Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
What can I do to decrease my electricity cost?
- Purchasing appliances with high star energy rating. Appliances such as fridges and freezers are plugged in all day, every day, can have a huge impact on your energy bill.
- Effective heating and cooling paired with a well insulated home. If your heater or cooler struggles to warm or cool your home, it will run constantly trying to get to the set temperature. If your heater or cooler struggles, close doors where possible and keep blinds closed to prevent heat loss. A home that is not well insulated does not keep heating or cooling in, so by insulating your home you could save a lot on your electricity bills.
- Replace halogen down lights with LED lights. The energy efficiency of down lights is up to 4 times better than a halogen. Standard halogen down lights are about 50w compared to an equivalent LED down light which is about 12w. You could cut you lighting costs by up to 25% just by upgrading your down lights. You can also install items such as dimmers or motion sensors to decrease lighting costs.
- Electric hot water services are another high electricity usage item. By utilising your off peak rates, using cold water for your washing machine, decreasing your thermostat temperature you could save hundreds a year off your bill. Also, turning off your hot water service when going away could save you coming back to a big bill at the end of your trip.
- The easiest electricity saver is to turn items such as TV, games consoles, DVD players and other standby items off at the power point.
Why does my power point sometimes spark or flash when I plug in or unplug an appliance.
When you plug in or unplug an appliance that is turned on (such as a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer) it is normal for a small spark to occur as there is still current (electricity) flowing to create the circuit which is what causes the sparks. Always turn the appliance and the power point switch off before plugging in or unplugging appliances. If a power point is sparking when you are not plugging in or unplugging an appliance there may be faulty connections and may need to be repaired by a qualified electrician.
What is a safety switch and do I have them in my home?
A safety switch is a device that quickly switches off the electricity if an electrical fault is detected. A safety switch minimises the risk of injuries and deaths due to contact with electricity.
If a person comes into contact with electricity, it can result in:
- mild to severe electrical shocks
- muscular pains.
- breathing difficulties.
- burns and other injuries
- heart failure
Fuses and circuit breakers protect against short circuits and current overloads, but only safety switches protect people from electric shock
There are 2 types of commonly used safety switches in a domestic home.
The first will be located in your switchboard and will look something like this ***
The second is built into a power point and will look something like this ***
If you don't think you have safety switches in your home or office, contact us about a switchboard upgrade to improve the electrical safety of your home for you and your family.
Safety switches in your home should be tested at least once or twice a year to ensure they are in good working order. An easy way to remember is to test them when you change your clock for daylight savings.
If you have safety switches that keep tripping or will not turn back on following a test or a trip, follow our helpful guide here***.
You can test a safety switch by pressing the 'Test' or 'T' button. The safety switch should immediately trip to the 'Off' position. You will then need to return the switch to the 'On' position to restore power.
If your safety switch does not trip to the 'off' position after you have pressed the 'Test' button, contact us and we can arrange to repair or replace your safety switch. If you don't have safety switches in your board, contact us about a switchboard upgrade to improve the electrical safety of your home for you and your family.