The rise of ‘igloo’ households | Compare The Market
 
 
 
 
 

Households are expected to turn into fridges this winter, as residents across Australia are at their wit’s end to find ways to reduce the cost of energy bills, with gas and electricity prices rising again on 1 July. New figures reveal that 41 per cent of Aussies will be reducing their energy usage around the home as the only way to combat bill shock at the end of winter.

The results come from a survey of an independent panel of 1000 Australians[1], commissioned by leading insurance comparison service comparethemarket.com.au. The survey asked Australians how they would act after the 1 July energy price increases. The findings coincide with announcements from AGL, Origin and Energy Australia that households across NSW, QLD and SA will be paying up to $500 more a year for electricity and gas after 1 July[2].

The survey results revealed that a further 23 per cent of respondents will shop around to find a cheaper energy plan or energy supplier, 28 per cent will use the same amount of energy and simply brave the higher energy bills, and 9 per cent expect their energy bills to increase in the next 12 months due to various reasons such as growing a family or additional household appliances.

The research also showed that the younger generations are more likely to cut their energy usage and put up with the cold this winter. Forty-six per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds are expected to reduce their energy usage over the next 12 months, compared with just 39 per cent of 45 to 64-year-olds and 42 per cent of the over 65-year-olds.

Additionally, the survey revealed that it’s the older age groups who are more likely to shop around for a cheaper plan. Thirty per cent of respondents over 65 are looking to switch for a better deal, compared with 24 per cent of 45 to 54-year-olds, 20 per cent of 35 to 44-year-olds and just 16 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds.

Comparethemarket.com.au spokesperson, Abigail Koch said: “A hike in energy bills is more likely to affect people between the ages of 25 and 44, with 14 per cent of respondents in this age group expecting to pay more for their energy usage over the next 12 months. This age group is typically growing their families, and with that comes bigger homes and more household appliances. Increases in energy prices on 1 July could put them at serious risk of bill shock come the end of winter.

“Last year, winter brought an increase of $106.71 to an average energy bill[3] due to increased usage in heating the household. Combined with the 1 July price hike, families will feel the pressure to combat their energy costs, leaving some out in the cold. We recommend families use comparison services such as comparethemarket.com.au to find an energy deal that best suits their household needs.”

Comparethemarket.com.au’s 9 tips to reduce household energy bills this winter (summary of tips only)

  1. Use the sun as a natural heater. Open curtains on your north-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to heat your home. Make sure you close them at night to lock in the warm air.
  2. Watch your hot water usage. Use the shortest – or economy – cycles, and only wash full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine. Turn down the temperature of your hot water and use your washing machine on a cold water cycle.
  3. Plan your washing around the weather. Put your washing on the line outside where possible in winter.
  4. 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.
  5. Switch off appliances at the wall. Appliances on standby are responsible for up to 10 per cent of your power bill[4]. A power board can help make it easy for you to switch off all appliances using the same switch.
  6. Learn about penalties upfront. Penalties for missed payments vary, but avoiding payments altogether can lead to late-payment penalties, disconnections and reconnection fees. If you’re struggling to pay on time, it’s best to inform your energy retailer.
  7. Monthly billing. This can be done upon request from some suppliers and will help you better monitor your month-on-month energy usage and will prevent you facing a costly lump sum quarterly bill.
  8. Look out for discounts. Keeping an eye out for discounts is a good way to keep costs low, but be aware some discounts only apply in particular circumstances such as paying bills on time. Steer clear if you’re not confident you can consistently meet the discount’s requirements, because if you miss once then you’ll end up paying the top rate for your energy usage.
  9. Review your energy provider. Most households can save by auditing bills and switching suppliers, it can be easily done online through comparison services such as comparethemarket.com.au.

Comparethemarket.com.au’s pick of some of the top energy deals across major states

State Plan Deals
Victoria Alinta Energy: Fair Deal Plan 39% pay on time discount off the electricity usage charges

15% pay on time discount off the gas usage charges

24-month benefit term – no early termination fees

South Australia Alinta Energy: Fair Deal Plan 32% pay on time discount off the electricity usage charges

10% pay on time discount off the gas usage charges

24-month benefit term – no early termination fees

New South Wales Alinta Energy: Fair Deal Plan 23% pay on time discount off the electricity usage charges

15% pay on time discount off the gas usage charges

24-month benefit term – no early termination fees

Queensland Energy Australia: Flexi Saver Plan 14% pay on time discount off the electricity usage charges

12-month benefit term – no early termination fees

 

 

For interviews and more information, please contact:

Neneh McGuire | +61 2 9279 3330 | +61 404 433 263| e: nmcguire@theideassuite.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.

 

[1] Pureprofile 2017: Nationally representative panel of 1000 Australian adults

[2] AGL, 2017: https://content.agl.com.au/default/electricity-pricing-faqs/

[3] Electricity Bill Benchmarks report, 2015, and Residential Electricity Price Trends report, 2015 in Comparethemarket.com.au, 2016*: https://www.comparethemarket.com.au/blog/energy/winter-bills/

*Figure excludes NT, where energy demand is highest in summer, and WA, which is not part of the National Electricity Market.

[4] Energy Australia: 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.

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