Bright idea to join the Big Switch

WITH five kids under 12 and a farm to run, Lea and Wayne Salvestro's power bill was never going to be cheap.

But at almost $3000 per quarter, the utility takes a staggering chunk out of the family budget.

Living on a property at Warrawidgee, the family also has to endure regular power outages which sometimes last for a day or more.

Hundreds of locals have already signed up to the Big Griffith Switch in a bid to make a saving on their electricity bills and Mr and Mrs Salvestro said it has certainly given them something to think about.

The family's power bill has almost doubled in the past couple of years, though Mr Salvestro said the steepest increase began last year.

"Our last bill was $2800," Mr Salvestro said.

"When it comes down to electricity, we've done all we can to cut back."

In an effort to combat the ever-increasing bills, the Salvestros have turned down their under-floor heating, started using the wood fire and are in the process of installing LED lights throughout the home.

"The TV is only on when we're watching it," Mrs Salvestro said.

"We always get the kids to turn the lights off when they leave a room and when we have dinner, everything is off."

But a minimum two loads of washing every day, a fully electric household and entertainment for five children all adds up.

"It's a necessary evil we have to have it," Mrs Salvestro said.

"We can go without other things and work harder to cover it but I feel bad for the older generation they've worked hard all their lives and they can't even live comfortably now, they have to go without.

"Just when you've paid off the last bill you know another one is going to come in when is it going to stop?"

More than 300 locals have now signed up to the Big Griffith Switch and there are two weeks and three days left to join the campaign.

In early July, members will be sent an offer of a substantial discount on their electricity which they can choose to take up, use to negotiate with their existing provider, or decline.

To join, visit or call the One Big Switch team on 1300 131 639 and register your name and email address.

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