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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
12 August 2002
The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp today marked the beginning of Australia's first National Kilowatt Count with a tour of the McQuire family home in West Brunswick.
The National Kilowatt Count is a three-week project that explores energy use in households across the country.
Dr Kemp led a tour through the first solar-powered house in Victoria to be connected to the electricity grid. The home has featured in many magazines and has been used for special events, most recently the launch of the Moreland Energy Foundation a few months ago.
The McQuire household of two adults and two children consistently generate more electricity than they use and receive credits from their power company rather than energy bills.
Dr Kemp said the house was the perfect symbol for the National Kilowatt Count, which is aiming to raise awareness of how individuals can help reduce Australia's output of greenhouse gases.
"Households generate one-fifth of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions - mainly through everyday activities like running the clothes dryer, driving cars and having electric hot water systems, heaters and air conditioners," Dr Kemp said.
The National Kilowatt Count is the national project for Science Week 2002, conducted by the Australian Greenhouse Office in conjunction with CSIRO Education. From 12 to 31 August, those interested can participate by completing the household energy use questionnaire on the special website at www.kilowattcount.gov.au or by calling 1300 130 606. The results of the questionnaire will be added to a national database to produce a snapshot of household energy use across Australia.
Materials available through the National Kilowatt Count include a schools kit for classrooms around the country with a teacher's guide, example activities, special comic books, posters, a copy of the survey form and a CD version of the Australian Greenhouse Calculator.
Local schools can work with resources such as the "Global Warming, Cool It!" home guide to reducing energy costs and greenhouse gases and the "Understanding Greenhouse Gases- Frequently Asked Questions" booklet and have the chance of winning valuable computer prizes in the National Kilowatt Count schools competition.
"The National Kilowatt Count project will give householders lots of energy efficiency tips and methods of saving energy. I encourage all Australians to take part over the next three weeks. The environment is everybody's business and through cutting our greenhouse gas emissions, we not only contribute to Australia's future, but can perhaps save some money along the way as well," Dr Kemp said.
Catherine Job Dr Kemp's office (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Catherine King AGO (02) 6274 1454 or 0439 469 070
Wendy Orams, Alex and Stuart McQuire meet Dr Kemp at the front of their West Brunswick house
Wendy Orams, Alex (7 years) and Stuart McQuire meet Dr Kemp
Wendy Orams, Alex and Stuart McQuire show Dr Kemp their deciduous front garden