Energy Saving Workshop video

In 2013 and 2014 ActewAGL held free Energy Saving Workshops throughout Canberra and Queanbeyan. Matthew Ruffin from Progressive Sustainability, gave some simple, easy tips to help people prepare for their winter bills.

Video contents

  • ‘Sealing air leaks is the cheapest way to feel more comfortable in your home and use less energy,’ says energy saving expert Matthew Ruffin. Find out how to seal your home envelope.
    (From 5 minutes 48 seconds)
  • What do burning incense and saving energy have in common?
    (From 6 minutes 42 seconds)
  • Did you know downlights can be a significant source of heat loss in the winter months? Learn how to seal yours here.
    (From 10 minutes 1 second)
  • How do bubble wrap, plastic contact and velcro help you save energy?
    (From 17 minutes 26 seconds) and (From 28 minutes 42 seconds)
  • Did you know Canberra house holds need roughly 20 cm of bulk ceiling insulation for our climate? 
    (From 23 minutes 25 seconds)
  • 60% of the total annual energy consumption for Canberra households is due to heating. Learn how to use your heater more efficiently.
    (From 42 minutes 7 seconds)
  • Fact or fiction? Keeping your heater running on low 24 hours a day saves you energy and keeps your winter bill down. 
    (From 52 minutes 42 seconds)

A quick Q and A with Progressive Sustainability’s – Matthew Ruffin

Q - Why should people watch the workshops?

I’ll be talking about three things. The first is the home envelope which is how your house keeps in heat. I’ll also then be discussing the sort of factors that increase and decrease your heating bills and your hot water heating bills. And, finally I’ll be talking about other things like lighting, washing, cooking and stand-by power. So basically we are going to cover everything to do with energy consumption in the home.

Q - What are the best ways to save energy?

The first way that we should look to save energy is by looking at the way we use heating. Heating is 60 per cent of our energy consumption or more and if we do things like minimise the time, the space and the thermostat setting on our heater, then we’ll minimise our bill.

Q - What are the common mistakes people make which lead to their bill being more expensive?

One of the things I see a lot of is under insulated houses and houses that are not well sealed. So that means they lose a lot of heat in winter and you’re paying to heat the neighbourhood. For minor investments, you can actually greatly increase your comfort and decrease your energy consumption and thus minimise your bills. Hot water heaters are turned up too far and appliances being left on when they don’t need to be. So, we’re going to talk about both the technological side of things and the behavioural side of things.

Q - Are there are any quick saving fixes?

It’s difficult as a consultant to put monetary figures on things simply because there are too many variables in the individual house. But, what I can say is for instance is that one hour of heating a day over the cold months is 150 hours of heating on your winter bills. So, something as simple as cutting your heating by one hour a day will make a significant impact on your bill. I will cover everything you could possibly think of to do with household energy.