John Tilden

Former Ecovantage South Australia consultant John Tilden has launched his own consultancy, The Saver Group.

The new business has recruited a team of energy auditors to deliver energy efficiency services under the newly expanded SA Government Residential Energy Efficiency Scheme.

The REES targets from last year have been carried over into 2015, Mr Tilden said, ensuring a good workflow for this year, however some of the contracts between energy providers and REES providers for next year are still yet to be signed.

The scheme now incorporates 28 different efficiency activities including LED lighting retrofits, water-saving shower heads and standby power controllers. Field staff also provide services around education of householders on energy-efficient behaviour, checking that the temperature of hot water services is set at 60 degrees, not higher, and checking appliances such as fridges are running efficiently. In addition to these projects, which target low-income households as a priority, the new company is providing general energy audit services across the residential and commercial sectors.

Mr Tilden told The Fifth Estate one of the key issues for low income households in SA was heating during winter, with most relying on energy-hungry fan heaters or column heaters. This is creating financial stress, and resulting in some households being disconnected. He said it would be ideal if the renewal of social housing to be carried out in the state included the installation of energy-efficient heating such as permanent, wall-mounted panel heaters.