How to balance your budget by cutting power bills

If you’re shopping around to reduce your power bills, here’s what to look for.

How to balance your budget by cutting power bills

As anyone trying to reduce their power bills will know, it’s often the standard supply that makes up the bulk of the charges so shopping around is important – here’s what you should consider.

The first step is to compare what you’re being charged currently against what other energy retailers are offering. When doing so, you should compare:

  • the supply charge, (fixed daily amount)
  • the price (tariff) you are paying for energy (how many cents per kWh or MJ)
  • discounts offered and which charges they apply to (the whole bill amount or only usage charges)
  • any incentives offered
  • length or contract and payment options (e.g. direct debit, BPay, Centrepay, monthly billing)
  • price increase terms – can fix the price for a certain period
  • any fees – early termination fees or incentive payback terms.
  • fees for a paper bill or credit card payments.

Once you have chosen a new energy retailer, or perhaps you decide to stick with your current provider, then you should look at how you use your power. These five simple tips may help reduce the energy you use. 

Dress correctly
To keep you warm in the winter, try layering clothes and wearing wool, which should enable you to turn your heater down. In the summer opt for cool, loose clothes.

Drop the thermostat
Every degree above 20 can add 10 per cent to your heating bill and in summer, set your thermostat to 26 degrees or above to save on cooling costs.

Wash clothes in cold water
Not only is a cool wash better for your clothes, washing them in cold water can save you around $115 per year. Using the shortest cycle possible will also help cut costs.

Fix your fridge
As your fridge is always switched on, making sure it’s sealed and stacked properly is key to using your energy efficiently. Ensure your door seals are tight and don’t over fill your fridge. To ensure the motor doesn’t over heat, your fridge should also have at least a 10mm gap between it and any wall. 

Stop standby power waste
Up to 10 per cent of your electricity could be used by gadgets and appliances that are on standby. You can simply ensure everything is switched off, or install standby power controllers that switch appliances off when not in use. 

What’s your tip for reducing energy bills? Have you found a great deal with an energy retailer that you’re happy to share?



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    14th Dec 2016
    We bought solar panels seven years ago and they have paid for themselves and saved us another $6,300+. Anyone could have done this at that time with the interest rates for the venture being so low.
    14th Dec 2016
    And this is why the Rudd years are continually targeted Eddie. The government of the day saw that something had to be done and did it. Now we are about to be savaged again by this right wing government as they demand you change your meter from the current gross metering to net metering. The lie they now tell is that new meters are required when the truth is that the current gross meters already do what is necessary. All that needs to be changed is to reprogram the billing.
    Tell me the current Turnbull government is not as crooked as a dog's hind leg.
    The sooner storage batteries come down in price the sooner we can all go off grid and send the mongrel coal industry and its power sellers into receivership. I'll be doing that even if it costs me and I hope there are enough people who feel the same way. Solar power is indeed wonderful and no amount of electoral donations should stand in the way of the future.
    Congratulations on having started.
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2016
    A gross meter can't be reprogrammed to a net meter. However what needs to happen to use a gross meter as a net meter is for you solar system to be wired differently so that your house uses the power before it gets to the meter.

    I had a gross net meter installed when I had the solar panels installed. The solar panels can be wired to either gross or net metering or a mixture of both.

    Solar has been a good investment for me as well.
    14th Dec 2016
    Tesla and Panasonic are putting together a nifty little solar/battery/inverter package, but we will probably be pushing up daisies by the time it gets here, if ever.
    14th Dec 2016
    You don't understand the game Geezer.
    Gross meters already analyse your usage and THERE IS NO NEED OF NET METERS AT ALL. The issue is that energy companies get to slug users AGAIN and make a stack of money on the new (unnecessary) meters. All they need to do is utilise the data from gross meters and PROGRAM TO ISSUE A BILL BASED ON NET USAGE. That is exactly what they do not want to do!!!!!!
    14th Dec 2016
    Yes I agree. Solar panels have been a God send and worth every cent.

    14th Dec 2016
    Solar should be made compulsory for all rental properties. It's bad enough that all renters are trapped in perpetual poverty.
    14th Dec 2016
    ALL properties methinks jackie.
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2016
    If solar is installed on all properties then an excess power produced will not be needed. So all you would need is what you use.
    14th Dec 2016
    ?????? What are you saying?
    Old Dog
    14th Dec 2016
    The first way to get a better deal on your power is to ASK for it. Ask what the best deal that your provider will give you then ask what their competitors will give. You will be surprised!
    14th Dec 2016
    Energy Australia has dropped its rates by 20% to retain business with the end of the rebates in 2 weeks. I don't care how much they offer though as I will be leaving.
    14th Dec 2016
    My last bill Sept. to Nov was $170, the winter bill was $269. I don't have Solar live Seniors Home not allowed. I turn off all stand by every night. wash cold water, only turn on Hot water when needed, Split System Air-con. with AGL my contract ended about August this year I was on 12% they tried for 7% with a new contract. As soon as I said no I want my 12% or I will go else where, they gave me a much better deal. When my account arrived end November SURPRISE,SURPRISE; 12% Discount for paying on time and 16% for Direct Debit, 28% off as well as the GOV concession. I scrutinize my bill as soon as it arrives. It can be cheaper if you are prepared to work on it. Cheers
    14th Dec 2016
    Given that the availability charge is around $30 a quarter you must be living in an insulated room.
    Electricity companies are owned by the coal industry. Need I a say more.
    Remember the Abbott and Hunt taunt "you have high electricity prices because of the Carbon Tax". Rise after rise with another coming next year I have to ask: why have energy costs gone through the roof since this government gained office? Wasn't the problem "the Carbon Tax"??????
    14th Dec 2016
    Our electricity consumption is low compared to friends in similar circumstances. All the tips in this article are good and savings can also be made by just turning off the lights when not in use.
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2016
    All deals are different and I have found the only way to work out which one is the best for you is calculate your last few bills in a spreadsheet using their tariffs and terms.

    30% off could mean nothing if it is on the net bill after the solar has been deducted. 30% off usage charges is better and better still is 30% off the total bill before anything else is taken off. You have to read the fine print to find out how they calculate your bill.

    One company offered me 30% off and I worked out it was going to cost me over $500 more per year.
    14th Dec 2016
    This is useless for us in Western Australia as there are no other Energy Companies
    14th Dec 2016
    Solar rooftops + storage batteries. Coming!

    14th Dec 2016
    What really annoys me is the charge for a paper bill, my gas supplier has just started doing this $1.75 so has Westbank $1.25. I will be taking it off the amount I pay. What makes them think every senior has a computer? What if your internet is down, no bill and it ends up being paid late and then they want to charge you for that! to hell with them, they can absorb these costs better than I. Its annoying enough that our governments have not protected its citizens from having to pay some of the highest utility prices in the world and now it's not even reliable!
    5th Sep 2018
    I pay my utility accounts by direct debit out of my Bank account so it i always paid on time. Not all people have computers or wen service in their area. Some people who had internet signal no longer have it since their area went onto NBN.
    14th Dec 2016
    Good luck finding these individual charges, I do mine yearly and it's a major ordeal as the charges are so buried on their sites, usually have to phone them.
    16th Dec 2016
    Finding an alternative when you do not have one WA, pit paid to that.
    29th Dec 2016
    I choose to have my electricity with Powershop, I can buy power ahead of time when the power is cheaper. I have saved heaps since being with Powershop. Here is a link if you want to save $75 to join up:
    6th Nov 2017
    I note that no mention is made of insulation. Really good insulation makes a huge difference. double glazing should be introduced as standard building practice too.
    6th Nov 2017
    Should also include standard for rental properties.
    7th Nov 2017
    If we had a government that cared about the people that elected them and were more concerned about family budgets we would still have a fair price for energy. Chasing votes and looking after themselves is the common theme of most politicians. All this chasing deals etc is a load of crock. We have a gutless government who are frightened to stand up to big business.
    Don't forget NSW still own half of the grid, so they would be laughing all the way to the bank with the current high prices.

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