed onto the retailerswho then pass the costs to the individual consumer. Most retailers are including the cost of the smart meteras part of the regular monthly electricity bill to spread the cost out over a period of time.Some retailers are including this cost in the ‘additional services’ line on your electricity bill. This may becalled a Supply Charge or Service to Property Charge. Some retailers are splitting the cost specific toinstalling your smart meter onto a different line to maintain transparency.Outsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills13share this Ebook!
  14. 14. CitipowerPowercor SP AusNetJemenaUnitedEnergyVICConsumers have always paid an amount towards installation and maintenance of their meters. Replacingevery single meter with a new smart one incurs additional costs and it is this cost that is being recoupedthrough users bills. To keep costs fair and as low as possible, they are being recovered from all customersover the same period of time, regardless of whether a smart meter has been installed or not. Thealternative, of billing street by street, is more expensive for everyone involved. Charges are regulated bythe Australian Energy Regulator.These charges have been a part of your electricity bill since January 2010.Monitoring usageEvery 30 minutes your smart meter is sending information about your energy consumption to a centraldatabase maintained by your energy retailer. You can access this data and see your household’s energyconsumption patterns through online portals.At the time of writing, the following retailers had fully operational web portals or announced the launch ofweb portals for customers to check their energy usage:• AGL Energy - My AGL IQ1• Origin Energy - Origin Smart2• Energy Australia (previously Tru Energy) - eWise3The following distributors have web portals for use with smart meters:• Jemena Electricity (North Western Melbourne) - Electricity Outlook4• United Energy (South East Melbourne & Mornington Peninsula) - Energy Easy5• SP Ausnet (Northern and Eastern Victoria) - MyHomeEnergy6The 5 electricity distributors in Victoria1 http://www.agl.com.au/home/MyAGLIQ/Pages/default.aspx2 http://www.originenergy.com.au/originsmart3 http://www.energyaustralia.com.au/ewise4 https://electricityoutlook.jemena.com.au/5 https://energyeasy.ue.com.au/6 https://www.myhomeenergy.com.au/ui/GWRMain.htmlOutsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills14share this Ebook!
  15. 15. OMMYNONSECOREWhy use an online portal?1. See your energy usageIf you’ve ever wondered whether having that heater on all evening cost you a lot in your energybills, now you can find out. You may be surprised at how much energy is used by your householdand when!2. Compare your usage to other householdsMost web portals offer a service that allows you to compare the amount of energy your home isusing to similar homes. This will give you an idea of whether you have room for improvement in theway your household uses energy.3. Make decisions to reduce your energy billArmed with the information about what your energy use, you can make decisions about how to useit in the future, potentially saving you money and lowering your energy consumption.4. Set and track energy savings goalsSome portals have included an energy saving goal feature, letting you track how much electricity,dollars and greenhouse gas emissions you have saved when compared with previous usage.Privacy of your dataThere are strict guidelines in place for how the information about your energy usage can be collected andused. All companies must comply with the Federal Privacy Act (1988) including proper security processesand staff checks for protection of the information. Additionally, the smart meter data in particular is subjectto extra confidentiality rules as set out in the documents already governing the use of your electricity data.1A review of the privacy program by Lockstep Consulting showed that no information from the smart metershad been given out illegally. It confirmed that controls over the data are strong and the technology used bythe smart meters is secure. The wireless links between the devices and networks are encrypted and do notuse the internet1 http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/smart-meters/privacyOutsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills15share this Ebook!
  16. 16. OMMYNONSECOREpart5Smart metersin NSWshare this Ebook!
  17. 17. Lorem Ipsum123 Everywhere AvenueCity, St 00000History of smart meters in NSWSince 2004, AusGrid has installed all new and replacement electricity meters with smart meters.1Approximately 400,000 AusGrid customers now have a smart meter installed but only 250,000 of them areon Time of Use contracts. There is no additional cost to the consumer for the installation of smart metersbeing replaced by AusGrid, however, if you want to upgrade of your own accord, you may need to wear thecost.AusGrid has also been participating in a $100 million trial project known as Smart Grid Smart City,2involving around 30,000 households, aiming to get a better understanding of how new technologies cansave energy and money for New South Wales households.RolloutThe NSW Government has recognized the future benefit of smart meters and wants to roll out more.However, wary of the controversy surrounding the Victorian mandated roll out, particularly the costblowouts, they are taking some time to work out the best plan of attack. So far, recommendations havebeen to keep it market-led (not compulsory) and focussed on what will provide the consumer the mostbenefit.3Smart meter taskforceThe NSW Government’s Smart Meter taskforce released a discussion paper late 2012 calling forsubmissions which closed end of February 2013. The discussion paper listed the following principles to beconsidered in any smart meter rollout:1. Consumers should not pay higher charges for smart meters;2. A Government mandated rollout should be avoided;3. The government has a role in promoting consumer acceptance;4. The rollout of smart meters and time of use prices are not in themselves sufficient to drivesignificant demand reductions.41 http://www.ausgrid.com.au/Common/Our-network/Metering/Meter-upgrades.aspx#.UVQBn3BDKBI2 http://www.smartgridsmartcity.com.au/About-Smart-Grid-Smart-City.aspx3 http://bundl.com.au/news/smart-meters-nsw-coming/4 Download disccusion paper: http://engage.haveyoursay.nsw.gov.au/document/show/585Outsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills17share this Ebook!
  18. 18. part6How to reduce yourelectricity billshare this Ebook!
  19. 19. Over past few years, the average Australian household saw increases in electricity bills from between15% to 50%. These extra costs are hurting consumer pockets and making everyone reconsider how muchelectricity they use on a daily basis.Image taken from Rise of the Electricity Bill Infographic1If you’re like most people, you’re only vaguely aware of how much energy has been used until the bills arrive!With the introduction of smart meters and the availability of online portals for real-time reports, it’s a goodidea to make a habit of checking your electricity consumption once a week. Some portals will send you anemail with an update to help you stay on top of it. If the internet isn’t your thing, or you want immediate (ratherthan daily) information, you may want to consider investing in an In Home Display (IHD). These are small,portable, wireless devices that read information from the smart meter and feed it back to you instantly via asmall screen. Check Part 7 for more information.Now that you’re armed with the information of how much energy is costing you, let’s take a look at how youcan reduce it. Of course, there are some things we know may use up a lot of energy (like air con on a boilinghot day or a 50 inch plasma screen to watch the Boxing Day match) that we just can’t bear to give up! That’sokay. You can still save money by making small changes in a) how much electricity you use and b) when youuse your electricity (if you are on a smart meter flexible pricing plan).1 http://bundl.com.au/blog/the-rise-of-the-electricity-bill-infographic/Outsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills19share this Ebook!
  20. 20. Outsmart your smart meter by using electricity when its cheapestSmart meters are crucial in providing this solution because they allow flexible pricing (otherwise known asTime of Use Tariffs). ToU Tariffs charge electricity at peak hours of the day at higher prices than at off peakhours of the day.The chart below shows how a typical Queensland household uses energy throughout the day.The regular daily cycle peaks in the morning as everyone gets up for work, drops throughout the day as wego about our business and then peaks again for dinner and bedtime. The night as every one sleeps is offpeak period when not much electricity is used.Although this is a more complicated system than the flat rate method, the key to using your smart meterto save money on your power bills is to time the use of electrical devices during off peak periods whenpossible.Identify your power guzzlersUnfortunately the monitoring data from your smart meter doesn’t break down your electricity usage byappliance as most appliances aren’t smart meter ready yet. But we can get a good idea which appliancesare chewing through electricity from the following graph from the NSW Independent Pricing and RegulatoryTribunal (IPART).Outsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills20share this Ebook!
  21. 21. 10 Days!Formulate a plan of attackKnowing (or at least having a good idea) which appliances are using the mostelectricity allows you to formulate your plan of attack around shifting usage ofthose appliances to a time of day where it is cheaper. We’ve started you off withthe following common electricity guzzlers.Air ConditionersIf you have a set system, time the air conditioner to do the major part of coolingdown the house in the off-peak period (for example, from 4:30pm – 5pm beforeyou get home) or in the hour before you wake up. Particularly in the morningif you are only in the house for an hour before leaving for work, setting the airconditioner to cool the place from 6am – 7am before you get up will, in most warmtemperatures, keep the place cool until you leave the house.Pool PumpsContrary to popular belief pool pumps do not need to be on 24/7. In fact, theycan do a good job of keeping your pool clean by running as little as 6-8 hoursday. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of the off-peak electrical prices.Turn the pool pump on before you go to bed and turn it off when you get up in themorning.Washing machine / dryer / dishwasherAll of these appliances can be set to run at off-peak or shoulder periods. Forexample, you could leave switching on the washing machine until right before youleave the house for the day. Many washing machines come with a delay button,allowing a cycle to begin in one or two hours, even if you’re not at home. If you usehot water for your washing this also means the cost of heating your water is less.Clothes dryers can be run overnight, delivering a fresh load of warm jumpers to puton in the morning.Of course, always ensure you’re putting in a full load with any of these appliances,particularly dishwashers as they use high amounts of both electricity and hot water.Programmable hot water thermostatIf you have an electric water heater, you can install a programmable hot waterthermostat meaning your house will only heat water when you actually need it.Aside from the electricity savings of not using energy you don’t need, if you happento have an irregular schedule (ie: showering in the middle of the day or late atnight) this will save you money by taking advantage of the off-peak electricityprices.Get Out Of The House For Just 10 Days A YearSome retailers are offering a second alternative to the typical flexible pricingscheme. One of the main goals of the smart meters is to reduce consumption ofenergy particularly during those few days a year when energy use peaks (very hotor very cold days). It is possible to choose a plan where you pay less for regularuse of energy, any day or time of the week all year round, with the exception of 10Critical Peak Days.Outsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills21share this Ebook!
  22. 22. On these critical peak days, the charges increase significantly during a 6 hour period, with some planscosting thirteen times more than the usual rate. Critical Peak Days are advised 24 hours in advancethrough a chosen method of communication (email, sms or phone call).If you have difficulty regularly changing your routine but could get out of the house and head to, say, afriends place or a pool for 6 hours at a day’s notice, this could be your solution. Remember though, youwill be charged a very high rate for any electricity going into your house during those hours, including theelectricity keeping the refrigerator running or alarm systems charged. If a Critical Peak Day happens tofall while you are on holiday, it may be difficult to modify the amount of electricity being consumed by yourhouse.Aim for at least two of these changesMost people will be able to make at least one or two of the suggested changes. For most of thesesuggestions you will probably find that once the habit is changed, there is no difference to your quality oflifestyle except saving hundreds of dollars in electricity a year. And that’s a pretty good outcome!Bump up your energy efficiencyOf course, the second way to save money on your electricity bill is to use less of it by increasing yourenergy efficiency. There are many ways you can make small adjustments around the home to see bigsavings at the end of the year.From the IPART graph on page 20, It is clear that the greatest electricity guzzlers are hot water,refrigeration, entertainment and heating and coolingHot waterHot water accounts for around a third of all electricity consumed in the home. Decreasing your hot waterusage is the best way to decrease your electricity bill.easy tip1 Install Energy Efficient ShowerheadsCost to implement = $30, money saved on electricity bill = $100/yearAn unrated old school showerhead uses upward of 25-30 litres of water per minute. A new WELS 3 starrated showerhead commonly uses 9 litres of water per minute. But why stop there; showerheads of 5-6litres of water per minute will get the job done for most. Give it two or three days and most people find thatthey can’t remember what their old water guzzling showerhead felt like. If you can’t quite stomach a 5L/minshowerhead for your bathroom, install it in the kid’s or second bathroom.easy tip2 Shorter showersCost to implement = free, money saved on electricity bill = $100/year4 minutes is enough for a proper shower, especially if you’re not washing your hair ladies. It can seem liketime just slips away from you though so a great investment is an egg timer or specific shower time for $5so you, and your family, can stick to getting in and getting out.Outsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills22share this Ebook!
  23. 23. easy tip3 Wash clothes in cold waterCost to implement = free, money saved on electricity bill = $75/yearSwitching to cold water when washing clothes will decrease your electricity costs of your washing machineby 80-90%. The less energy efficient your machine is, the more electricity you will save by only using coldwater. Only use warm water on particularly dirty and oily clothes.hard tip1 Get a solar hot water systemCost to implement = $5000, money saved on electricity bill = $400/yearReduce your hot water electricity costs by up to 75% by switching to a solar hot water system. Many factorswill determine which system is best for you so ensure you do your research beforehand. You may still beeligible to receive Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and possibly state and local governmentrebates for upgrading to a solar system. Check out http://www.hotwaterrebate.com.au.Refrigeration & Entertainmenteasy tip4 Buy energy efficient appliancesCost to implement = Dependent, money saved on electricity bill = $100/yearA TV with a 5 star label uses nearly twice the energy of a TV with a 9 star label. Over the period of 10 yearsthe savings can add up to the same cost as purchasing it. This also applies to your refrigerator, washingmachine and dishwasher. When it comes times to replacing your appliances, your wallet will eventuallybenefit from choosing one with a higher energy efficiency rating.easy tip5 Turn off (or throw away!) the second fridgeCost to implement = Free, money saved on electricity bill = $265/yearThat old beer fridge in your garage could be costing you as much as $265 a year all by itself! Consider askingFridge Buy Back to give you money for it instead.easy tip6 Turn off standby appliancesCost to implement = Free, money saved on electricity bill = $100/yearItems like your television and microwave consume power even when they’re not being used. Switching themoff at the wall can save you up to $100 a year on electricity bills. Standby power controllers can do this foryou automatically, and they are free if you live in Victoria.11 https://www.veet.vic.gov.au/Public/Public.aspx?id=VEETActivitiesOutsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills23share this Ebook!
  24. 24. hard tip2 Upgrade (or get right size) pool pumpFor an average home, keep a pool clean can account for up to 30 per cent of an energy bill!Sometimes this is more than the energy your washing machine, clothes dryer and dishwasher use combined.Start by choosing the most energy efficient pool pump and check with the specialists to ensure you have theright size and model.Heating and coolingeasy tip7 Close the curtainsCost to implement = free, money saved on electricity bill = $50/yearYou can reduce heat loss in winter by 40% and reduce heat gain in summer by 15% simply by closing yourcurtains. Don’t forget to open your curtains on those rare warm and sunny winter days to capture as muchheat as you can.easy tip8 Use fans instead of air conditioning on warm nightsCost to implement = $50, money saved on electricity bill = $150/yearMany people can get away with just using several mechanical fans throughout most of summer. Fans don’tactually decrease the temperature inside the room; the cooling effect comes from air moving over your body.Create an airflow by opening windows and doorseasy tip9 Turn down the thermostat in winterCost to implement = Free, Money saved on electricity bill = $100/yearKeep your thermostat between 18-21 degrees C in winter. Put on a pair of socks and add an extra blanketover your bed to keep warm at night. Every degree that you increase your thermostat can result in a 15%increase in heating costs.hard tip3 Insulate your ceilingCost to implement = $1200, money saved on electricity bill = $200/yearWhile the Federal Government’s implementation of the insulation scheme could have been handled better,there are significant benefits to insulating your house. Insulating your ceiling can save you 40% off yourheating and cooling costs. Remember to choose insulation with an appropriate “R- value” (higher = better) foryour surroundings. More information on choosing the right insulation can be found at the yourhome website.11 http://www.yourhome.gov.au/technical/fs47.htmlOutsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills24share this Ebook!
  25. 25. These may seem like small changes but when added up together they can make a big difference at the endof the day. Before we move on, here’s a step-by-step plan to ensure you are getting the best price on yourelectricity bills.Summary to getting the cheapest price under the new pricing system1. Smart meter is installed;2. Familiarise yourself with your current provider’s flexible energy rates, off peak, peak and shoulder;3. Identify high energy use appliances in your house that can be shifted to cheaper time periods;4. Make any changes to your energy consumption habits that you and your family can make to takeadvantage of these time periods;5. Allow one or two months of data about your energy consumption to be collected;6. Use the data about your new energy consumption habits to compare and choose the best retailerand plan for you.Outsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills25share this Ebook!
  26. 26. part7The future ofsmart metersshare this Ebook!
  27. 27. Home area network (HAN)Home Area Networks connect devices in the home to the smart meter. The data collected by your smartmeter can be shared with these devices. Eventually, it won’t be only your electricity meter that is ‘smart’.We will have ‘smart’ washing machines, dishwashers and fridges that send data to your smart meter aswell as other devices, opening a range of opportunities for managing your home appliances and energyconsumption. More information on HANs can be found at the Smartgrid News.1In home devices (IHDs)IHD’s are special devices utilised by homeowners to receive the information that the smart meter is collectinginstantaneously (rather than through the distributor or retailers web portal). This information is displayedon the IHD on a small LED or LCD screen. Users push buttons either on the IHD itself or on the screen tonavigate the data. The data is shared over a secure network by authorizing a password between your IHDand the smart meter. This ensures no other people can access your smart meter data with their own IHD. Thedevices are usually portable and can be purchased from electrical technology retail outlets.Before purchasing an IHD device, check with your energy distributor about the specifications of your smartmeter to ensure you buy an IHD that is compatible. Setting up the IHD is possible for anyone with a bit ofcomputer knowledge, similar to setting up a wi-fi internet connection. Talk with your available options if youfeel uncomfortable setting out on your own. Jemena has a clear video showing the process of setting up anIHD with one of their smart meters.2ThermostatsIt is already possible to control some appliances such as air conditioners and heating systems via IHDs.Take down the brand and model information before heading out to check with your technology retailer aboutoptions suitable for you.Controlling appliances from a smart phoneAs more and more appliances become fitted with ‘smart technology’, the greater the Home Area Network willbecome, eventually including all your appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators and even securitysystems. Using your laptop and internet connection, this network could provide remote control access overyour appliances, such as the ability to turn them on and off even when outside the home. You may be evenbe able to submit your appliances to a program regulating the use of energy across a particular area (stateor region). The program would, for example, turn on your washing machine or dryer at the most efficient timewithin the next 24 hours. These sorts of coordinated ‘smart’ efforts help drive costs down and decrease ourimpact on the planet.1 http://www.smartgridnews.com/artman/publish/Technologies_Home_Area_Networks/2 http://jemena.com.au/customer/electricity/smart-meters/portal/Outsmarting your smart meter - a guide to cheaper electricity bills27share this Ebook!
  28. 28. a publication ofThanks for readingWe hope you got some real value from this Ebook and that you are now in a better position to decrease theimpact smart meters have on your family’s budget, and hopefully even save money after having one installed.Got feedback? We’d love to hear it. Please email hello@bundl.com.aumovinghouse?Be sure to check out our superhandy moving house checklist!what now?share thisebook!please share if you foundthis ebook useful