Crank up the heater, winter is here! As Aussie households brace for colder weather, Australian energy retailer Nectr says that there are steps households can take to minimise energy bill shock this winter.
And our quest to stay warm over the cooler months can cost $200 or more on electricity bills when compared to summer.
State by state comparisons reveal that on average winter electricity bills are 57% more in winter than summer in the ACT, 17.4% more in NSW, 20.3% more in South Australia, 76.2% more in Tasmania and 28% more in Victoria.
Five Tips to Avoid Energy Bill Shock
1. Check the energy efficiency of your appliances: If you are buying a new appliance, check the energy rating – the higher the star level, the better the energy efficiency of the appliance.
Many heating appliances such as gas heaters and wood heaters are less energy efficient than air conditioners used for cooling, which results in higher energy usage.
For example, in Victoria, where heating uses the most amount of energy in the home, using a 2.5-star reverse-cycle air conditioner to heat a large room (60m2) will cost $337 compared to $1,437 using a 4.5-star gas heater.
2. Prevent ‘vampire energy’ consumption: When appliances are not in use and are in standby mode, they are still using energy.
Phone chargers are the worst culprits, with fully charged phones that are still connected to the power point using more than 2 watts per hour. Turn off unused appliances at the power point once you’re done using them – it could save more than $200 a year.
3. Invest in rooftop solar: Australia is one of the sunniest places on Earth which makes solar panels a great investment. But even in cloudy, low-light conditions, high-quality solar panels will produce energy.
Solar energy bundles that offer no up-front cost, monthly interest-free instalments, and competitive energy rates are making the switch to solar even more affordable.
4. Take the next step to energy independence with a home battery: Australians are looking for more ways to rely less on the energy grid, with 84% of Australian solar owners who don’t currently own a household battery interested in purchasing one in the next three years.
Not only will a battery enable homeowners to use energy when and how they want, particularly during peak periods, it will also add value to the home with research revealing that energy efficient homes are more attractive to buyers, quicker to sell and attract a premium price.
5. Do an energy audit of your home: Older homes may require upgrades to improve their energy efficiency but it can come with huge savings.
Switching to LED lightbulbs, upgrading housing insulation, eliminating sources of drafts around windows and doors can all help to retain heat within the home, leading to less energy used by appliances to maintain a comfortable temperature.