Case study

From $180 to $18 per month:
A QLD family’s success story

Lucy, QLD



Annual energy savings


Annual CO² reduction
How a Queensland family radically reduced their energy bills with EnergyFlex.
Meet Lucy and her family, located in Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

Anyone living in Australia will tell you that an air conditioner is non-negotiable.

Having just had their first baby, installing an air conditioner was one of the first upgrades that Lucy and her partner made when they moved into their new home in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

“We had solar panels, so we didn’t think twice about running the air con all day to keep the house comfortable for the baby.”

That was until the energy bills started coming.

“Our bills averaged $180 to $200 a month, even with solar panels. We knew that we were using more power, but we soon noticed that our retailer was also hiking our tariff. It was a double-whammy,” says Lucy.

‘My last energy bill was for $18.80 three months ago. We haven’t received a bill since.’

Gaining situational awareness with EnergyFlex

Lucy’s partner, a systems engineer, set out to find a more controlled, scientific approach to energy management, with the ability to monitor their household energy consumption and get insights into their usage. The EnergyFlex app fit the bill.

“Until we started using the EnergyFlex app we did not realise that we should view our energy use as a valuable asset, just like our car. We didn’t realise that the timing of our energy use would have the biggest impact on our bills and environmental footprint.” Lucy says.

Once they had a better understanding of their daily usage patterns, the family started changing their energy habits to align with renewable generation. That’s when their bills started plummeting.

“Our last energy bill was for $18.80! That was three months ago, and we haven’t received a bill since – probably because we’re in the negative and our retailer doesn’t want to send them to us,” Lucy laughs.

Once they had a better understanding of their daily usage patterns, the family started changing their energy habits to align with renewable generation. That’s when their bills started plummeting.

Making hay when the sun shines

This time for change was now.

Not only did EnergyFlex help Lucy’s family to reduce their bills, but it also helped them to optimise the use of their solar panels.

“We stopped exporting energy back to the grid when we realised that we’d need to sell four times more energy into the grid than the amount of energy we bought from the grid to break even. We would never have known this if we hadn’t been using the app.”

That single insight convinced the family to make the most of the energy being generated by their solar panels during the day, which allowed them to reduce their grid consumption in the evenings.

Through basic behaviour changes – like doing the washing during the day and never in the evenings, or prepping meals on weekends when power is generally cheaper – the family had more time to spend together in the evenings. “It’s been wonderful not having to cook dinner every night!”

Planet-saving habit shifting

The family has also drastically reduced the amount of carbon emissions they produce since shifting their usage – from about a tonne of carbon a quarter to a couple of kilograms.

“We saw the impact of these small changes on our app dashboard almost immediately. Once we’d exhausted all the ‘no-cost actions’, we used the money we’d saved to make some low-cost upgrades, like installing a timer switch on our hot water system so that it would only heat up during the daytime, and only charging our electric vehicle when the sun was shining.”

Lucy and her family’s EnergyFlex Rating went from 3.1 to an amazing 4.5 during their energy-saving journey.

Time-of-use tariffs come into play

Having shifted most of their energy consumption through no-cost and low-cost behaviour changes, the family could take advantage of time-of-use tariffs, which reward these energy-smart decisions.

“Just knowing that we’d be charged ludicrous tariffs for using energy in the evenings (and next-to-nothing for using energy during the day) was enough to make us think twice before flipping a switch. As long as everyone has clean underwear, there’s no reason to do laundry at night. It’s amazing what you can achieve by changing a few basic behaviours and understanding how to use the system.”

Nothing to lose

“There’s not much more we can do; we’ve pretty much maxed out all our options,” Lucy laughs. “But with no energy bills and very little carbon emissions, we’re in a good place.”

Lucy wants people to know that their energy bills aren’t ‘just another expense’.

“You can radically reduce your bills by simply changing your behaviours. Plus, you’ll also be helping the planet. The energy market is complex, so it’s nice to have a tool like EnergyFlex that teaches you – in simple language – how to get the system to work in your favour because that level of awareness has been missing from a consumer perspective. You’ve got nothing to lose in signing up, but potentially a lot to gain in cost and carbon savings.”

Inspired by this business’ success? Join EnergyFlex today.