Power Saver

Reporter: Laticia Gibson

How do we know our electricity meter is being read correctly? Exactly how much you're paying on your power bill is anyone's guess. Homes across Australia have long had problems with ridiculous and incorrect bills due to estimated meter readings. But now, the inventors of a new computer program, BillCheck, say they have the answer.

An electrician by trade, Shaun Garrard received countless enquires from people wanting to know how to save money on their power bills. He approached software developer and friend, Desmond Smith to help him with the problem.

"People have been spending electricity and money in areas which they probably don't need to. And just becoming aware of that - there's instant savings", says Mr Garrard.

He believes that the majority of people don't even read their bill, they just pay it never questioning the amount.

Pensioners Harriett and David Newlands were no exception to the majority. But when their power bill nearly doubled in three months, they used the new program to figure out the mistake. "We hadn't used extra power.. maybe a little but no that much and I went down and checked the meter and I noticed it had been misread", said Mr Newlands.

The program picked up that the reading was out by 1000 units - a $45 mistake. When they studied their power bill further, they were amazed just how much money was slipping through their fingers.

The program not only detects errors in you meter reading, it also details the cost of each electrical item in your house. Just a simple change of a light bulb can save you money.

The software designer himself, managed to save $37 a quarter only on lights alone.

Mother of two, Yvette Konda didn't know where her money was disappearing to. With just her husband's income, the household budget was always under scrutiny. She's now managed to save nearly $200 a year.

Eliminating the shock of the your next power bill is one thing, but just how much money you are wasting on items not in use may surprise you.

Having your TV on standby for 24 hours a day costs $9.50 a year. A microwave is around the same, while your air-conditioning unit is a whopping $24 a year.

When you calculate it, that's nearly $43 a year on just three items sitting there doing nothing. If you think about how many items you have in the house, there's savings to be made in every room.

For more information on Bill Check, visit : www.billcheck.com.au