Armidale Dumaresq Council's display at the Sustainable Living Expo (SLEX) in October 2010
In October last year, the Armidale Dumaresq Council's Domestic Energy Committee set up a demonstration 'lounge room' complete with working appliances to encourage energy conservation as part of the Sustainable Living Expo.
A vinyl tent was transformed into a lounge room with curtains and blinds, framed prints, books, toys, and most importantly, working appliances plugged into PowerMates to measure energy use.
Save power and reduce power bills
The Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Premier and Cabinet's (OEH's) Save Power Program provided an ideal backdrop to stimulate discussion, and the Power Saving Home Quiz for summer peaked the interest of many local residents to find out more. The display promoted OEH's Home Power Savings Program, and useful tips from the Save Power website. Council staff and members of the committee attended the display all weekend.
'Talking with residents at the expo this year confirms that people are concerned about the rising cost of power, particularly in Armidale where heating costs in winter make up the bulk of peoples' bills,' said Deputy Mayor Jim Maher, Chair of the Domestic Energy Committee.
The Council's display was surrounded by displays of suppliers of solar technologies, as well as the Peak Oil display, put together by the community group Sustainable Living Armidale.
'The setting at the Sustainable Living Expo was ideal for thinking about future energy supply and use,' Jim said.
The Armidale Public Library loans PowerMates to residents to test their own appliances. Following the energy display at the expo, there is a waiting list to borrow the four units available.
The energy display was part of the Council's strategy to promote sustainable home heating options to Armidale residents, and was funded by OEH through the Clean Air Healthy Communities program.