Another state aims to help you save on energy bills

Another government announces quick and easy way to compare and save on electricity.

air con costs

Hard on the heels of the Victorian Government offering $50 to anyone who compares their energy provider on its Victorian Energy Compare website, the New South Wales Government has announced another cost-saving initiative.

It has launched an electricity bill comparison service to help consumers “save hundreds of dollars on their energy bill”. The initiative, called Energy Switch, comes a week after a NSW parliamentary inquiry report found retail electricity prices in the state had risen by 52 per cent in the past 10 years and that profit margins for retailers were “excessive”.

“Energy Switch is a game changer and is more than just another government comparison website,” says NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

“For the first time for an Australian government, customers can switch providers in minutes with the click of a mouse or a chat with Service NSW.

“We know many families and individuals are facing cost-of-living pressures and this new measure could help them save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year.”

As some current and former politicians pressure the Federal Government to revive the National Energy Guarantee, National Electrical and Communications Association chief executive Suresh Manickam says householders could cut their energy bills through recent technological advances they may not be aware of.

“The first step is getting an energy efficiency audit,” he told

“Many electricians are trained for this, so speak to your local sparky or visit to find an accredited provider.”

So what are the chief culprits that ramp up your electricity consumption?

According to Canstar Blue, a typical split-system air conditioner costs between 25 and 95 cents an hour to run. If it was in operation for six hours a day over summer, the cost could be more than $500. To ensure the unit is running as efficiently as possible, Canstar Blue recommends that householders routinely clean the filters.

Queensland Consumers Association spokesman Ian Jarratt told that people should use an air conditioner’s economy mode, if available, and use fans to further circulate cool air.

“Do not set the air conditioner at a very low temperature,” he said. “Every degree set below 24 degrees increases power consumption by about 10 per cent.

“In addition to lowering power bills now, using less power for air conditioning also helps reduce peak power demand, which in the long run will reduce the need for expensive extra investment in networks and generation that is likely to be reflected in higher power prices.”

The Department of Environment and Energy offers the following tips for older Australians.

Close off rooms not in use.
Shut doors and vents to unused areas and only heat or cool the rooms you’re using.

Draught-proof any gaps.
Sealing gaps and cracks to stop air leaking is a cheap way to cut your energy bill by up to 25 per cent. Use a draught stopper to prevent air leaking under doors. Where possible, apply weather seals to windows, skirting boards, skylights and cornices.

Improve window efficiency.
Prevent heat loss or gain with well-fitted curtains and blinds to trap a layer of air next to the window. Close curtains during the hottest part of the day in summer.

Use fans before air conditioning.
Fans cost around two cents per hour to run, much less than air conditioners, and reduce the temperature by 2°C or 3°C. Fans can be used to improve the effectiveness of cooling systems.

Consider your hot water usage.
Heating water accounts for around 15 to 27 per cent of household energy use. The recommended setting for thermostats is 60°C for storage hot water systems and no more than 50°C on instantaneous systems. If away for more than a week, turn off your storage hot water system to save money and energy.

Think carefully when buying and using appliances.
Appliances account for up to 30 per cent of household energy consumption. Use the Energy Rating website or the Energy Rating Calculator app for your phone, to compare running costs of appliances. A higher star-rated model may cost a little more upfront, but will reduce energy use and total costs.

Washing clothes in warm water uses 10 times more energy than a cold water wash.

Turn off standby mode.
Many appliances use power when left on, even if not in use. This can account for three per cent of household electricity consumption. Most can be switched off at the power point.

Check your lighting usage.
Lights use around 10 per cent of the average household electricity budget. Use efficient reading lamps rather than lighting a whole room. Switch lights off when you leave the room and consider sensors for outdoor lights.

Replace old-style globes with LEDs (light emitting diodes), which use around 80 per cent less energy. They should also last between four and 10 times longer.

Have you ever asked an electrician to do an energy audit of your home? What did you learn?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    Old Geezer
    29th Nov 2018
    It really concerns me that you have to upload your bill with all your personal details.
    29th Nov 2018
    Once I did an energy audit at a previous rental and did pretty well. Utilising and saving energy where you can is basic common sense.
    80 plus
    30th Nov 2018
    old geezer and robmur seem confused, I thought it was the rabid right that supported and encouraged profit making, now it seems the it is the mad left who are causing greed, perhaps we should nationalize the banks, insurance and power providers and then old geezer and robmur will not be able to continue you to blame the federal OPPOSITION for the mess this government has put the country into. re. petrol prices, electric prices, massive bank and insurance companies profits with very little trickle down effects, Just because India and China using coal to provide electricity does not mean we have to, every reduction that helps climate control must help. Stop sledging the Labor party. it is getting very boring.
    29th Nov 2018
    We are both 81 years old and we are very very careful how we use our power . We have both worked I since age 11 wife since age 15 . And to be told to cut back on power used late in day . I will not print the words to say . Except how about the Public Services and all Gov offices turn there A/C off too . Why should we have to suffer when the Green left wing say the sky is falling in .
    We in S.Aus blow up power stations while China already have 1000 coal fire stations and building 400 more just to name one country . And we are sending our Coal over to them . Does my head in and maybe not in our time but will happen Australia will end up with nothing left because energy cost will destroy this country
    Old Geezer
    29th Nov 2018
    I agree. We also have Shorten saying his renewable energy targets are on track and what damage our coal exports do doesn't affect it. What rubbish! Talk about a big con! People wake up!
    29th Nov 2018
    Totally agree. It is only since the mad Left and their Greenie mates have being influencing governments with their unscientific mumbo jumbo and blowing up/shutting down coal fired, electricity generating power stations causing electricity and gas prices to go through the roof. The climatic change in the last 200 years has risen by less than 1.5 degrees world wide. The Industrial Revolution to the belching chimneys of India and China of the 21st. century, the invention of petrol driven motor vehicles now widely used throughout the world, have made little difference to the climate. Climate change is an excuse for increasing costs and lining the pockets of providers and governments.
    Shorten is a silver tail and offering $2000 for batteries, batteries that cost from $7000 to $17000 depending on the number of solar panels installed on a home's roof. If one earns $185,000 (his cut off), of course the cost of the battery is a pittance. If one is an aged pensioner, the ones who need the cheapest electricity, will never be able to afford a battery despite Shorten's handout if he wins government. Shorten is a con artist, 100%.
    29th Nov 2018
    I wonder if and when WA will start getting these schemes to save on the electricity bills (probably never)

    29th Nov 2018
    Now this is a much better use of taxpayer money by the LnP government than Victoria's handout mentality to buy more votes

    Shows what a world of difference there is between labor and LnP in looking after taxpayer funds and providing more bang for your buck
    29th Nov 2018
    The people are finally wakening up just watch the past election results.
    29th Nov 2018
    I disagree, the people are fast asleep and unable to recognise that the stupid State Govts have caused the massive increases in power bills, and are now pretending to be Santa Claus handing down a few pathetic bribes. Victoria in particular. The people are also blind to the radical gender ideologies being pushed hard by the Labor party who are taking over the Greens agenda - hope everyone noticed how the Labor vote increases in Victoria were partly due to Green votes going down.
    29th Nov 2018
    Just reminding, by quoting from the YLC article 2 days ago:
    "Canstar reports that Victorians were experiencing the biggest gap between the best best and worst deals, meaning they could be paying $1657 more than necessary. The gap between the best and worst offers in New South Wales was $1082, in South Australia $1053 and in Queensland $978."
    29th Nov 2018
    So agree with you Alexia. We have no choice in this state (WA) Synergy really takes advantage of their privatization and rip us off with huge bills. We have nowhere to turn, no alternatives regarding electricity but we do with gas. Why can't we have the same rules for all 5 states and two territories. This would make the whole process so much simpler to manage instead of having different rules and opportunities for each state. Are we not a United Country. I am no brains trust but by golly this is a complete no brainer. Mr McGowan please change the situation for us, This is intolerable.
    30th Nov 2018
    Disenchanted you are right this is intolerable.
    Mc Gowan is totally useless, all he does is appear on television commenting (stupidly) about whatever is going on and never seems to be working on his duties as premier. He always says what is obvious and never does anything effective.
    We do need a united country with appropriate rules for all the states, but it seems these facts ares never seen in Australia and it does not need a brains trust (as you say) to realise we need a better government with more public information of the facts, better laws and better rules rather than overpaid and underworked politicians.

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