Dungog residents get tips on how to save energy

The Paterson Allyn Williams River Science Hub and Local Living Dungog Power Choices event last week has been hailed a success.

Power Choices began in great style with the arrival of a 100% battery-powered Nissan Leaf driven from Newcastle by CSIRO researcher Julio Braslavsky.

With a battery capacity of 130km it did require a top -up for the return journey.

Participants enjoyed an informative and  practical talk from local resident Georgina Clark on low-cost power-saving around the home.

Local electrician and solar installation expert David Watson explained the cost effectiveness of solar for various lifestyles and the concept of maximising sun consumption.

Visitors from CSIRO Newcastle presented cutting edge news on the current status and future of the electricity grid across Australia.

James Giblin from Evergen outlined some possible future directions for solar battery storage including exciting possibilities for energy trading between neighbours.

Jane Richens said an enthusiastic group then enjoyed a tour of a local passive solar house led by Dungog architect Tom Chen.

“As well as explaining how he design new houses, Tom talked about retro-fitting your home to work with the natural environment to improve energy-efficiency,” said Jane.

“One amazing take-away fact was that the average Australian household uses 18kilowatt hours of electricity per day, but some clever Dungog citizens are using 1-2kWh per day and still enjoying an excellent lifestyle.”

Seven households have signed up for Local Living Dungog's Take Two project which you can follow at their blog

They will be trying to reduce their power bills together over the next 12 months.

Tips and progress will be shared via the blog and local media monthly.

“Many thanks to the CWA hall for providing a great venue, Ruth Dircks for organising morning tea and all who came to support and enjoy the day together,” said Jane.