Document 189302

Issue 1
What is Namoi Councils and the Namoi–
Towards a Sustainable Future Project?
The Namoi Councils consists of
5 Local Government Areas—
Gunnedah, Liverpool Plains,
Narrabri, and Walcha Shire
Councils, Tamworth Regional
Council and the Namoi Catchment Management Authority
who are working together to
increase the sustainability and
effectiveness of Local Government in the region.
The project ‘Namoi—Towards a
Sustainable Future’ was determined through the development
of the Namoi Catchment Sustainability Plan. The project
aims to address challenges to
achieving sustainability across
the Namoi Councils and is fo-
Check our the website at:!
This is the first of a series of
monthly newsletters for Council
Staff. These newsletter will
contain information regarding
the Namoi—Towards a Sustainable Future Project, the Namoi
Councils, and sustainability tips
regarding Energy, Water and
cused upon seeking innovative
and cost effective ways to reduce energy and water use and
to improve waste management
by the member organisations,
the community and major businesses in the area.
This newsletter Issue 1, will
explore ways to save energy
and water at home. If you can
decrease your electricity and
water use then your bills will be
less expensive too! It’s easy
Saving Energy—The ‘COOL’ thing to do this summer!
5 Tips to Reduce Your Energy Use and Cost!
There are plenty of opportu$126 using a water efficient showerIn addition, the hot Namoi
nities to reduce your electricihead!
summer sun means that using
ty bill with just a few changa clothes dryer isn’t necessary
3. Nearly 30% of households run a sees. Here are a few simple
and drying clothes on the line
cond fridge which can add ≈$225/year
things that can be done to
takes no time at all! Using a
to power bills. Instead try saving
save energy, carbon emisclothes
some space in the main fridge for
sions, and dollars.
rack or
beer/wine, chill drinks just before you
line in1. One of the most effective
want to drink them, buy some ice and
stead of a
ways of reducing energy
fill up an esky or invest in an ‘energy
dryer can
consumption is to turn off
timer’ and set it so the 2nd fridge
lights when you are leavswitches off for some time overnight
more than
ing a room. (See Page 2
and switches back on
$350 /
to calculate how much
to have your beers
money leaving the lights
cold for you by the
on costs).
time you get home
And a few cheeky extras!
2. 14-25% of household
6. Try to ensure your pool pump
energy use occurs in the
4. To reduce the
is not on all of the time (only at
bathroom. To save power
intense household
and water this summer,
heat that can occur
7. When buying new appliancwhy not get refreshed by
over summer, try closing the blinds
es—look for the most energy
having a short, cold showand curtains. This will make the
efficient Energy Star / energy
er? For a 3 person
household cooling more efficient.
household in Tamworth,
Shutting external awnings, shutters
about $180 could be
and blinds, and closing doors can also 8. Why not walk/cycling to work
saved each year if each
improve cooling effectiveness.
to reduce car trips?
person has a 5 minute
shorter shower if using a
hot water can save $30 or more in
normal showerhead and
water heating energy costs per year.
Page 2
Utilising That Hot Summer Sun!
Running costs of
appliances can
be calculated by
checking the
One fantastic way that
you can save energy
during those pleasant
summer evenings and
nights is by using outdoor solar lighting. These lights work purely off
the suns energy instead
of chewing up yours!
low cost energy
meters can be
used to measure
devices at home.
mood around some special spots such as porches or benches, or for
security lights. There
are many different types
including solar jars, solar
bricks, solar lamps, sensor lights and floating
solar lights for the pool.
They are easy to set up,
require no wiring and
can save you money!
Solar lights can be used
to illuminate the garden
and/or pool, brighten
walkways, driveways
and steps, set a relaxing
www.namoicoun for
more information
and great tips!
The Simplest and Easiest Way to Reduce Your Electricity Bill
Did you know that saving electricity
and money is as easy as flicking a
switch? One of the simplest and
easiest ways to prevent the waste of
energy is to reduce the amount of
standby power that your appliances
use. Most appliances are made in a
way that draws power 24 hours a
day, which over time can make a big
difference to your power bill, and the
pliances that use standby electricity
check out the Namoi Councils website
standby-power/. It is estimated that in
the average Australian home, approximately 10% of total energy use is
wasted with standby power.
and environment. One way we can all
make a real difference is by reducing the
amount of wasted energy. To help conserve electricity and ensure appliances
are not using standby power, switch
them off at the wall or unplug the device.
Using power boards with switches
makes it easy to turn individual appliancAppliances can use between 1-20
es off. Energy Star appliances have
watts on standby and can be in this
been designed to minimize standby
mode for many hours each day. Depower consumption, however not all
pending on energy costs, every watt of
Energy Star features are automatically
Standby power is the electricity con- standby can add about $2.19 to your
activated, so ask staff before buying new
sumed by appliances when they are annual energy bill if appliances are left
appliances or check manufactures bronot performing their primary function, on all the time. The average annual
but are still switched on at the wall. It cost of Australian computer monitors
is also sometimes referred to as
being left on standby is around $10.95. Further information can be found at the
sleep mode, leaking, phantom or
If you consider how many appliances
following websites:
vampire electricity. Appliances
you have on standby in your home,
showing a little green or red light are you can realise how the cost can begin
generally indicating standby power is to add up.
being used. For some common apBe active in conserving your money
How much does that light cost when you forget to turn it off?
For example, if the rating is 30
watts and the bulb is on for one
hour, it will consume 0.03 kWh.
Similarly, if it is off for one hour,
you will save 0.03 kWh.
 Looking at past electricity bills
will show you the rate you are
paying for electricity in kWh.
 Every bulb has a watt rating
which can be converted to how
many kilowatts are consumed
per hour (kilowatt hours = kWh).
 Multiplying the kWh electricity
rate with the amount of electricity
used will give you how much it is
costing to run the light/or not
switch the light off for certain periods
of time. For example, if the residential rate is 15 cents per kWh, the value of the energy savings per hour
would be 0.45 cents ($0.0045).
 Therefore, if you forgot to turn off a
30W bedroom light when you leave
for work (8 hours), it can cost almost
$13 in wasted money over the year.
If a few lights are left on in the house,
you can see how the money and
energy wastage can add up!
Page 3
Saving Water Around the Garden in Summer
Approximately 35% of household water
usage occurs in the garden. As the
summer weather begins to warm up, it
is especially important to be water conscious. Make sure to take note of the
current water restrictions in your Council area.
will best conserve water, such
as in the early morning or the
late evening. Morning is best,
as there is less chance that the
soil if the plants are watered for several
short periods instead of one long soaking. This will also prevent water run-off
and waste. This is especially important
if your garden is on a slope.
 Understanding the soil types and water
requirements of the plants in the garden helps to best maintain it through
the summer months, whilst reducing
the chance of over watering or wasting
water. Clay soil takes longer to absorb
water but holds it longer, meaning you
should water slowly in small amounts,
such as with a drip system. Loam can
absorb faster and needs moderate watering. Sandy soils drain and dry out
faster, meaning it needs small amount
of water frequently. The water absorption of clay soils can be improved by
adding gypsum.
 Try to reuse whatever household
water you can, ie. from rinsing dishes, toothbrush water etc. and prioritise the water for the plants that
need it the most. Through summer,
it is good to focus on saving established plants, on plants that would
be hard to replace, that have taken
a long time to mature or that would
die without a lot of water. It is also
sometimes good to be realistic that
the yard and garden might not stay
green all summer.
water will sit on the plants. Watering in the heat of the day can
waste up to 75% of the water
used through evaporation. In
addition, watering when it’s
 When using sprinklers or hoses,
 To help water penetrate to the roots
windy wastes a lot of water as
use timers or alarms to help ensure
better and reduce it being wasted, try
the water can become deflected
that the time will not get away and
spending a little extra time digging,
from where it was intended and
the running water will not be forgothoeing or tilling the soil of your garden
wind also increases evaporation.
ten. Forgetting to turn off a sprinto help loosen the soil and aerate it.
kler can waste 1000s litres of water  Try not to over water plants and
This is especially useful in summer as
an hour.
only water as quickly as it is
the soil can dry out and become hard in
absorbed into the soil. Water will
the heat.
 Try to water in the times of day that
generally absorb better into the
Interested in finding out how much energy and water you are using at home,
and more specific ways for you to save
$$? Check out the Namoi Councils website for a uniquely design residential
energy and water audit tool for Namoi
If you want to know more about easy
ways to save energy and water at
home, please contact Beth Sargent
at [email protected] or visit
the Namoi Councils website!
Member Councils