Does switching appliances off at the powerpoint make a difference to your bill?

Dec 11, 2019
Are you guilty of leaving your appliances switched on at the powerpoint? Source: Getty.

When it comes to energy bills, most of us are willing to do whatever it takes to save some extra pennies and now experts have revealed that this could be as simple as ensuring all of your powerpoints are switched off when they’re not in use.

Sounds simple, right? Surprisingly though, many Aussie households are guilty of leaving multiple appliances, from televisions and microwaves to phone chargers and kettles, plugged in and switched on at the wall, despite the fact that they aren’t being used.

Now consumer advocacy group CHOICE has revealed how much this could be costing people each year with these charges making up around 3 per cent of your overall bill, according to figures from the Department of the Environment and Energy.

The watchdog advises turning off appliances when you’re not using them and definitely when you go on holiday, as appliances still use electricity when they’re in standby mode, with a spokesperson saying: “It’s not going to make you rich, but it’s better for the environment and will save you money.”

While Denis Gallagher, CHOICE’s TV expert, suggests tallying up exactly how many appliances you have running all at once, particularly when it comes to devices which are connected to the Internet.

“Last year the average Australian home had 15 to 17 internet-connected devices, and this is set to more than double by 2022,” he said. “There’s going to be many more of these devices throughout the home, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on how your energy bill could be impacted.”

Turning appliances off at the socket isn’t the only way to save money on your energy bills though and there are some small and simple things you can do to cut how much you’re having to cough up to cover utility costs.

One way of reducing your bill is to make sure you are signed up to the right tariff, which is the amount charged by a provider for supplying energy. Tariffs are usually made up of two parts – a supply charge and a variable charge – and there are a variety of different options, so it’s important to ensure you’re on the plan that best suits your needs. For example some tariffs, known as ‘Time of Use, depend on the time of day you use your electricity so consider when you might be at home.

Another way to reduce your outgoings is to simply shop around as many Australians are spending way more than they need to each year simply because they have remained loyal to a single provider.

Compare the Market’s Rod Attrill previously told Starts at 60 that making use of online comparison sites is a quick and easy review all of the available options before committing to a single plan, as well as checking for any discounts or offers you may be eligible for, as some providers offer plans designed specifically for seniors.

“Shopping around at least once a year will help with reducing costs and opening up your options to cheaper and better plans. It’s free to switch too as you won’t be locked into a contract so make sure you review other options in the market as frequently as possible,” he said. “There can be huge differences between providers and plans.”

For other tips on how to save money on your energy bill, read our story here.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial or legal situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product or legal advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial or legal decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services or legal advice.

Are you guilty of leaving your appliances switched on at the powerpoint?

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