The silly energy suckers pushing up our power bills


Exclusive: Leaving the television on to entertain pets and cranking up the aircon to keep furry friends cool are among the silly mistakes pushing up our summer power bills.

And keeping fairy lights on all year-round is also another energy sucker that's hitting households' hip pockets hard.

Energy companies say they are being constantly told of silly errors Australians are making that is leaving them with jaw-dropping power bills.

New data from financial comparison website Canstar Blue showed our average quarterly bills ranging up to $482 per month.

And their survey which quizzed almost 3800 Australians found the average national quarterly bill was $387.

In Qld it was $341, ACT $364, Victoria $375, NSW $396, SA $432 and Tasmania $482.

Canstar Blue spokesman Simon Downes urged Australians "to do yourself a favour and stop to think about the energy being used every time you flick the switch at the wall".

Data from Origin Energy's latest Good Energy report found among the worst mistakes included 28 per cent of people kept their air conditioners on for the sake of their pets and 23 per cent left their television turned on just to keep their pets company instead of being left home alone.

Other costly mistakes include:

• Keeping the beer or wine fridge turned on even though it's empty.

• Heating the pool everyday even though it only gets used 10 times a year.

• Putting on a jumper when the aircon has sufficiently cooled the home.

Running a pool is one of the biggest energy suckers on household budgets. Picture: Supplied
Running a pool is one of the biggest energy suckers on household budgets. Picture: Supplied

EnergyAustralia's chief customer officer Mark Collette said when they speak to many customers about their energy usage "they'll have an 'aha moment' when they learn certain appliances or activities use more power than expected".

"In these cases we suggest people ask their retailer for some tips on how they can track household power usage, such as conducting an audit of appliances or considering using your retailer's app to show how much energy is being used daily," he said.

Origin's general manager of customer care Jan Prichard said some of the "biggest drains on household energy use in warner months is cooling the whole home, rather than just the room being used".

"Make the most of zone settings and keep doors and windows closed and seal gaps," she said.

Ms Pritchard said doing things like, "leaving the TV on in an empty home can quickly add up depending on the size and energy efficiency of the unit".