• Hot Water Cost Savings

    If you reduce the thermostat setting on your storage hot water service from 70 deg C to 60 deg C, you can reduce the standing losses in the system by up to 33%.

  • A bright idea...

    Figures from the South Australian Department for Transport Energy and Infrastructure show that if a 100w standard light bulb is replaced with a 20w Compact Flurescent bulb, over its seven year life it will save the householder more than $150 in total costs. Now with the advent of LED lightbulbs - the savings can be even greater!

  • The big chill...

    Your Fridge is one of the biggest energy consumers in the average household. If it's not running in peak condition, it can be costing you a lot more than you think. When you clean the kitchen, open the fridge and clean the seals around the door with a damp sponge. This will help deter the mildew that can cause premature failure of the door seals. Without good seals, warm air leaks into the fridge boosting your running cost!

  • Drinks anyone?

    Do you have a second fridge, in the shed maybe? If you can do without it most of the time, run it when you need it and turn it off the rest of the time and save around $120 a year in running costs. What you save in power, could pay for the drinks at your next party!

  • Are you keeping your cool?

    Without seals in good condition, your fridge will be chewing through a lot more power than it needs to, cooling down all the warm air that leaks in. Close your fridge door on a $5 or $10 dollar note, and see how much effort it takes to pull it out with the door closed. If it slips out very easily, or worse yet, falls out by itself, then your door seals need attention. You should easily recoup the cost of repairs from your energy savings!

  • Pushy Retailer?

    Is your Energy Retailer pushing you around? There is something you can do about it! Make a complaint with the SA Energy Industry Ombudsman. You can find their website at www.eiosa.com.au

  • Gravity fed Hot Water?

    If your Hot Water service is a gravity fed unit in your roof space, your can reduce the thermal losses by placing a sheet of insulation material (eg. a pink bat) on top of the unit!

  • Give wasted power the Brush-off

    When your fridge pulls the heat out of your food and drinks, it has to put it somewhere. It goes out through the radiator on the back of the fridge, or at least it tries to... Most fridges radiators are covered with insulating dust and fluff! Gently use your vacuum cleaner's brush on the rear of your fridge once a year. Your fridge will reward you with better efficiency if you do!

  • Efficient use of Air Conditioners...

    Every extra degree on your reverse cycle air conditioner control, adds 10% to your running costs.
    In summer, 27 degrees is best but don't go below 25, and in winter, aim for 18 degrees but don't go above 21.

  • Most efficient heater?

    With every salesman shouting the merits of radiant, or convection, or ceramic, or what ever other kind of heater they have to sell, it can be a nightmare trying to figure out which is the best to use, and the cheapest to run. However, if it has a power plug - working out the comparative running costs is easy...

    Click here to read more.

  • The Cost of Cool

    The Sustainable Energy Authority of Victoria has produced a chart showing the relative costs of the various cooling systems available for the home.

    The following chart shows both running cost per hour, and greenhouse gas emission caused by the operation of common cooling systems.

    Click here to read more.

The South Australian Energy Co-operative Ltd was conceived by Glen Thornley in response to the ever rising cost of energy to South Australia's residential consumers. He formed a small group of volunteers who built the legal structures to launch the Co-operative to the general public with the great support of then  Member of the SA Legislative Assembly Nick Xenophon. The public response was enthusiastic to say the least.

The premise was that by joining with a group of consumers and negotiating jointly, we would achieve a better price for our energy than any could achieve alone. The Co-op's stated goal, was "To bring the benefits of competition to South Australian residential energy consumers".  Big business was negotiating discounts, but residential consumers had a choice of only two retailers, who both offered exactly the same price.

Over 1500 South Australian households joined the Co-operative, and a negotiating team hit the shoe leather to speak with retailers far and wide. During the negotiation period numerous new retailers entered the South Australian market, and a deal was struck with one of the new market entrants TRU Energy (later to become Energy Australia) which provided Co-op members with a suite of exclusive discounts and rewards, which were described by an industry insider as "Extaordinary".

The Co-operative operated for a number of years, but it became apparent that the success of the model chosen, meant that the Co-operative itself would not be sustainable in the long term. Retailers who failed to secure the business of the Co-operative's membership responded by offering discounts directly to the general public to secure their market share. Membership in the Co-operative became less appealing, as discounts were now available to everyone regardless of Co-operative membership. As our stated objective had been acheived, there was no longer any additional benefit to keeping the Co-operative running. (And all us volunteers needed a break!)

At a Special General Meeting of the members of the South Australian Energy Co-operative Ltd, held on the evening of Tuesday 21st of August 2007, unanimous support was given to the the Board's proposed motion...

"That the South Australian Energy Co-operative Ltd apply to the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs for voluntary deregistration  under sections 310A and 311 of the Co-operatives Act 1997"

As a consequence of the carriage of this motion the Board made application for deregistration, and carried out all other procedures required to give effect to it. No further applications for membership of the South Australian Energy Co-operative Ltd will be processed. Our office is now closed.

This website has remained open as a source of information, tips and advice on matters of energy efficiency and news about alternative energy issues.

Donations to keep the website open are welcome.


DMC Firewall is developed by Dean Marshall Consultancy Ltd