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Power & energy saving wishlist for the holidays.

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Media Release The Hon Ian Macfarlane, MP

27 December 2005



A reminder for all Australians as they pack for holidays: turn off all the lights; turn off standby power switches on the TV, microwave and stereo; turn off the bar fridge and hot water units; and don’t use air conditioning when a fan will do.

Australian Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, has urged those leaving for the holidays to think about properly ‘shutting down’ their homes, to save energy, dollars and the environment.

“It sounds like very simple stuff but the truth is we take energy for granted in this country, because it is so relatively cheap and available, and it’s time some basic behaviours were changed,” said Mr Macfarlane.

“Every wasted or un-necessary kilowatt ends up on your home electricity bill and draws on the country’s energy systems.”

“Standby power on basic household appliances pushes up electricity costs for Australian homes by as much as 12 per cent. So unplug from the wall and stop paying for electricity twice on your holidays.”

“It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the TV is off if you hit the ‘off’ button on the remote - it’s not. The microwave, and probably your stereo, is also on permanent stand-by, sucking in electricity just to tell an empty house what time it is.”

“As a Queenslander I fully appreciate the need for air-conditioners on a blistering summer’s day but turning the thermostat down by just one degree can ratchet up your energy use by 10 per cent, so don’t over-cool.”

“An electric hot water system makes up about one-quarter of most annual household energy bills and turning it off while you’re away for a holiday can make a real impact on your quarterly payments,” he said.

Having a second fridge or freezer, perhaps a bar fridge, can add up to $120 a year onto home power bills. Replacing about eight incandescent light globes in the household with compact fluorescent globes can save up to $80 over the lifetime of the more energy-efficient globes.

“Apart from the obvious dollar savings to be made from these small changes of practice, we can all play a small but significant role in reducing the 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gas generated by lighting in Australia each year,” he said.

Media Contact: Kirsty Boazman, 02 6277 7580, 0412 171 444 Email:

CMR 05-660