Power bills are on the rise in Australia, with homeowners using more energy than ever before. New data from comparethemarket.com.au found 76 per cent of homeowners are using more energy than they did five years ago.
Not only are Aussies using more energy, but as a nation we’re becoming more dependant on our household appliances. In fact, the survey of 1,087 Australian adults, found a further 33 per cent of homeowners are relying more on appliances, which make up at least 30 per cent of household electricity bills.
In the survey, 21 per cent of respondents said they frequently use their microwave to heat up food, while 20 per cent said they prefer to use their dishwasher rather than hand wash and a further 20 per cent said they use kitchen equipment, such as blenders, coffee machines and electric kettles. Meanwhile, 15 per cent of respondents admitted to using a tumble dryer rather than hanging out wet clothes on sunny days.
During the summer months, many people across the country are escaping the heat by cooling down at home, with 65 per cent of respondents saying they use air con and cooling fans — making it the number one appliance for most households.
While there’s no doubt that running the air con can make things more comfortable, it can send your energy bill soaring. According to the research, cooling appliances each year can cost up to $10 for fans, $20 to $50 for split system air conditioning units and $125 to $255 for ducted cooling. Meanwhile, heating appliances can cost between $200 to $310 for split system air conditioning units, $340 to $395 for a gas heater and $1,295 to $1,705 for ducted heating.
The research also found that many states across the country increased their usage of air con in the last five years, with 50 per cent of Queenslanders, 43 per cent of New South Wales residents, 39 per of Victorians and 31 per cent of Australian Capital Territory residents turning on the air conditioners to make themselves more comfortable.
Unsurprisingly, those living in cooler climates turned their heaters on more often than those living in warmer parts of the country. The research found 31 per cent of ACT residents, 26 per cent of Victorians, 23 per cent of Tasmania residents, and just 7 per cent of Queensland residents, increased their heater usage.
Rod Attrill from comparethemarket.com.au said we need to be aware of the negative impact our desire for convenience and efficiency can have on our finances.
“With electricity rates soaring, Aussies need to be smart about conserving energy during all times of the year,” he said.
Attrill added making small changes such as opening a window instead of turning on air con, line drying clothes in favour of using the dryer or hand washing dishes instead of using a dishwasher can have a huge impact on our energy bills, and have a less negative effect on the environment.