I was resting up at home last week when a Gent knocked on the door and explained that he was currently working on behalf of ActewAGL. He was legitimately attired and even had a ‘Contractor’ pass round his neck with appropriate ID, and so after his spiel about why he was there, I let him in.
He explained that as part of the Energy Efficiency (Cost of Living) Act 2012, ActewAGL had organised a company to install power saving devices in homes across Canberra. While he was hooking up said devices, I picked his brain.
Reportedly ActewAGL is passing the costs of this secondary company onto every one of their customers at the rate of $6 each, so at the time these things are installed, there’s no need to open your wallet. I had a laugh with the gent about how other neighbours had reacted to what they perceived as a door to door salesman, not allowing him to provide an explanation of what he was there for before shutting the door in his face.
He explained to me that the company he was working for had already provided this service to the people of Melbourne and that Canberra was their next point of call Nationally. They’re starting in Kambah of all places, and are then working their way through the rest of the city. The program runs for the next three years so at any point in that time, you should be able to call up and have a contractor come to your house to install the products, which could be handy for people that work during the weekdays when these installers are doing the rounds.
When hooked up, the devices turn off any appliance they are connected to that uses stand-by power, and can reportedly save you a little over $200p.a depending on what products you’ve got and how much they currently use. The TV now has a tiny stand-alone device that is activated by a remote control- the first press turns it back on to stand-by and supplies power to DVD players etc, the second press turns the TV on. The system can also be configured to switch itself off after a period of inactivity (measured by remote inputs) by frequencies of 1, 2 or 3 hours. When turning off the TV, the stand-alone device flashes a green light for about 30 seconds which may be a little weird if the TV is in your bedroom. Our system was routed around the foxtel to continue scheduled recording unhindered.
The computer was then hooked up so that when it is turned on, associated devices such as printers, monitors etc were then supplied power too. He left our external hard-drive as it was, explaining that as they can take longer to power down, they can be damaged by being switched off early.
When he was done, I had two new power saving modules hooked up, every incandescent light bulb he could find in the house was replaced with eco-bulbs (one), and he also fitted a new strip to the front door to reduce drafts and general heating and cooling losses.
He then sent my details through to the ActewAGL office and I received a call within 5 mins to discuss the work done while the gent was standing in the kitchen with me. Basically this voice on the phone had called to confirm what had been installed where, that all details had been explained to me, and that no other products or ‘spares’ had been left on the premises. I then handed the phone over to the installer who received his confirmation and payment code for completion of the works.
Installation and the administrative stuff was completed within about 50 mins prior to the gent continuing through the neighbourhood. I was quite happy with the work done and the friendly and informative nature of the gent who performed it, and may actually now return to reading the relevant letters that ActewAGL sends out in the future.