Understanding your electricity bill

So, you receive your electricity bill every quarter and throw it into the “to be paid” pile. However, the more we understand our energy bill, how much we pay and why we pay it, can go a long way to helping your household manage your rising energy costs.

So let’s look at your energy bill.

What are the basic features of an electricity bill?

Your electricity retailer prepares your bill in line with your contract, which by law must be at least once every 3 months. Your retailer can put a range of information in your bill, such as offers they have available, but there is some important information that all electricity bills must show, including:

• your name, account number and address

• the total amount payable or in credit by you

• your billing period and the pay-by date for the bill

• the amount of electricity you used over the period of the bill.

How is your bill calculated?

Your electricity bill is usually made up of two key charges: a ‘supply charge’ which is a fixed cost per day and a ‘usage charge’ which is calculated based on the amount of electricity that you use and, sometimes, what time of day you use electricity. Your usage is measured by your meter overtime and is expressed as power units per hour.

How do I know what price I am paying for my energy?

Another important part of your bill is the price that you are paying for your electricity usage. This is called the tariff or rate in your contract. The most common are:

• A “Flat rate tariff” is a simple way of charging you for electricity that means you will be charged the same rate for your electricity use all day.

• A “Time-of-use tariff” is a way of charging you a different price for electricity depending on the time of day it is used. This may mean you are charged a lower price when you use your electricity outside “peak hours”.

For many people this will help you save on your electricity bill. If you are on a time-of-use tariff you can try to move your heavy usage to a cheaper time. To move your usage you might turn on your dishwasher and washing machine just before bed instead of after dinner. The prices for each time period will be listed in your contract, or you can check with your electricity retailer. Other tariffs. There are other tariff structures which electricity companies can offer. Some states and territories also have specific tariffs for different customer groups. As the electricity market changes different tariffs may become available. It is worth considering which tariff best suits your particular needs. It is important to consider which tariff is most suitable for the way that you use your electricity.

How do I know what my usage is compared to other households?

 

You can compare your usage with a similar household at this website:

www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/bill-benchmark

A comparison of the usage of similar households should also be on your bill.

Do Energy-Efficient Products Really Save You Money?

So you are looking for a new refrigerator or washing machine, and keep seeing all the Energy efficient stars and ratings, but I hear you wondering if they will really save you money on your energy bill and just how huge those savings will be.

Well, the answer is, it depends.

It depends on the size of your appliance, how you will operate it and what your  definition of ‘huge’ is.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest energy users.

HEATING AND COOLING 

Living in Australia, it should come as no surprise the biggest power-guzzler of them all is the air-conditioner. Once it’s been turned on to combat the inescapable summer heat, it’s impossible to switch off ‘til at least mid-autumn.

But the cost of sweet, cool bliss doesn’t come cheap, and it’s going to show on your bill.

So how long would it take for an energy-efficient air-con to start saving you money on your power bill? Let’s do the math:

Rinnai 3.5kW Reverse Cycle Inverter Split System Air Conditioner Fujitsu 2.5kW Split System Inverter Air Conditioner
Energy Star Rating 2.5 Stars 5 Stars
kWh per year 912kWh 490kWh
Cost of Appliance $930 $1052
Annual Cost to Run $238.03 $127.79

*Based on cooling for 8 hours a day during 4 months in a year. Data retrieved using energyrating.gov.au/calculator

CLOTHES DRYER

Instead of spending the better half of an hour hanging up clothes, you can toss ‘em in the dryer and be on your way.

Unfortunately, doing so isn’t as good for your power bill. Clothes dryers use up a lot of energy with each load, which is going to add up quickly on your bill.

Is it time to invest in a power-saving clothes dryer?

Bosch 8kg Condenser Dryer Miele 8kg Heat Pump Dryer
Energy Star Rating 2 Stars 7 Stars
kWh per year 721kWh 320kWh
Cost of Appliance $1099 $1399
Annual Cost to Run $206.87 $91.79

*Based on running 2 cycles each week. Data retrieved using energyrating.gov.au/calculator

REFRIGERATOR 

An appliance running for 24 hours a day is obviously not going  to be an easy cost to your household. How are you meant to cut back your usage on a necessity?

The bigger the fridge, the more it is going to cost, so it is understandable that you want to find the one that will save you the most.

So, your fridge is running all day every day, and it should last you for years to come, right? How does the energy-efficient model stack up?

Hisense 435L Fridge LG 450L Fridge
Energy Star Rating 2.5 Stars 4.5 Stars
kWh per year 488kWh 299kWh
Cost of Appliance $839 $1100
Annual Cost to Run $127.37 $78.04

*Based on running 2 cycles each week. Data retrieved using energyrating.gov.au/calculator

It’s going to take you a few years before your energy-efficient fridge will start to save you money. However, you can see that there are savings to be had.

It’s not just about the money though. Choosing an energy-efficient model means reducing your carbon footprint and doing your part for the environment. If you are looking for some Ezi solutions to beginning to save on your bills, going with the appliance that consumes less power is the way to go.

How to save on your energy bill while working from home.

While we are saving money on transport, coffee and let’s not forget those costly takeaway lunches, here is a few tips on how to save on the rising energy cost.

Keep an eye on your energy costs with these tips.

The consumption in technology

Computers, monitors , laptops and chargers are essential parts of a home office, but they can significantly drain power.

Standby power can add up to 10% to your energy bill, so using a power board can have a surprising impact.

There are so many appliances to plug in, the best way to watch the consumption is to simply buy a power board, plug all your appliances in and at the end of the day, simply switch off the power board to eliminate stand by consumption.

Because laptops don’t need to be plugged in all the time. They are a more energy-efficient choice than desktop computers.

Simple changes to your computer settings can also boost your energy savings:

  • Change your screensaver to a blank screen
  • Set your power-saving mode to come on after 20 minutes of inactivity
  • Use ‘hibernate’ instead of ‘sleep’ mode
  • Turn off any programs, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when you’re not using them.

If you understand your energy consumption habits, you can identify more opportunities for savings. While being at home during the day, take the chance to run the dishwasher or the washing machine during the “Off-peak” times.

Taking the time to understand your energy consumption and bill are important.

If you are wanting to find some Ezi solutions to your rising costs, have a look at our Residential Energy Plans Here.