Energy bill anxiety: How to keep costs down this winter
While things might be a little different to this time last year, one thing that hasn’t changed is the winter chill. And unfortunately, as a large number of Aussies spend the majority of their time indoors, a jaw-dropping energy bill is to be expected.
According to recent data by energy company Jemena, our electricity usage has jumped by 16% compared to this time last year, while businesses experienced a fall in electricity usage of between 10% - 12%.
With Aussies having to tighten their wallets to manage expenses during the pandemic, a higher bill is far from ideal. According to Professor Sara Wikinson at University of Technology Sydney, some households are doing everything they can to soften the blow.
She said that older Aussies are reducing their consumption by either cutting back their use of heating appliances, going to bed fully clothed or even skipping showers.
"People are spending almost all their time at home, which is obviously pushing up their energy consumption. And [their] ability to hang out somewhere warm in the mall or community centre has gone," Wilkinson said.
However, Powershop chief executive Jason Stein said that drastic measures are not always necessary and that simple savings can be made around the home.
“With Australians spending more time at home this winter, energy bills may be higher. [But] there are some simple things you can do to try and keep your energy bills down and help save money,” Stein said.
He recommended setting “your heater thermostat between 18–20°C in living areas, [as] every extra degree adds 10% to your heating bill.”
“Switching off the game console after use could save a household of four up to $193 a year,” Stein said.
Other tips include ditching your dryer for a clothes horse, investing in door snakes to plug draughts and improve insulation. And remember to switch off lights when you leave a room.
If you’d like more energy savings tips that’ll not only keep you warm but keep costs down this winter, head on over to our energy savings tips hub!