August 18, 2011
The Worton family is a model for helping the environment and saving money at the same time.
Richard Worton and wife Lucy and their two children have dramatically improved the energy efficiency of their established four-bedroom house at Frankston in suburban Melbourne. They are saving hundreds of dollars each year on electricity bills as a result of a number of simple and low-cost measures.
They added insulation in the roof and walls, installed removable shades on the north side of the house, changed their old light fittings and lights to energy-efficient LED and CFL lights, and draught sealed under doors and windows.
The Alternative Technology Association says the Wortons are a prime example of how people can live sustainably in an uncertain time of rising utility prices.
“Electricity prices are going up for a range of reasons, but families don’t have to be burdened with massive bills and need not be fearful of electricity cost increases from the carbon tax,” said Damien Moyse, the ATA’s energy projects and policy manager.
“If you spend a bit of money on a few fairly simple things, you’ll quickly be seeing the savings and helping the environment at the same time.”
Richard Worton says his family’s commitment to energy efficiency was more a result of a belief in sustainability than purely about the financial benefits.
“None of the retrofitting has been hard or time consuming. We’ve done it for environmental reasons, not just to save money. It’s about acting locally (for the environment),” Mr Worton said.
The Wortons’ Energy-Efficiency Improvements
- LED and CFL lighting and fittings: $350 spent, saving $100-$120 a year.
- Draught sealing: $150 spent for a yearly saving of about $100 in heating and cooling costs.
- Removable shading: $100 spent to make shades, saving annually $100-$200 in heating and cooling costs.
- Insulation: $200 spent on missing insulation, for an estimated saving of $30-$40 a year.
- Powerboards with switches: $80 spent with savings of over $200 a year on standby power not used.
- Re-usable batteries and chargers: $250 spent for a saving of at least $60 a year.
To interview Richard Worton contact ATA media manager Sasha Shtargot: (03) 9631 5409/0402 928 140
Damien Moyse, ATA energy projects and policy manager: (03) 9631 5417/0439 900 692