Energy Efficiency. It’s in the Stars
Once you’ve worked out what size air conditioning system you need make sure you compare the star ratings of models of similar capacity. The more stars, the more energy efficient the unit and the lower the running costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Take note of the ratings provided for both cooling and heating. They do differ.
38%. A number to keep in mind.
Cooling and heating your home accounts for 38% of the average household’s energy use and is a big contributor to peak demand on the energy grid as well. In an effort to reduce household demand many new model air conditioning systems now feature Demand Response Enabling Devices or DRED also known as PeakSmart.
This technology allows energy companies to remotely control the air conditioner in periods of peak electricity demand – usually in high summer when everybody is trying to cool their homes at the same time. Don’t worry, this isn’t a case of your system being completely shut down but an incremental reduction in performance that you’ll barely notice; except on your power bill!
Not only are there immediate benefits to using energy efficient technology as an individual but there are huge benefits collectively. The efficient use of energy leads to a diminished need for new infrastructure leading to less costs for the consumer.
DREDs allow participating energy companies to remotely control the air conditioner in periods of peak electricity demand – usually in high summer when everyone wants to cool their homes – reducing both the strain on the grid and your household power consumption, without greatly affecting the air conditioner’s performance.
It can go a long way to reducing peak electricity demand and therefore the need for new infrastructure – and that means less cost passed on to consumers.
So far, only a few electricity companies provide this service but those that do, including Energex and Ergon will pay incentives to customers who buy a DRED enabled air conditioner. To see if you have access, check with your supplier. It may save you money in the long run.