Frugal Aussies 'are embracing renewable energy'

It may seem frightfully obvious, but limiting the amount of energy we use in our houses can have a hugely positive impact on our finances.

Unfortunately, some people are so stretched that they have little choice but to raid their savings accounts in order to cover their latest electricity or gas bill.

That said, it is encouraging to see so many Aussies starting to take control of their power consumption.

Basic measures such as going steady on the air conditioning gauge and switching TVs off when they are not being watched can go a long way towards saving Aussies significant sums of money.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 74 per cent of adults across the country are worried about the effects of climate change.

In addition to this, a recent study conducted by Choice showed that 55 per cent of the population are "very concerned" about their electricity bills, while 30 per cent said they were "quite concerned".

With this in mind, it is no shock to see a greater number of people turn towards more sustainable energy sources like solar power.

The ABS confirmed that just 118 households had fitted solar energy units in 2001, but this number rose sharply to 85,550 in 2009.

In 2011, this figure increased even more dramatically to 639,803 – surely a clear sign that people have finally realised that they do not have to rely on the country's main electricity companies to power their homes.

Although initial installation fees can be quite off-putting, the long-term savings can be massive and there are also a few government schemes aimed at helping people foot the initial cost of switching to solar power.

The ABS also revealed that Aussies are increasingly conscious about the performance of their appliances.

Cost price is still the most important factor for 47 per cent of the population when purchasing items like kettles, refrigerators and ovens, but a further 45 per cent said energy efficiency was now their biggest priority.

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