01.The 10% challenge
CHOICE has joined forces with advocacy group DoSomething! to launch the 10% Challenge, a campaign to help Australian households and businesses reduce their energy and fuel use by at least 10 per cent and save on bills.
Sign up to the 10% Challenge and get tips on slashing your energy use.
At a time when energy and fuel prices are increasing, the 10% Challenge is about straightforward steps to reduce bills. Many of these actions cost little or nothing, and make surprisingly little difference to everyday lifestyles, but can produce significant savings overall.
Other bigger steps, like purchasing super-efficient appliances or installing solar hot water or ceiling insulation, can produce lifetime savings that outweigh their up-front cost several times over. CHOICE is boosting its information and advice in these areas to help guide consumers through value-for-money, effective and save energy-saving decisions.
As a first step, we have launched a new mini-site, EnergyCHOICE, bringing together the most useful energy-saving information from CHOICE.
Part of the 10% Challenge is about shining a light on the total cost of household bills, and also the significant savings that can be gained when many small steps are taken together to reduce these bills.
Small actions from households around Australia can add up to major savings in the face of the estimated $24.4 billion we spend on household energy and petrol every year.
For example, choosing a high-efficiency TV, washing machine, dishwasher and fridge could save a household more than $4,000 in combined energy and water running costs over 10 years compared to low-efficiency choices.
Of course it’s not just about households. The 10% Challenge is reaching out to businesses, governments and councils around Australia to take action on energy savings. Some of the initiative’s founding partners include major Australian companies, universities and local governments.
Through the 10% Challenge, CHOICE will also be signing up to reduce our own energy use, starting with an energy audit to identify the most cost-effective energy-saving opportunities at our Sydney HQ. Over the weeks and months ahead, we’ll be capturing this experience and you’ll find details of it on EnergyCHOICE.
Campaigning for consumer-friendly energy
Taking simple steps to reduce energy and fuel bills has never been more important, but it’s also just one part of the picture when it comes to creating a consumer-friendly energy sector.
For example, with around $40 billion due to be spent on Australia’s energy distribution networks over the next five years alone, these costs are already being passed through to consumers.
There is strong evidence that the regulation of our energy sector promotes costly infrastructure expansion and increased consumption over steps to reduce demand and help lower household bills.
There has also never been a more crucial time for Governments to promote comprehensive action on energy efficiency, particularly for those low-income households that are already struggling with cost-of-living pressures.
At the same time, the roll-out of new energy technologies and applications, including smart grids, smart meters and time-of-use pricing, offers major potential pitfalls, as well as opportunities for unprecedented consumer empowerment – if it’s done right.
Starting with the 10% Challenge, CHOICE will be stepping up our campaigning over the weeks ahead, setting out an action-plan to create a consumer-friendly energy sector, fighting for genuine reforms to reduce energy demand, action on energy efficiency and for the roll-out of new energy technologies to put consumers first.
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