Wise up to winter woes

COLD: Terry and Beverley Jarvis keep curtains down to hold in the heat. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

COLD: Terry and Beverley Jarvis keep curtains down to hold in the heat. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

Practical heating campaign launched

Draughty homes are costing Victorian households up to $160 a year. - Ryan Smith

A new campaign was launched aimed at encouraging Victorian families to winter proof their homes.

The state government and Sustainability Victoria launched the campaign in Ballarat.

Sustainability Victoria chief executive officer Stan Krpan said the program focused on the regional Victorian towns of Ballarat, Bendigo and Shepparton.

"The program is focused on regional Victoria because we know the type of housing in this area - they tend to be older and have lots of issues around draughts," he said.

"We also know communities in those areas could do with some help."

The tips include plugging the gaps, setting the thermostat and dressing the windows.

"A lot of heat is lost through the gaps in windows - get proper covering on the windows with drapes and blinds," Mr Krpan said.

Setting the thermostat to 21 or 22 degrees would help keep costs down, he said.

"Every degree over 20 degrees costs an extra 10 per cent," he said.

"All of us spend more than 50 per cent more (energy) in winter heating our homes than we do in summer cooling them down.

The campaign was launched in one of Victoria's coldest cities, Ballarat, by the Environment and Climate Change minister Ryan Smith.

Mr Smith said the campaign would give the community vital strategies for coping financially during the winter months.

He said the campaign would assist in reducing energy costs.

"Draughty homes are costing Victorian households up to $160 a year in additional energy costs," he said.

"One of the biggest costs on winter energy bills is heat escaping through gaps in our homes.

"The biggest sources of heat loss come from cracks around doors and uncovered vents and windows.

"This cost can easily be reduced by putting in place simple and cost effective strategies such as using door snakes and gap sealant.

"This is about giving families the information they need to use energy wisely."

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