• One third of respondents believe their partner is wasteful with energy
  • 57 per cent say it’s the person who ‘feels the cold’ that wins the battle of the boiler
  • 58 per cent will shiver through winter as they can’t afford to heat their homes

High energy bills are taking a toll on our relationships as well as our wallets, with nearly half of Aussie households (43 per cent) saying they argue about turning up the heating in winter.

New research[i] from energy comparison service comparethemarket.com.au reveals that in the ‘battle of the boiler’, it’s the person who feels the cold who has the upper hand. Nearly two thirds (57 per cent) of respondents say they eventually get their way and the heating goes up.

‘Heated’ discussions are only set to worsen, as one third (33 per cent) of respondents said their partner is wasteful when it comes to their energy use. Tempers could reach boiling point with energy retailers increasing prices significantly.  AGL customers in the ACT are estimated to pay an extra $579 a year for combined electricity and gas following the 1 July price hikes.

“Australians already face some of the highest energy costs in the developed world[ii], and the latest price hikes could push some households over the edge. When budgets are this tight, it puts additional pressure on relationships, and suddenly wanting your home a couple of degrees warmer seems like a luxury many can’t afford,” said Abigail Koch, spokesperson at comparethemarket.com.au.

Worryingly, 58 per cent of Australian households will shiver through winter as they can’t afford to heat their home as much as they would like. Older respondents are most likely to feel the cold, with 62 per cent of over-65 year olds turning off their heating to combat rising costs, compared with 54 per cent of the 25 to 34 year old age group.

The 45 – 54 year old age group seems to bicker the most about energy costs, with 48 per cent saying they disagree about putting on the heating in the first place, and then 30 per cent saying they argue about their end-of-winter bill. “Typically this age group tends to have high energy-usage homes, with teenagers’ computers, additional televisions and other gadgets sucking up extra power,” said Abigail.

The older generation’s frugal approach to energy use is keeping the peace at home, as only 14 per cent of 55 – 64 year olds and 18 per cent of the over-65s said they had argued after receiving a higher-than-expected bill.

“Nearly two-thirds of Aussies will be cold this winter and yet less than a quarter (22 per cent) says they plan on shopping around for a cheaper energy plan. Limiting your energy usage is a good step to reduce your energy costs, but switching onto a cheaper tariff will bring the biggest savings. Even though couples may have a different approach to their energy usage, moving onto the best plan could help you avoid an end-of-winter bill shock.

“Comparethemarket.com.au makes it easy for people to shop around for a better tariff, which could see you save hundreds of dollars a year. Changing is simple – you still receive the same energy, without having to disconnect; the main change you’ll see will be in the billing paperwork,” said Abigail.

6 top energy savings tips

  1. Watch your hot water. Use the shortest – or economy – cycles, and wash only full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine. Use your washing machine on cold water cycle and reduce showering time.
  1. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater. Often the hot water temperature is set at an unnecessarily high level. The optimum temperature for storage hot water systems is 60–65°C, and for instantaneous hot water systems is no more than 50°C.
  1. Get smarter with your lighting. Ensure every light bulb in your home is an energy-saving model. Consider using lamps – they use less energy than ceiling lights.
  1. Switch off appliances at the wall. Appliances still utilise energy in standby mode or when the wall switch is on. Standby power can be responsible for up to 10 per cent of your energy bill[iii].
  1. Cover windows and gaps under doors. Closing doors and windows, and covering window glass will help keep your home warmer. Also, consider investing in a few draught excluders to keep in the heat.
  1. Pile on the blankets. Rather than relying on energy-hungry heaters to keep you warm during the winter nights, pull on a jumper and some woolly socks, or add an extra doona to keep you snug in bed.

For interviews and more information, please contact:

Hannah Twiggs | 07 3377 8879 | 0431 511 362 | e: hannah.twiggs@comparethemarket.com.au   

About comparethemarket.com.au

Comparethemarket.com.au is an online comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We help Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy products from a wide range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool enables consumers to find a product that best suits their needs and their back pocket. We’re also in the business of comparing personal finance products, utilities and can help find the lowest fuel prices in your area. Whether it’s car, health or home & contents insurance, we provide a completely free service, that empowers Australians to make buying decisions with greater trust, knowledge and savings. We’ve got your back, simples.

[i] An independent survey carried out by Pure Profile on behalf of comparethemarket.com.au. The 1000 respondents were an equal ratio of male to female with age groups ranging from 18 years to 65 years +.  Respondents were representative of the Australian population NSW (29%), VIC (25%), QLD (17%), WA (14%), SA (10%), TAS (2%), ACT (2%), and NT (1%).

[ii] Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA) Australian Electricity Prices: An International Comparison

[iii] EnergyAustralia (https://www.energyaustralia.com.au/blog/better-energy/how-standby-power-affecting-your-bill).

Author comparethemarket.com.au

Launched in September of 2012, Comparethemarket.com.au – operated by Compare the Market Pty Ltd (CTM) – has teamed up with a range of Australia’s insurance providers so you can compare some of the latest deals, in one place, side-by-side. The team behind comparethemarket.com.au have experience in insurance, comparison, customer service and digital. If this was a stuffy corporate monologue, we’d tell you that we’re a bunch of subject matter experts specialising in User Experience, Customer Insights & Online Strategies. But to be honest, it’s just as accurate (and a whole lot easier) to say that we’re a bunch of people who want to make your experience with online comparison better. We pride ourselves on the fact that we’re forward-thinking, that we share an entrepreneurial spirit, and the fact that we like to have a bit of a laugh too. We’re all a bit too addicted to chocolate, but no one’s perfect, really.

More posts by comparethemarket.com.au

On this website you can compare quotes and purchase products from participating brands for health insurance, car insurance, travel insurance, life and income protection insurance, home and contents insurance, energy plans, roadside assistance products, home loans and credit cards.

We do not compare all products in the market and at times not all brands may be available. Visit each product page, as well as our Website Terms of Use, Financial Services Guide (Car, Home and Travel Insurance Products), Financial Services Guide (Life Insurance Products) and Credit Guide for detail about who we compare, how we make money and how our comparison service works for each product.

The Compare The Market website and trading name are owned by Compare The Market Pty Ltd ACN 117 323 378.