Aussies turn off heaters amid rising bills

·2-min read

With the cost of electricity set to soar, three-quarters of Australian households say they will make changes to how they use electricity to try to avoid a bigger bill.

One in two households will reduce their use of heaters, many plan to switch off appliances at the wall, and about a quarter intend to shop around for a better deal, a survey by loan comparison website shows.

The survey comes after the Australian Energy Regulator this week raised the standard electricity price due to rising generation costs in the face of floods, the Ukraine war and coal plant outages, meaning higher power bills for all residential and business customers.

Some 75 per cent of respondents said they would make changes to their energy usage, while 25 per cent said they would make no changes.

Just more than half of respondents (51 per cent) said they would cut their use of non-essential appliances, with people saying they would use their washing line instead of the dryer.

Some 48 per cent plan to use appliances and power points only when necessary, and will switch off lights when they leave a room or turn off appliances at the wall.

Some 42 per cent intend to limit their use of a heater and wear more clothing at home.

Just 24 per cent of respondents said they planned to switch energy providers to find a cheaper rate, despite advice from AER chair Clare Savage that customers should shop around for a better deal.

The AER has its own dedicated price comparison website, Energy Made Easy, which Ms Savage said showed offers allowing residential customers to save about $443, or 24 per cent, on their bills.

The survey also found residents from the ACT were the most energy-conscious in the country, and 50 per cent were likely to opt for warm clothing than to switch on the heater.

Some 58 per cent of ACT residents said they would be reducing their use of non-essential appliances this winter.

The survey found Queenslanders to be the least energy-conscious, with just 35 per cent saying they would reduce their use of heaters (or air-conditioners) and 45 per cent willing to reduce the use of non-essential appliances.

Some 44 per cent of people in WA wanted to reduce their use of heaters, followed by 43 per cent in NSW and Victoria, and 41 per cent in South Australia.

No statistics were provided for Tasmania or the Northern Territory.

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