Summer is finally here, and brings with it Aussie favourites like juicy mangos, dips in the pool, and watching test cricket with the aircon on full blast. But when the mercury rises, for many Australian households, so too do their electricity bills.
Fortunately for you, the South Australian government publishes tips on how to reduce your energy burden and consumer advocacy publications like Canstar can help you understand how much energy specific appliance models can use.
Here’s our guide to summer’s biggest energy wasters and tips for reducing your electricity use during the warmer months to help you avoid summer bill shock.
1. Air Conditioning
When it hits 30-plus degrees, many of us like turn to the air conditioner to cool us down. But the extra comfort can come at an extra cost – in SA, ducted air conditioning could add $1375 and 2160kWh to your bill if used for six hours a day.
A staggering 69% of Australians think air conditioning is the biggest contributor to their power bills, cites Canstar Blue. But with savvy use, you can keep your home cool and keep costs low. Running your air conditioner at a higher temperature in summer, instead of turning it right down to 20°C, can significantly reduce costs – increasing your aircon’s temperature by 1°C in summer can save up to 10% energy consumption.
2. Swimming Pool
Summer-time is pool time for many Aussies, with nearly 120,000 Adelaideans and more than 2.6 million Australians owning a pool, a Roy Morgan survey finds. . But while there’s nothing more refreshing than a dip in the pool, over the course of a year running a pool pump can add an extra $1556 to your electricity bill, according to Finder, with the average swimming pool typically using around 2,000 to 3,000kWh (kWh) per year.
Using a pool cover can prevent water from evaporating already processed by the pump, while a solar-powered pump can easily recoup costs for the best of both worlds.
3. Hot Spa
Spas can add a touch of luxury to any home but keeping hundreds of litres bubbling can rack up bills fast – and that’s without even considering the cleaning pump. On average, spas cost around $1-1.50 per day in electricity and 3-8 kWh per hour of use, depending on the size. Proper insulation of your spa will reduce heat loss (a significant cost) and, like other major home devices, keep heating to a minimum by only using your spa as needed, turning off standby and covering it when not in use.
4. Small appliances on standby
While it’s easy to pin the bill-blame on large appliances like fridges and washing machines – and they certainly can be big energy-wasters – smaller devices can add up too!
Standby or ‘phantom’ power does use electricity, meaning devices plugged into the wall are still using power even when not in use. Australians spend approximately $860 million on standby power annually – roughly $100/per household each year, says energy management technology providers, carbonTRACK. From TVs (2.3W/hr standby) and gaming systems like PlayStations (5.4W/hr standby) to microwaves (2.4W/hr standby), the costs can add up quickly.
Get into the habit of turning off devices at the power point or invest in remote clickers to switch off power boards or switches in tricky locations with ease. Smart home devices can use automation or remote mobile apps to intelligently manage power, no matter where you are.
Interested in reducing your electricity costs this summer? Sign up for a free consultation with a Clipsal Solar consultant HERE and find out how solar can make bill shock an experience of the past.