When Australian households were asked by consumer group Choice earlier this year to list their biggest household concerns, electricity costs were one of the most pressing worries.
Choice’s quarterly, nationally representative survey, which measures Australians’ attitudes to the cost of living, revealed that over 80% of respondents were “concerned or very concerned” about electricity costs.
However, this is not a new phenomenon; this is the ninth consecutive quarter during which electricity costs have achieved the dubious honour of top spot on the list of concerns.
One explanation for this persistence is that since about 2008, energy costs in Australia have been rising at alarming rates.
Why are electricity costs rising?
In the July 2016 edition of the Choice Consumer Pulse Report, Alan Kirkland, CEO of Choice Australia, attributes the rise in energy costs to Australia’s “dysfunctional retail energy market”, stating, “With continuing price rises and grinding complexity, it is no surprise that the merits of energy market regulations – and deregulation – continue to be questioned.”
Consumer advocates have also claimed that state government policies related to the valuation of electricity assets are affecting the price of energy to consumers.
What can households do to minimise their electricity costs?
1. Improve energy efficiency
The simplest way to reduce energy costs is always to reduce consumption, either by switching off, or switching to more energy efficient appliances. Consider the following:
- A Smart Thermostat can analyse and optimise your home’s heating and cooling;
- An Ecoswitch can be used to conveniently switch off all appliances at once and prevent energy being used whilst on standby;
- Solar chargers are a great way of recharging phone and tablet batteries “off the grid”;
- When purchasing new appliances, look for a high Energy Star Rating – the more stars the better – while these may be more expensive to purchase initially, you should save your money back in reduced energy costs in the medium-term.
For more, check out our blog, 4 energy saving devices for your office and home [internal link to blog].
2. Negotiate a better deal on your energy rates
In addition to being more energy-wise, it pays to negotiate a better deal on your energy bill.
Unfortunately, the energy retailers seem to deliberately make it difficult to compare “apples with apples”, however Bulk Energy can help.
We monitor the energy markets daily price fluctuations, as well as the retailer’s current offerings, and know how to “read” your bill; this obsession with energy puts you in prime position to save.
The advantages of using an independent energy broker include:
- Saving time, as we shop around on your behalf for the best deals;
- Extensive knowledge on all things related to energy, from pricing to products, and what to look for in the fine print;
- Bulk buying power – ask your broker if they can achieve a better price through buying groups.
If you’re looking to lower your electricity costs for your home, then consider Bulk Energy’s free assessment. All we need to get started is a copy of your electricity bill so click here or call us today on 1300 GO BULK (1300 46 2855).