2 Birds, 1 Stone: Help the Environment and Save Money on Gas & Electricity


I think I am the only person in my house that’s ever, EVER, turned off a light. Anyone else feel like that?

When I exit the shower each morning (just don’t get a mental picture of that in your head and you’ll be okay) between the bathroom and my bedroom, I turn off seven switches.

Every morning.

The light and fan in the bathroom, same in the toilet, the light over the kids’ breakfast table, the kids’ bedroom light and the light in the hallway. Those seven are guaranteed. Sometimes there’s a few extra.

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Did no-one else in the house notice unnecessary lights on? Anyone else in the house give a damn about the environment?


At least I’m in regal company. Queen Elizabeth II does it too. It’s Lizzie’s way of helping her loyal subjects – who are, of course, footing the bill for any of her extravagances.

I’ll give you the tip – I don’t do it to get a warm’n’fuzzy feeling, like a tree-hugging hippy, about helping the environment. Like so many others, I do it for the cash. To save money. It might not be much. But, done day after day, month after month, it adds up. (And gas too. But gas you sort of have to turn it off. Except if you’re a bachelor, when leaving the oven on with the door open is an acceptable alternative to installing central heating.)

To coin an old commercial slogan: “There has to be an easier way!” And there is. What if your electricity and gas was actually cheaper per kilo-mega-joule-watt-thing? Or whatever. Hey, wouldn’t that make everything easier!

Both can be.

There are a lot of us for who that light still hasn’t been turned on (pun intended). Depending on which state you live in, we now have considerable choice as to who provides those two critical home inputs. And to be frank, more so than any other product you can compare, do you really need to be worried about “quality” when you switch on a light?

So, if the quality of the product is identical, why would you pay more?

shutterstock_126254921If you haven’t compared your current provider to the competition, then what chance that you’re actually getting a good deal? Hey, a “normal” household (two adults, two kids, three bedrooms) spends between $3100 and $4300 on gas and electricity.

Which end of that scale are you on? Simple. Grab your latest bill, head on over to comparethemarket.com.au, provide some basic details and compare to see for yourself.

What’s the worst that will happen, you may ask? Well, your computer could explode. But more than likely you will spend about a minute (I just timed myself) filling in some basic of details. Press “next step” and … realise you could save yourself $500 a year.

Which is probably 10 times as much as I save switching seven lights off 365 mornings a year.

Author Bruce Brammall

Bruce Brammall, the highly regarded financial adviser and mortgage broker from Melbourne has been appointed as the Consumer Finance Champion for comparison website comparethemarket.com.au.

More posts by Bruce Brammall

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