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Viewing the '$aving on Utilities' Category

Monthly Lunch and Bills

July 28th, 2010 at 03:43 am

I had a great day in the city today! I went to lunch at Casino again with my ex-workmates. We havenít worked in 12 years next month, all of us were retrenched at the same time and enjoying our retirement now. We do meet every month like clock work not always the same ones but someone turns up each month, this time nine of us turned up about the normal number for our group.

Before lunch I set out to pay all my bills that are due this pay. This saves me an extra trip of running around early next month as most are due then. I like to pay as many bills over the counter as I can as this is away I can remember that I havenít missing them. Itís a route now to pay the bills on certain dates that I go to the city. Some of the bills are paid via bank debit and anotherís via post then the council rate bills are paid at the main counter so that I remember that they are paid and I get my discount and all credit card bills are paid when I am near the banks again over the counter. I did buy some birthday cards for the August Birthdays, another USB stick, A Moroccan Cookbook that I wanted, top up my fare card which is called a Go Card here which allows me travel around without having to find change for fares.

Costs
Lunch _________$13.50
Gambling ______$8.00
Fares __________$20.00
USB stick_______ $12.99
Cookbook ______$14.95
3 Birthday Cards _$2.00
Bills total ______$505.00

Total __________$576.44

Update on my Solar Hot Water

July 27th, 2010 at 02:20 am

Itís up and running just waiting for my rebate to come back. So after waiting 110 days for a team to come an install it for me! Why so long, a lot of red tape as someone (Federal & State Governments) didnít do they job right the first time around, no safety checks were done that everyone was working on installing solar hot water and ceiling batts had the right certificates to do the jobs. Four young workmen died in the ceilings here installing ceiling batts which is the other option you could have had done. I had ceiling batts so went with the solar hot water option.

I will not know if I will save any money for another three months as it was installed two days the last meter read. I am working on that I will save about 4 kWh on Hot water and third off my power coming down from 16 kWh & 4 kWh per day to around 9 kWh per day for both. Prices are rising for our power here in leaps & bounds, another price rise started on 1st July for electricity and water is going up too! I am still using around same amounts but the bills are still going up. I have budgeted for extra $200 but mine may stay around the same because of solar panels & solar hot water installed. I do sell back to the grid but now I will use most of this to run the solar hot water pump.

I do have a slit system where the 400L water tank is on the ground and the panels are on the roof the only drawback is they had to put the panels on west side of the house and my solar panels are on the east side of house. Ideally they should be facing north but I never had the room to put either there. But I do get between 10 to 14 hours sun per day 365 days of the year. Itís good to live in the Sunshine State.

Will be not out of pocket by the looks of it

February 22nd, 2010 at 12:36 pm

The Solar Hot Water rebate was scrapped last Friday and reduced to $1000 and comes in next June with a new scheme will not affect me. As I have paid my part of this scheme and I am registered with the State scheme it will be still covered if they install the system in one month before March 19.

As the company that is installing it have cut off all contract for now. Panic went into overdrive but then you had to phone a special number where you were told what was going on. I just have to wait for a phone call from the company for a rebooking of the installing date. If they dont make it by the March 19, I have been told not to worry as the State Gov will pick up the tab for the different in cost after that date.

So I will be not out of pocket and dont have to find the $1600 upfront then wait 6 months for a refund.

Update on installing the solar hot water system

February 17th, 2010 at 12:31 pm

It rained so it never went up today, as we had over 140mm of rain in the past 36 hours with 80mm of that in an hour. There is a lot of flooding in some areas as the drains just dont cope with that much rain in one go!

So rebooking is in order, but one good thing came of all this I found out today the they had run out of the size of water tank I paid for, so I had got an upgrade to next size larger 400L with larger panels and more greener.

They did not tell me how much more the cost was but few hundred dollars I would think as its 65% larger than the one its replacing and it was around $700 when I bought it on its own.

So with all the waiting around it was a No spending day here too!

Solar Hot Water Update

February 15th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Sometime this week if the weather holds here, I will have the Solar Hot Water System installed. Its raining at the moment here.

As I reported before that it was rebate of $1600 as part the Gov stimulus package and our state government has got a deal going with buying in bulk for the State that picks up balance of the tab. True cost of Solar Hot Water is closer to $3800 than I thought but my cost for it $505 less a $50 voucher by local council.

Some people will find that they will be out of pocket a lot more if they need a lot more extra copper piping than allowed in the quote and same with the electrical work that is to be done.

I will write a full summary up when I get time.

Bit of a hick up this morning

December 15th, 2009 at 02:13 am

They are still working on my street at the moment; they have finished the kerbing & channeling. Today they started on the road surface; outside my stretch they needed to go down to 225mm not the normal 125mm of road base. So while digging out the old road surface they broke the water pipe to my house. This is while I was doing the washing today. So I never got to finish washing until seven hours later. Water board had to replace the copper piping for 6 metres of 9 metres wide street. While at it they put in a new washer for the water meter too!

This broken pipe put the road gang back by about 3 hours as they still had to finish the job to a certain point before they stopped for the day. Now they will do second half of the street tomorrow then when they finish the topping gang will come and finish the job on Friday or before Christmas I hope.

Climate Smart Meter & Solar Panels

December 5th, 2009 at 08:02 pm

About 12 months ago I got a Climate Smart Meter Power checker installed here, one of our state government deals to reduce power usage here. Its a device that checks how much power you are using that minute and it cost. I needed do a battery change a few months back so the pricing got changed by accident and now is out by a few cents for each watt. Not that I am worried that much as the power cost has gone up since then and its in the pipeline that its to go up a lot more over next few years something like 25% more.

My hot water is not on this tariff but still shows on the climate smart power meter, when this is on 49c less any phantom power and then if you put anything else then its more. I am averaging around 12.6c most of the time. Lowest before charging batteries was about 1.6c but now is about 2.35c at night with no hot water on and just phantom power for things that needs to be still on and with no fridges or freezer on.

A few months ago I got six solar panels installed here, another government grants to the tune of $8000 plus our state government working on bulk order deal that in the end costing to low income earners a few hundred dollars to have installed this offer is now over. After nearly two months our energy supplier finely came and installed the new meter so that I can get rebates on any extra solar power that is sent to the grid because I wasnt using it. Daytime power is now mostly solar powered and I even sending some back to the grid.

Its now 14 days since that meter box was changed. I have use 83kW of grid power and generated 56kW of solar power and sent to the grid 16kW on top of what I have used. I am averaging 1/3 solar and 2/3 grid kW use per day. I have been monitoring it for 78 days now, so I can see a pattern forming of using 8 to 9 kW on grid power and generating between 4 -5.9 kW of solar power per day..

Last summer I was using 16.27kW per day with very mild use of an Air Con at times when temps got over 34C inside the house.

So in all it will cut my bill down to a bearable price and ever more if I get solar hot water installed next year as my name is down for another grant for that one too! I would never be able to afford it if I had to pay full price. So I have done my little bit for Climate Change in this household but I will be on the look out to do more in the future.

Update
Costing of all is well over $9500 in the end I am out of pocket only $355 including the Climate Smart Meter which I got a refund of the cost from the local council.

Still to come is the Solar Hot Water worth over $2500 out of cost I am told will be with senior discount around $100 out of pocket. Which checking my inbox just a while ago I am just now waiting for the grant approval then it will just need to wait my turn for installing.

With all these schemes will, its hope save on building extra coal power stations in the near future. We do have the sunshine here as I am getting over 13 hours per day with my solar panels now!

Old refrigerator dying

November 12th, 2009 at 02:01 am

I went to check my downstairs fridge & freezer only to find it dying; I will be able keep the fridge going a little longer but empty out the freezer section as only the freezer bottles of water are keeping it cold. I mainly use it for storage with my years worth beans, flours, pastas and my stock of chutney as it vermin proof so will need to look at finding a new home for these.

I will try to do without this fridge as its over 30 years old and cant be fixed as the gas cant be refilled in these old refrigerators as it rusty and has CFC in it.

I had then to find room in my other freezers for the frozen vegetables and cooked beans that I did keep in this fridge. Some of it got trashed as the dates on them were 2005 and looked dead to much ice.

Now I will have a look at how I can use it after I turn off the power and dry it out for a few weeks.

Need to cut back on my stockpile

July 18th, 2009 at 03:17 am

It is coming close to the end of my 56 days cycle in reporting my review on my daily living allowance.

I have had a quite two month so far just kept spending as I see fit. I will need to cut back on my grocery spending as I do have too much food both in my freezers and pantries. I have food stored in a number of places around my home. As one of refrigerators broke down as in not as cold as it should be and I hope I can learn not to need it any longer as it was an old second fridge and freezer combo. I have empted out the freezer section so far and put bottles of water in it to see if its still works for now as the fridge part looks to be still working for now. Items I do store in this refrigerator can be store out side a fridge but needs to be kept safe from vermin.

We will need to keep a close eye on my grocery spending for the next six months to see if I can get it much more lower and use some of my stockpile so that get my refrigerator stores into the freezer which is full the moment. It is a chest freezer only 160 L size so it is a small chest freezer suitable for a single household but not suitable for what I wish store in it.

Its the end of the financial year here!

June 29th, 2009 at 03:25 am

Not that it make much difference to me but a lot of other things are happening as well to make the cost of living higher around here.

For one our state government has had an 8 cents a litre state tax subsidy on fuel here for many years now but come the 1st July it will be gone. This will increase the cost of not only fuel but cost of most things too! As our State was the only one that did not have this extra tax on fuel, it will an eye opener to the others states if the transport and supermarkets in Australia were averaging their prices with our states fuel subsidy because at times our prices for fuel were still higher then some of the other states. Someone was making money on this subsidy and not our state motorist. I see it as putting all the states on a level playing fielding but others see it as a rip off by the our state government for taking it off. Time will tell as their say.

Another price rise will be electricity price will be going up so will need to watch my power consumption until I get solar power installed. I still dont know how much but will review my contract with my supplier when I get an idea of how much. If I can get a better deal then I can change suppliers.

Another expense that is coming in on 1st July will Cat Licence this will be a problem as my cats do not like collars at all.

With all the rises that are coming in like rates, water, fares and everyday cost of living with fuel subsidy coming off even I will need take stock of everything and find more money out of my pension to pay all of it. Luckily single pensioners are getting a pay rise in September but there will not be much leftover in the end.