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Aussies still in the dark about their bad energy habits

5 min read
31 May 2016

New research finds energy wasting is widespread… and it’s not just ‘standby appliances’ that are to blame.

Despite the recent revelation that Aussies are wasting millions of dollars by leaving their home appliances on standby[1], the majority is still in denial about their energy wasting habits.

New research has revealed that although the majority of Australians (87%) believe that they have good energy saving habits around their home, 83% admitted to doing all the energy wasting acts regularly. While leaving electronic appliances on “standby” when not in use is the most common energy waster, there are several other popular bad energy habits.

Commissioned by, the independent survey[2]  asked 1000 Aussies which of the following energy wasting habits they do: boiling more water than necessary in the kettle, leaving lights/fans/AC on in unoccupied rooms, falling asleep with the TV on and leaving electronic appliances on “standby” or switched on at the socket when not in use.

These habits can be costly: the Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science further revealed that good habits around the home can save us up to $825 a year on our energy bills[3].  A third of the survey respondents (31%) admitted they were unaware that their bad energy habits in the home could be costing them this much.

The younger generation (20-29 year olds) are the worst culprits, with half the age group (45%) admitting to wasting energy two to three times every week.  Of all the states, Queenslanders and Adelaide residents seem to be the highest energy wasters, claiming that their bad energy behaviour happens every day (43% and 44% respectively).

Among the worst domestic energy wasting habits, leaving electronic appliances on “standby” or switched on at the socket when not in use  occur the most, with more than half of Aussies (55%) confessing to doing this.

Approximately one in four Aussies (25%) also admit to falling asleep with the TV on, boiling more water than necessary in the kettle (27%) and standing in front of an opened fridge or freezer trying to figure out what to eat (26%).

The survey also revealed the room considered the most likely source of energy wastage is the lounge; with half of Aussies (49%) agreeing to wasting energy the most in this room.

Abigail Koch, spokesperson from, says: “The survey results reveal that consumers are just as accountable for high energy bills – and the blame can’t be shifted solely to energy companies.  Just a few tweaks to our behaviours around the house can make all the difference.”

“Reviewing your energy plan and switching to a policy that best suits you can also help save money throughout the year.”

And the bad behaviour doesn’t stop there.  Worryingly, more than a third (37%) of Aussies are not concerned enough about wasted energy consumption and the environment to change their energy-saving behaviours.  One in five (23%) even went as far to admit that they never think about their impact on the environment

  • Review your energy deal. Do your bills send you into a panic but the thought of switching suppliers seems too hard? The good news is most households can save money easily and quickly online. Have a look through different policies and take the time to assess which energy provider would be right for you.
  • Block tariff contracts may motivate you to use less. Think about how much energy your household uses. A block tariff electricity contract, for instance, charges a lower-than-standard rate for the lower level of energy usage around the house. This is measured against a ‘baseline’ of household energy use. Using a block tariff contract could help to lower the amount of electricity used around the house as well as saving money across the household budget.
  • Recognise where discounts are conditional. Keeping an eye out for energy discounts is a good way to keep costs low; however this may only apply in certain circumstances such as paying your electricity bills on time. Check out what type of discounts are available to you and understand if this applies to your household budget.
  • Stay off peak. Think about when your household uses energy the most. If late-night laundry is your thing or if you find it impossible to sleep without air conditioning, then an off-peak tariff (usually applies overnight, during the day or on weekends) may be for you.
  • Know when shiny incentives/discounts are masking high rates. Movie tickets, flight points and retail discount vouchers are attractive, but weigh up the benefits against the monthly charges that could be outlined in your final bill. Find out what you could be saving and what you’re losing.
  • Switch to monthly billing. Some suppliers can allow you to do this upon request. This will help you better monitor your month-to-month energy usage and can help avoid a costly quarterly bill.


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[2] A Pure Profile survey of a nationally representative sample of 1000 Australian adults

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