ENERGY retailer Origin has held an efficiency audit on an Albury business that it has said could save it thousands of dollars.
Gouge Dry Cleaners and Lavington resident Barbara Sandell won a Border Mail-Origin competition to have energy bills audited — and $1000 each for energy-saving improvements.
The owner of the Swift Street dry cleaners, Emma Thompson, said the best advice had been to switch from fluorescent globes to LED lighting.
“We have moved to a bigger building and wanted to do everything we could to get those costs down,” she said.
“It was really helpful.”
Origin energy expert Anne Armansin said Gouge could save 50 per cent on its lighting bill — about $11,000.
She said she had also recommended the business keep heating at 20 degrees in winter and cooling at 24 in summer, with just a degree making a huge difference.
Ms Sandell said she’d been concerned that leaving her television on stand-by would significantly increase her bills.
“Some said to switch it on, some people said switch it off,” she said. “I never know what to do.”
Ms Armansin told her leaving the new set on would add a negligible amount, but turning off her computer at the wall would save $25 a year.
“Although Barbara lives a sensible energy life, we were able to tell her of appliances to replace ageing ones,” Ms Armansin said.
Ms Sandell said she had learned a lot.
“I feel so lucky,” she said.
Other tips Ms Armansin offered were to use a heated throw rug instead of a heater, open blinds in the day and close them at night and use door snakes.
A recent survey conducted by Galaxy Research showed 83 per cent of customers believed the energy and utility sector did not offer good customer service.
In response, Origin set up a customer service hub at Myer Centrepoint, Albury, yesterday and on Thursday asking for feedback and providing advice on how to best manage energy.
The company now also has a webpage for customer feedback at originenergy.com.au/change.