Power bills still a major concern for many Aussies despite electricity price drop

New research has found energy is the top financial stress for Baby Boomers. Source: Getty

The latest Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report into the National Electricity Market, released on Sunday, found Australian households saved $65 on their power bills over the past year.

While any drop in electricity prices is positive, Finder research shows energy bills are still a major concern for many Australians.

The comparison site found that energy is the top financial stress for Baby Boomers, with 31 per cent stating that their bills causes them concern. Their research also shows that over one in four (26 per cent) Baby Boomers have experienced energy bill shock in the last 12 months.

If you’re concerned about your power bill, Ben King, energy specialist at Finder says there are ways to reduce your electricity spend. 

He says one of the biggest contributors to your summer energy bill is going to be your aircon “so keep your usage in check if you don’t want to face a bill blowout.”

Setting your air conditioner to a chilly 18 degrees will certainly make the house feel like a freezer but it could be the reason for the sky-high bill. An air conditioner will use more electricity if it’s working harder, meaning the lower the temperature is, the more you are likely to pay.

“General consensus is that setting the temperature to 25 degrees is optimum for manageable bills,” King tells Starts at 60. “Even better reach for the fan rather than the AC remote.”

While the second fridge may come in handy at this time of year, King says fridges can use up massive amounts of energy.

“While the cost of energy has gone down, bills are still a major financial burden on households and now is no time to be complacent with your plan and provider,” he reckons. “Comparing energy plans is often put in the too hard basket, but switching could be the best way to save money on your energy bill this summer.”

Meanwhile, the new findings comes after the latest ACCC report found average annual residential electricity bills dropped about 4 per cent in 2018/19 compared with the previous year. However, while this sounds like good news, costs are still $254 higher than they were in 2007-08.

“There is still work to be done to make electricity more affordable for households,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a statement at the time.

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