sa.gov.au

Borrow a home energy toolkit

 

The Home Energy Toolkit contains items and information to help you find out what is using energy in your home and how you can start saving. 

The toolkit can be borrowed free of charge from all metropolitan public libraries and most regional public libraries in South Australia.

What's in the toolkit? 

The Home Energy Toolkit contains:

Appliance meter  Infrared thermometer  Spirit thermometer
Appliance meter 

Measures appliance energy use, stand-by power, cost and greenhouse gas emissions.
 Infrared thermometer

Measure the temperature of your hot water, fridge and freezer.   
 Spirit thermometer

Measure room and fridge and freezer temperatures.    
 
Compass  Stopwatch  Guide and worksheets
Compass

Identify which direction your home faces to make the most of free heating from the sun.  
 Stopwatch

Used to calculate the water flow rate from your showers and taps.  
 Guide

Information, pictures and diagrams to help you carry out your audit. 

Home Energy Toolkit video


Where to borrow or buy a Home Energy Toolkit

For the public

The Home Energy Toolkit is available from all metropolitan libraries and most regional libraries in South Australia. Contact your local library to check availability.

To find your nearest library visit the Libraries SA website

Please note toolkits are not available for sale to individuals.

For TAFE libraries

The Home Energy Toolkit can be used as an educational resource for TAFE sustainability courses.

TAFE libraries can purchase a home energy toolkit for less than half price at a subsidised cost of $170 including GST.

If you are from a TAFE campus library or a TAFE lecturer and are interested in purchasing a Home Energy Toolkit, contact the Energy Advisory Service.

For community organisations

The toolkit is a valuable resource for organisations who work with people who may be looking for practical ways to minimise their energy bills. 

Community organisations can borrow a Home Energy Toolkit through the Energy Partners Program. See the Energy Partners section of this site for more information. 

Energy partner organisations can also purchase a home energy toolkit for less than half price at a subsidised cost of $170 including GST. Included with the toolkit is a support kit containing:

  • instruction manuals for the appliance meter, infrared thermometer and stop watch
  • spare batteries for the infrared thermometer and stop watch
  • additional home energy auditing worksheets
  • information on how to replace lost components.

Free training is also available for staff and volunteers who may use the toolkit to assist clients.

If you are interested in purchasing toolkits for your organisation contact the Energy Partners Program

For SA libraries

If you are a South Australian public library interested in purchasing a Home Energy Toolkit, contact the Energy Advisory Service. Libraries can purchase a home energy toolkit for less than half price at a subsidised cost of $170 including GST. Included with the toolkit is a support kit containing:

  • instruction manuals for the appliance meter, infrared thermometer and stop watch
  • spare batteries for the infrared thermometer and stop watch
  • additional home energy auditing worksheets
  • information on how to replace lost components.

Extra worksheets

If your library's Home Energy Toolkit has run out of worksheets, you can download copies of the worksheet and print them yourself or contact the Energy Advisory Service for more. 

Home Energy Toolkit stories

Louise Mrdjen, Port Lincoln Library staff with a Home Energy ToolkitLibrary Manager, City of Port Lincoln Library

'The Home Energy Toolkit has become a much sought after resource by our users.

'Offering the Home Energy Toolkit for loan is another great way for libraries to connect with their community. Libraries are all about sharing information and raising awareness and the home energy toolkit is an example of supporting our community in assisting our users be more savvy with their power usage and maintaining energy efficient homes.

'The Home Energy Toolkit is easy to use, has easy instructions to follow and provides an authentic reading of energy usage.  The Port Lincoln Library is happy to work with DMITRE in assisting our community in being 'switched on' to power savings and improved efficiencies!'

Helen, Matt and family

Family with Home Energy ToolkitHelen, Matt and their two children borrowed a Home Energy Toolkit. 

'We found the infrared thermometer in the toolkit useful for spotting cold areas in the house, such as ceilings with little or no insulation. We are now in the process of replacing the insulation in our house. 

'We used the Power-Mate to look at the amount of electricity our appliances use. This has encouraged us to turn off items, such as the television, rather than leaving them on stand-by. We now have the computer and all its attachments plugged into a power board to make them easy to switch off. 

'We were worried that our fridge wasn't working efficiently, and were able to use the Power-Mate to check this. 

'We have made changes to the house to make it more energy efficient. We installed vents to allow better air flow in the summer and put skylights in the kitchen. Now the room is very bright and we only need the electric lights when the sun goes down. We are also going to install a screen door at the front of our house. This should allow a good cross breeze through the home, to cool it down in summer.'

Rachel and family Rachel and children using the Home Energy Toolkit

Rachel, her husband and their five children borrowed a Home Energy Toolkit. 

'We were very keen to see how much our second freezer was costing us, so the Power-Mate was very useful in calculating its running costs. I think a lot of people don't consider how much second fridges or freezers are costing per year. 

'We also found the Power-Mate educational for the kids. They could test how much power their appliances in their bedroom were costing if they were left on all day.'

Tim Law, Senior Library Officer, Murray Bridge Public Library

'Our users have found The Home Energy Toolkit to be an easy way for them to discover where in their homes they are wasting power. The kits have been very popular since 2009. 

'Users have found the instructions and worksheet that accompany the testing equipment easy to follow and very helpful. The Murray Bridge Library appreciates the assistance from the Energy Advisory Service in promoting this resource. 

'Thanks to the Home Energy Toolkits members of the Murray Bridge community now have the opportunity to be more power savvy and to save money on every increasing electricity bills.'

Vanessa Freebairn, Organiser, Gawler Regional Natural Resource Centre

Vanessa Freebairn with a Home Energy Toolkit

'The Gawler Regional NRC was recently successful in receiving grant money to combat Climate Change. We chose to use the funds to help people reduce household energy use. 

'Decreasing our personal energy consumption is not only a good way to save money, but it is a great first step to reducing the greenhouse gasses we emit.'As part of the project we offered free Home Energy Audits that helped highlight where electricity is being used in the home and provide householders with information and tools needed to reduce consumption. 

'Often people were asking for an audit because their bills were excessively high or they were trying to reduce their consumption before switching to solar power so they could purchase less solar panels to cover their usage. 

'I found the Home Energy Toolkits extremely useful while conducting the audits.  The first thing I would do is use the compass to help orientate the householder and look at the pathway of the sun.  This allowed them to consider shading on the north and west facing walls and the incorporation of passive solar design. 

'Everyone enjoyed testing their appliances with the Powermate, they were particularly interested in testing the standby consumption of TV's and computers around the home.

'The thermometer was very useful and I often found that people's freezers were set too cold consuming more energy than necessary.

'The Home Energy Toolkit is now available for loan and people are finding it easy to use by themselves because of the well laid out guide that is included in the kit.'

Catherine and Clive of Mount Gambier

Catherine and CliveCatherine and Clive did their own home energy audit by borrowing a Home Energy Toolkit from their local library. 

'We undertook a home energy audit and this has helped us to become more home energy efficient. 

'Using the Power-Mate was an excellent way to determine the costs of running our appliances. We are now much more aware that we can buy energy efficient appliances and we try to make better choices when we replace current electrical items. 

'We have also been able to reduce our home water use and this has made a difference to our water and electricity bills. 

'One of the best changes we made was to have a solar hot water system installed and this has proven itself of great benefit in reducing the costs of our hot water. 

'We would recommend a home energy audit as a great way to start looking at using less energy and how to reduce your impact on our environment. The more we know about energy saving options the more comfortable life can be.'


Related information

On this site

Do your own home energy audit

Explore the interactive energy efficient home

Downloads

Home Energy Toolkit worksheet


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Page last updated: 16 March 2016