Paul looked with concern at his wife of 12 years, Jennifer, as she made her way back home from their mailbox.
The worried expression on Jennifer’s face as she clutches on tightly to an open letter from the mail, makes Paul sweat.
As Paul’s mind races, Jennifer comes in and painfully declares, “The power bill is huge! Paulie, how are we going to pay for it?”.
Despite intense efforts to cut power use, Paul and Jennifer, like millions of Australians, were left scratching their heads in worry.
If their misfortune is similar to what your home is experiencing, keep reading!
Electricity Monster provides a 100% Free Service to compare electricity plans and get our customers on a more cost-effective power plan.
Together, let us explore why exactly your electricity bill is getting enormous in Australia!
1. The Estimated Bill
The first thing you should do if you receive a massive electricity bill is to check if the bill amount is “estimated”.
That’s because the AER (Australian Energy Regulator) requires your distributor to do a physical reading of your meter, at least once a year, but it’s generally done once a quarter.
This results in many of the electricity bills you receive being estimates, and you can spot them by an “E” next to your bill amount.
So if you do receive an estimated bill, check it against the reading on your meter.
If you notice a big difference, don’t hesitate to call your power company and get your meter physically read.
If you’re sick of estimated readings altogether, consider upgrading to a smart meter that calculates power use every half an hour for your electricity bill.
2. The Appliances
Take a look at the appliances in your household, how old do you think they are?
As you might expect, your older appliances will be less energy efficient than newer ones.
Even worse, your appliances will degrade over time, and their energy efficiency will decrease as that happens.
A great way to see if your appliances are running at peak efficiency is to check out the Energy Star website.
Energy Star estimates that homes that use Energy Star-rated appliances save almost $800 a year.
Electricity Monster has previously talked about how switching to LED lighting, an efficient fridge or an inverter water heater can help control your electricity bill.
3. The Discounts
The discounts you were hoping to reduce your large electricity bill, may end.
If you find that the discounts on your plan have reached the end of their benefit period, then call Electricity Monster.
Our expert team of energy brokers will look at what we have available in your area and get you the best discounts we have available.
And you can call us every time your contract is about to be up!
We’ll see if we can find another significant market discount for you, keeping you ahead of the curve!
4. The Supply Charge
Your supply charge is precisely what the name suggests.
You receive this charge to remain connected to the network, the poles and wires that bring electricity to your home.
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Usually, your supply charge will be somewhere around a few hundred dollars a year.
This charge is fixed and has nothing to do with how much you use, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.
In other words, if you are on a plan with an unusually high supply charge, then your efforts to reduce energy might not have the impact on your bill that you’d like.
5. The Weather
In winter, costs are usually higher as heaters are left on for longer or from long hot showers!
At the same time, the scorching Australian summer leads to the expensive use of air-conditioning or a swimming pool.
Want to keep warm in winter and cool in summer? Better insulation is the answer!
By insulating, you spend less on heating or cooling, as the temperature in your home is more stable.
6. The Time of Use
Has your retailer put you on a time-of-use plan? You could face higher charges during certain times of the day.
A time-of-use plan charges a higher electricity rate for “peak” hours, which for instance, is between 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. under the Citipower network in Victoria.
Mostly, peak hours run until the evening as this is when people return home from work and switch appliances on.
Above all, you could save costs by using power-hungry appliances during times of day when off-peak rates apply.
Energy-intensive activities such as space heating, water heating and swimming pool filtering, should not be done when peak rates apply.
7. The Electricity Plan
Energy rates in your electricity plan are very rarely permanent.
If you stick with one supplier for many years, chances are you’ll see your standing rates go up.
This isn’t just us saying this either.
All across Australia, household electricity prices have risen by a whopping 100% over the last decade.
As retailers keep jacking up rates, one way that you can stay ahead is to change your energy plan!
By comparing other electricity plans, you may find more cost-effective rates in the market.
An electricity broker such as Electricity Monster helps enable Australians to do so quickly and unlike other companies, we do it for free.
We can even help you out with an electricity connection if you need one.
Don’t pay more for power than your neighbour does! Call Electricity Monster on 1300 232 848 or submit your details below and our brokers will get back to you!
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Benjamin Tom covers the retail energy market, with a focus on electricity, solar, and Internet. His interests include helping people navigate the complexities of the energy market while saving money on their power bills.