The picture above is a shower saver which can be viewed here it is really just a switch which turns off the water so you can soap without wasting water then switch the water back on to rinse off. This is something that I think would easy to use and something most homes could easily install.
LED lights, basically use put in LED light instead of Halogen globes or use them in the normal Bayonet or Edison Screw sockets. Prices range from $14.95 and they can
longer then normal globes. Go here to check out all the styles and types.
Portable Solar Charges, for anything from your Laptop to your mobile phone, all through the use of the Sun. The price point of $149 is steep for the initial costs but I guess you will make that back with use of the charger - as it can charge a range of items and has a USB port a standard Car Charger port and a lot of adaptors for popular phones etc it can be used to charge almost anything. Something to think of a special gift or purchase with the tax cheque. More info here
OK so you want to save 50% of your electricity bill - install one of these! At $17,000 it will take a few bills to save the initial cost but it is effective and very efficient! I worked out that own electricity bill is approx $1000 a year (give or take) so if I saved 50% that'll be $500 a year so in 34 years I would make back that initial cost. It seems a little extreme and I guess if I were building a house and installed this as part of construction the cost would seem less... I am not sure though $17,000 is a lot of low power usage items that I could buy for my house and reduce my electricity usage through that... If costs are lowered on such items then I guess it could get better in the future.
But at least they are coming down in price and like all new technology as we get better making them the costs are reduced. So I say if you can afford panels on your home get them so people like me can one day actually afford to buy them...
I guess like most things it is do what you can, we really must look at ways we can change our behaviour and our usage of things like oil and power. I do not believe that nuclear energy is the way to go we can use Wind and Solar energy to create better sources of power.
I heard a scientist on the Morning Show on Triple J this week talk about the MANY uses of Oil other then burning for energy and I wonder if we will find ourselves at a point in the future unable to comprehend why we burned a resource that is so useful. Maybe then we will realise that sometimes economics and business are not the answer to our needs, maybe then we will kick ourselves for being so damn stupid. I doubt it though.