New campaign aims to slash fuel and power bills

DO SOMETHING! and CHOICE challenge Aussies to cut energy usage by 10% Australian households could save over $2billion a year* simply by reducing their fuel and energy usage by 10%. That’s the finding of a new campaign that aims to help consumers combat rising energy prices. Advocacy group Do Something! and consumer watchdog CHOICE today launch The 10% Challenge to show people the no cost and low cost ways to reduce their fuel and energy use by 10%.

The campaign shows that many Australian households are needlessly wasting hundreds of dollars a year on energy and fuel: **

• Australian households spend nearly $1 billion a year on standby power. This could be slashed simply by turning many appliances off at the plug.
• A cheap electric heater may seem a bargain at $30. But use it for only four hours a day through winter and it could cost you over $150.
• Changing a thermostat by one degree can increase heating bills by 10%.
• Failure to replace old incandescent globes with energy savers results in people using 80% more electricity than they need to power a light.
• If you don’t use a water saving showerhead, you could be using up to an extra 48 litres of hot water per shower. That’s up to $100 extra per year.
• Washing clothes in hot water costs money as a hot water cycle uses up to 90% more energy then a cold water wash.
• The energy needed to boil a full kettle can power a fridge for 4 hours. Yet many Australians boil kettles and forget to use the hot water.

The 10% Challenge web site features an innovative Bills Calculator which enables people to add up a year’s worth of electricity, gas and fuel bills. This web site can be accessed via or

“When people see how much they’ve spent in the previous year on petrol, electricity and gas, they usually get a big shock” said Do Something! Founder Jon Dee, who initiated the campaign.

“Once you see the total figures staring you in the face it’s far easier to take the first steps to save,” Mr Dee said. “That’s why the 10% Challenge web site is packed with no-cost and low-cost money saving tips.”

Australians are currently wasting money because they don’t know the simple ways to use less electricity, gas and petrol,” Mr Dee said. “Adding up their bills at the 10% site will encourage households to become far more energy efficient.”

“Households are seeing continued increases in energy and petrol prices, driven largely by the multi-billion dollar expansion of our energy networks,” CHOICE Director of Campaigns and Communications Christopher Zinn said.

“At a time like this, it makes sense to take straightforward steps that reduce your family’s bills,” said Mr Zinn. “These steps can cost little or nothing and make surprisingly little difference to your lifestyle, but add up to significant savings.”

Companies Get Behind The 10% Challenge

Many major companies and organisations have joined the 10% Challenge push by committing to reduce their greenhouse emissions by 10%. The first company to join the initiative was News Ltd. They have been joined by other Founding Partners such as Unilever, Toyota, Visy, Sydney Water, the University of Canberra, Sydney Theatre Company, Net Balance and Sensis. Councils like City of Sydney, Lake Macquarie Council and Dubbo City Council have also joined the 10% Challenge. The campaign aims to recruit hundreds of other councils in order to get the money saving message out to the community.

To kick start this community campaign, this World Environment Day weekend, Bunnings are holding free energy saving classes at every store in Australia. An energy saving lighting campaign is also rolling out at all Beacon Lighting stores around Australia.


Note to editors:
** Please credit all stats and tips in this media release to ‘Do Something and CHOICE’
* Australia’s 8.35 million households spend an estimated $24.4 billion on energy and fuel every year
Figures are derived from the following ABS Report:
“6535.0.55.001 - Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Detailed Expenditure Items, 2003-04 (Reissue)”
- Show quoted text -

Media contacts:
Jon Dee from Do Something! - 0414 971 900   Christopher Zinn from CHOICE - 0425 296 442

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