Research released recently by energy expert iSelect suggests that over 2.8 million Australian households plan to cut back on their spending to pay their summer energy bill this year.
Furthermore, 48% said the cost of energy will affect how long they use the air conditioner this summer. For what it’s worth, entertainment and dining are the expenses most Australian households were prepared to chop. This is a bit depressing frankly, as summer is the time for eating out, and having fun.
According to iSelect, most of us are prepared for large winter bills but during the warmer months, keeping air-conditioners running around the clock and the extra energy consumed by kids at home during the summer holidays using TVs and computers can result in summer energy bill shock.
Surprisingly, reducing the use of air-conditioners won’t slash your bill significantly advises iSelect. This is because large portions of our energy bills are made up of network charges and other mysterious variables expenses – that only the electricity companies understand, and more significantly are not associated with how often you use the air-conditioner, dishwasher or clothes dryer.
The survey also found that almost half of all Australians homes will use fans to reduce costs, however just 10% of householders are planning to search for a better energy deal. While reducing your energy use is important, shopping around for the most cost-effective plans can create some significant savings, according to iSelect. This is because tariff rates and pay-on-time discounts can differ extensively from provider to provider, and even from plan to plan with the same provider. In a similar vein, increased competition means some retailers are offering generous introductory offers or rebates to entice new customers to switch to their services. These carrots can save some cash.
iSelect also warns homeowners about flexible payment options offered by the energy companies. Rather, the comparison website, recommends that householders pay bills weekly, fortnightly or monthly, or sign up for bill smoothing which will divide your annual usage into even monthly installments, avoiding bill shock.