The average household in Australia would be paying an additional $88 monthly for their energy bills as more people are staying in their homes, said Mozo – the country’s leading financial analyst.
With the lockdown expected to last for six months, Mozo projects energy costs will double by an additional $527 in total. Charges will reach $1,582 in average if homeowners do not control usage.
Mozo Director for Marketing and Communications, Kirsty Lamont, said Australians are facing two crises. The first would be a global pandemic, and the second would be a financial recession. She suggested reviewing household expenses and minimising costs to get through the impending market crunch.
Lamont revealed how desktop computers would cost $190 more to run within six months. Imagine how much more homeowners will be spending on two desktops and a laptop.
While computers are essential tools to do work or study, Lamont added how using off-peak hours to do household chores such as using the laundry machine or dishwasher could benefit. She said that electronic appliances such as electric kettles and microwaves would only add up to the total energy consumption.
Moreover, leaving lights working for eight hours would end up with an additional $116.80 over the six months’ worth of energy bills. To lower energy consumption, Lamont urged homeowners to work right next to windows that allow natural light indoors. Alternatively, sitting outdoors could also be a good option. Small actions would greatly help decrease energy usage.
Likewise, adding four more hours to regular television viewing will add $80 in the utility bill throughout the entire quarantine period. Smartphone charging, on the contrary, would remain cheap as it would only cost $1.52 for the whole six months.
Heating and air conditioning costs would rise expectedly as more people will work remotely and will require a temperature-controlled work environment within their office. If air conditioning will run on a heating setting for the next six months, Lamont said it would add $408.80 more to the total energy consumption. For an average household, the over-all utility expense will be a massive $935.90. On the other hand, an electric heater would cost $1232.20 for six-month usage.
Money-Saving Tips on Energy Bills
Lamont, however, has good news; there are ways to avoid a hefty utility bill. If you have the option to work on either a laptop or desktop, she said it is three times cheaper to use a laptop than a desktop computer.
While a TV could entertain children for long periods, Lamont suggested putting a limit on screen time.
The biggest energy consumer would be heating, she said. Having it running throughout the day might be essential, especially for those living in cold areas. However, homeowners can limit heater usage to a minimum in the morning. To retain the heat inside, keep all doors and windows closed. Lamont also urged households to switch off and disconnect appliance when not in use, including the stereo.
It is also crucial to research and know if you need to switch. Remember, you can claim energy bills on tax deductions. Therefore, you need to know how you should do it.