Hot summer ahead: don't let your energy bills scorch you

By Tom Watson ·

As the old saying goes, you can’t predict the weather. Unfortunately for Australia’s chief weather agency this is exactly what played out this week, with a recent statement from the Bureau of Meteorology reversing its original summer forecast from cool and wet to hot and dry.

Unlike the weather, the reversal in summer forecast could potentially spell a much more predictable outlook for household energy bills, especially if above average temperatures force Aussies to reach for their air conditioning dials more often.  

A change in forecast

Having originally predicted a cooler holiday season for the majority of Australia thanks to the La Nina event currently brewing in the Pacific, abnormal sea surface temperatures in the western Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean are now likely to mitigate La Nina’s impact and, as a result, have forced the Bureau to update its forecast.   

The amended outlook indicates that temperatures are likely to be warmer than average in the eastern two-thirds of Australia, with northeastern New South Wales and areas around the Gulf of Carpentaria expected to experience drier than average summers.

Avoiding summer bill pain

Should recent predictions hold true, Australians could face another summer of high energy bills - especially if households crank up the air conditioning to combat the heat.

A Mozo study from last summer revealed that Australians were adding nearly $2.5 billion to their energy bills thanks to bad air conditioning habits such as leaving it running overnight and using it to keep the kitchen cool while using the oven.

Bad habits and higher than average temperatures could further compound household bill pain, especially given that a recent analysis from Mozo showed that Australians are paying up to 29% more for their electricity bills than this time in 2016.

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However, the news isn’t all bad, with the same analysis highlighting that households could potentially trim over $900 off their yearly bills depending on where they live, just by switching to a better value plan.

“With many households experiencing energy bill increases in the double-digits over the past year, it’s hardly surprising that eight out of ten households cite electricity bills as the expense that gives them most concern,” said Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont.

“The saving grace for many of these households is that prices for some energy plans have actually gone down, which has created a huge gap between the best and worst value plans and an ideal market for savvy Australians who are willing to make the switch.”

If you’re looking for a way to save on your own energy bill this summer, why not head on over to the Mozo energy cost cruncher to compare top plans in your own area.

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Tom Watson
Tom Watson
Finance journalist

Tom Watson is a financial journalist at Mozo, specialising in fintech, property and business banking. Whether it’s reporting on banking trends or uncovering the latest product innovations, Tom’s mission is to keep our readers up to date with breaking Australian financial news. His work is often sourced in the media and across social media channels. Tom has a degree in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney.