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Save money on more efficient Air-Conditioning Units – introducing Power to Save: A NSW Government Program.

Customer FAQs

 

Customer FAQs

About the offer

What is the offer about?

Through the offer, households and small businesses get a discount on installing a new energy efficient air conditioner (AC). This helps to reduce energy use, save on bills and supports a healthy environment.

What is the aim?

This offer supports households and small businesses reduce their energy bills by installing an energy efficient AC.

Who is responsible?

The NSW Government is responsible for the offer and will provide incentives through approved suppliers. The government, however, is not in charge of the delivery of services.

The offer will be delivered by approved suppliers and their network of AC installers. These approved suppliers will be:

  • the main point of contact for households and small businesses,

  • responsible for ensuring high quality work, and,

  • able to handle any complaints or enquiries from customers.

How does the offer work?

Households and small businesses can access discounts on energy efficient ACs by:

Accessing the offer and getting quotes

Once you contact an approved supplier, they will come to your home to do an assessment. If the AC best suited to your needs is on our list of eligible products, the supplier will give you a quote showing the discount, which is subsidised by the NSW Government. We recommend you contact different suppliers to get the best deal.

Installing the AC

When the AC is being installed, we recommend you talking with the installer. Find out about your warranty, cleaning and maintenance, the best ways to use the AC and the advantages that go with having an energy efficient air conditioner.

How do I know if I am a small business?

A small business is defined as a site that is entirely occupied by a business, and where the electricity bill is less than 100MWh per annum.

What is the discount I can get?

The discount will depend on the size of the AC and is available on the total installed price of the AC.


AC size Energy Rating Examples of ACs Discount

2.5 kW 5.5✩ and above Small bedroom or study $200

3.5 kW 5.5✩ and above Medium to large bedroom, small lounge $200

5 kW 4✩ and above Lounge – living room, small office $500

10 kW 3.5✩ and above Large open plan areas, small shops $1,000


 Why can’t I choose the AC size myself?

Having the right size AC in kW is very important and an approved supplier who is licensed to install the AC will recommend what you should get. If the kW capacity is too low, the AC will not cool the space properly. If the kW capacity is too high, it may cause the AC to cycle on and off more than it should, increasing the wear and tear on its components and increasing your electricity bill.

What factors should I consider before purchasing an AC?

Some factors can drastically reduce the effectiveness of heating and cooling your home or small business, have you considered if:

  • your premises are well insulated?

  • the windows and doors of your premise are draught-proofed?

  • the windows are tinted/double glazed?

The main thing to remember is that installing an AC with a high star rating will save you money over the years.

What are the benefits of an energy efficient AC?

On average, heating and cooling contributes to 40% of energy consumption [1]. By having an energy efficient AC, you will reduce energy consumption. The table below shows average savings when using an efficient unit compared to an average one.


Size Average $ savings
(Measured at cooling capacity) per year

2.5 kW $ 55

5.1 kW $ 89

14.5 kW $ 305


There are other factors that contribute to energy savings – choosing the right size AC, installing the AC according to manufacturer’s requirements, and what sorts of insulation there is in the premises. If a customer gets the wrong AC, or it is not installed correctly or maintained properly, it costs money.

When will the offer end?

The offer will end in April, 2020 or when the funding has been fully allocated.

What are the eligibility criteria to access the offer?

To access the offer, you need to:

  • be over 18 years of age,

  • buy an AC from our eligible list,

  • use an approved supplier,

  • own your home or have approval from your landlord for the AC installation, and,

  • consent to your data being collected as part of the offer.

Where can I find more information?

To get more information about the offer, please visit the website www.energysaver.nsw.gov.au

If the information you require is not readily available, you can email hello@energysaver.nsw.gov.au

Where can I submit my complaint about the offer?

You are welcome to submit any complaints about the offer through the email: aci@ncba.net.au

Where can I submit feedback about the offer?

You are welcome to submit feedback about the offer through the email: aci@ncba.net.au

What questions should I ask my installer before accepting their quotation?

Choosing the right AC can be a challenge. Here are several tips to help you with the process:

  • Shop around and get several quotes.

  • Don’t use a business that gives a quote over the phone. A professional should come to your home to do an-site assessment.

  • Make sure you discuss with the supplier which AC will best suit the layout of your house. This includes capacity, size of the room(s) and windows, and whether there is insulation. The actual capacity of the AC is critical. If the capacity is too low, your AC will not cool or heat the space adequately. If the capacity is too high, it will cause the AC to cycle on and off more than it should, leading to wear and tear of its components.

  • Understand the services you will receive. Most suppliers offer supply and installation packages. Some offer installation only.

  • Check the quote has these details: business name, its ABN, right address for the proposed work, your name, details about the new AC, total cost including installation and the discount.

  • The job must be done by a licensed professional. Only a skilled professional should handle refrigerant gas — always ask or check if they hold a current ARC Refrigerant Handling Licence.

  • Make sure you ask questions about the energy efficiency of the AC and its running costs.

Installation

How do I know that the person contacting me is legitimate?

Suppliers registered under the offer will be added on the portal www.energysaver.nsw.gov.au

If a supplier contacts you, check the website to confirm they are a legitimate service provider.

What if there are no suppliers servicing my area?

If an approved supplier is currently unable to service your area, please provide your details by emailing hello@energysaver.nsw.gov.au. You will be notified when an approved supplier is available to service your area.

How can we make sure we are getting a discount?

The discount should be included in the quote. If the approved supplier hasn’t provided with you one, ask for it.

Is there a warranty on the products installed?

Warranties are generally offered by the product manufacturers. Customer should talk about warranties when they are getting a quote from a supplier. The customer has the option of seeking quotes from multiple suppliers.

What if I have questions about the service?

Contact the suppliers directly. They should address any questions you have about the installation. If the suppliers can’t, they will escalate it with their support team.

Approved suppliers are required under the offer to address any issues with the upgrade. If the suppliers are not responding to the query, customers should contact hello@energysaver.nsw.gov.au

Alternatively, contact NSW Fair Trading. The Australian Consumer Law sets out your rights when you buy goods and services – including your rights to repairs, replacements and refunds. NSW Fair Trading is involved in safeguarding the rights of all consumers and advises business and traders on fair and ethical practice. For more information about your rights as a consumer visit http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Why do I need to sign a consent form?

The NSW Government and its approved suppliers will get your consent in writing to gather, store and use data collected in relation to the AC installation. The government uses the data to:

  • Evaluate the success of the program

  • Undertake surveys of customers following installation

  • Utilise the data for program auditing purposes

You can read more about the Data Policy here: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/whoweare/privacy.htm

What if I don’t want to consent to have my data shared with the government and be contacted by the Administrator or the government in the future?

Unfortunately, customers will not be able to access the discount. A key aspect of the offer is that customers consent to share their data and be contacted by the approved supplier or the government. You may be contacted so the government can get feedback on the offer, and in some instances, check the quality of the installation as part of an audit.

Suppliers will not be able to complete the incentive claim form without your consent.

What is the DRED thingy they put with my AC?

A Demand Response Enabling Device (DRED) means you can give control to energy retailers or distribution network service providers to limit the amount of power your AC can use during critical peak load times.

Post-installation

Can I keep my old AC system?

Old AC equipment cannot be reused, resold or refurbished and must be appropriately disposed of by the supplier. This is to ensure old energy inefficient AC systems are not used somewhere else after they are removed.

Where can I find more information about energy efficiency?

You can find more information about how to save energy around the home at www.energysaver.nsw.gov.au.

I have installed an energy efficient AC. Why are my energy bills increasing?

There are a few reasons why:

  1. Energy prices might have gone up since you bought your new AC.  While you may be conscious of your energy use, a rise in the cost of energy means you can have a higher bill.

  2. There is a phenomenon known as the ‘rebound effect’, where the expected gains from a new technology don’t happen because of the way you are using it. While having a high star rated AC means your unit will use less energy compared with an average one, it still uses energy. So, if you leave the AC unit on more than you need to, it can rack up the bills. We have put a list of tips to maximise the use of your AC while minimising impact on your energy bill: https://energysaver.nsw.gov.au/households/fine-tune-your-home/free-ways-save-energy-and-money

What other appliances or installations are covered?

The government currently has two offers to help households and small business save on bills and reduce energy use. The first offer is discounts for households and small businesses taking up energy efficient lighting. The second one involves energy efficient ACs. The government is looking at introducing other energy saving offers. You can register your interest on the Energy Saver website to learn about new offers: https://energysaver.nsw.gov.au/households/rebates-and-discounts/air-conditioner-and-appliance-upgrades

Are you able to guarantee that I will obtain savings in my energy bills?

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee lower energy bills. Individual circumstances vary, and savings depend on several factors.

If a household / small business replaces an old, inefficient AC with a new energy efficient one of a similar size and operates it in the same way as their old one, they are more likely to achieve energy savings.

Weather changes can also impact on how you use your AC, especially during extreme weather events such as heat waves and cold fronts.

Is there anything I can do to keep my AC functioning optimally?

Ask the supplier about the checks you can do yourself such as regularly cleaning or replacing filters and keeping the outdoor unit clear of debris.

Any tips to use my AC?

  • Eliminate heating/cooling loss. One of the easiest ways to save energy at home is to look for the places heat or cool can escape, such as gaps under the doors or around the windows.

  • Set winter heating to 18-21 degrees, summer cooling to 23-26 degrees. Each degree counts and can help you save 10% on your energy use.

  • Only use heating and cooling when necessary. Turn your AC off if you are not in the room for a long period of time.

  • Use ‘zoning’ – close off rooms/windows when the AC is on and only heat/cool the areas you need.

  • Have your AC cleaned by a professional on a regular basis. This makes sure it is running efficiently and avoids mould in the unit.

  • Avoid placing appliances that give off heat, such as TVs or lamps, near a thermostat as this will affect performance of the system.

Other

I am a council / a community service organisation (CSO) dealing with householders and small businesses. How can I have access to promotion materials about this offer?

Leave your contact details at hello@energysaver.nsw.gov.au and a NSW Government representative will contact you to discuss to better understand how we can support you.

I am an AC installer. How can I participate in this offer?

The government doesn’t deal directly with the delivery of the offer. The approved suppliers are responsible for managing their AC installers network and should have specific systems in place. They will need to recruit and train AC installers. Should you be interested in participating in the offer, you might email us at hello@energysaver.nsw.gov.au.

Please note that the government cannot be held responsible for an Administrator’s decision to accept/decline any new AC installers.

Can councils take part in this offer?

This offer targets households and small businesses. Councils are not the intended recipients of the offer’s incentives. Please contact the government to clarify what this would mean for a council.

I rent my premises and I am not the home owner, am I still eligible?

Please check with the landlord or property owner and obtain necessary consent before you access this offer.

I rent my premises and I am not the business site owner, am I still eligible?

Please check with the landlord or property owner and obtain necessary consent before you access this offer.


[1] http://yourenergysavings.gov.au/energy/heating-cooling/understand-heating-cooling