Managing YOUR ENERGY BILL You might also be interested in being able to read your electricity
meter (to work out your energy use) and about payment options. TasNetworks, the company that manages the Tasmanian electricity network, has some helpful information about your meter here . Aurora explains the information contained on an electricity bill here .
HEATERS The type of heating you have and the ways you use your heating can affect comfort and affordability. For information on heater types and their pros and cons see here .
heater type features
Radiant electric heaters are the most commonly available heating, are often comparatively cheap to buy, provide direct warmth, and are typically plug-in. They often have a fan function as well to ‘blow’ heat around the room. Plug-in heaters typically cost more money to run because they are not wired into cheaper heating tariffs (not everyone has heating tariffs though). Radiant heaters tend to convert electricity directly to heat so for every 1kw of electricity going into the heater you get 1kw of heat out. These heaters can be unsafe if not used thoughtfully. Never cover them with anything at all. Heat pump/air conditioners tend to heat the air first rather than the person but heat a room quickly and cheaply. They are commonly more expensive to purchase and need to be installed by an electrician (as they are wired-in). The efficiency of heat pumps varies but they are typically much more efficient than radiant heaters. For every 1kw of electricity going into the heater you may, for example, get 3 or 4kw of heat out. Because they rely on fans to circulate warmed air, they can create draughty circulation of air that can feel cold if not set up well. Wood heaters/fireplaces provide a comfortable radiant heat and are sometimes the only heat source available in a Tasmanian home. Woodfires need to be maintained and watched while in use. It is easy to overheat a room with a woodfire. Wood will generate more heat and burn more effectively if it is well seasoned (not ‘green’ or moist). While you can order deliveries of wood, it is sometimes hard to know whether the delivery will be properly seasoned wood and it can be expensive. Smoke from fires can aggravate asthma.
If you struggle to pay your electricity bill, it is can be helpful to call your energy retailer. Aurora offers some bill management advice here . Resources to help you manage your energy bills on a low income can be found at the No Interest Loans (NILS) website. See here .
We hope that some of these suggestions are useful, helping you to stay warm this winter .
HEATER SAFETY Please always consider your safety when using heaters: • Every house must have working smoke alarms (by law). They warn you if there is a fire in your home and save lives. For rental property smoke alarm rules see here . For Tasmanian fire service information on smoke alarms, see here .
tripping safety switches. Make sure electric heaters are set up and positioned so they cannot melt power cords. Never use outside heaters inside the house. If buying a portable heater (plug in), make sure that it will switch off if it is accidentally knocked over.
• For more safety advice, please see Tasmanian Fire Service’s Safe Habits for Heating information in their Fire Safety at Home . Wood heater information can be found in their Home Fire Safety fact sheet , and more fire safety information at their Home Fire Safety webpage. more information
Keep flammable and combustible items at least 2 metres from heaters – this includes keeping you and your desk away. Electrical safety – do not use electric heaters if the unit, cords and/or plugs are damaged. Discontinue use of any heaters that are
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