Australians Concerned About Rising Utility Bills

By Emily Tatti on 16 Apr 2014
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A recent survey about money worries has revealed that Australians are concerned about rising utility bills.

According to the Mortgage Choice Money Survey, which canvassed the opinions of more than 1,000 Australians, 54.8 per cent of respondents were worried about rising utility bills, while 40 per cent were worried about job security and 30 per cent rising petrol prices.

A whopping 88.2 per cent said their everyday living expenses had surged during 2013.

When commenting on the results, Mortgage Choice spokesperson Jessica Darnbrough agreed that it is no surprise the majority of respondents highlighted rising utility bills as their biggest concern.

“The fact that utility bills have risen so substantially over the last few years is understandably a big concern for many Australians,” she said.

However, she believes there are several small and easy steps residents can take to reduce their overall energy costs.

“Anything Australians can do to reduce their bills and ultimately ease their financial concerns is a positive,” she said.

Turn Appliances Off at the Wall

Though they only draw a small amount of electricity, appliances like microwaves, TVs, computers and lamps do still contribute to your energy bill when they’re in standby mode.

According to data from the Queensland Government’s Department of Energy and Water Supply, unplugging these devices at the wall can reduce your power costs by about $100 a year.

Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Energy saving LED light bulbs are slightly more expensive to buy (they retail at approximately $16.95 according to LED Lights Australia), but they have a life expectancy of 50,000 hours (or 50 years for an average Australian household), which will save you significantly in the long-term. 

Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water

Most of the energy your washing machine uses actually goes into heating the water, so you could consider washing your clothes in cold water as a viable energy saving option.

This will also increase the lifespan of your clothes, as they will be far less likely to shrink or fade in cold water.

Use a Clothes Line Instead of a Dryer

Air-drying your clothes on a clothesline does take longer, but according to the Australian Government, ditching your dryer once a week can save you approximately $69 a year.

Sunlight helps disinfect laundry, which is particularly good for sheets and towels. Hanging things up will also prevent the unnecessary wear and tear that happens when clothes are thrust about inside a dryer.

Draught-Proof Your Home

As winter approaches, all of us will be cranking up our heaters, and our electricity bills will inevitably skyrocket. Sealing pesky gaps in your house will stop warm air from escaping and cold draughts from getting in.

To find out where these gaps are, light an incense stick and hold it near doors and windows on a windy day. The smoke will quickly show you where you need to focus your attention.

You can buy gap filler and door snakes fairly cheaply from Bunnings or your local hardware store. Heavy curtains will also stop cold air from escaping through windows.

About the Author

Emily Tatti is a writer and editor with a Bachelor of Creative Arts and a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing. She has a strong interest in the arts industry, and has contributed to publications such as Lip Magazine and Kill Your Darlings.

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