Electricity poverty and the common reasons behind rising energy bills
Electricity poverty is one of the problems that many Australians face. When lockdowns were in place, most people had no choice but to stay at home, which led to a surge in energy bills. Some have had to deal with up to 50% higher bills because of the pandemic. For vulnerable populations, such as low-income households and pensioners who rely on a fixed income, this is a tough situation to deal with.
Electricity poverty is not a new problem. Find out more about it as this article discusses some of the facts you should know.
What you need to know about electricity poverty?
What is electricity poverty?
Electricity poverty, or energy poverty, refers to the incapacity to afford energy that is essential to have a decent and comfortable life. When electricity poverty happens, the quality of life is compromised. People who have to pay higher bills have to modify their behaviour along with their way of spending – to the point of cutting their budget for essential items.
As energy poverty is a problem, it is important to look into what contributes to the increase in the cost of electricity. Read on to know some of the factors that lead to higher energy bills.
Factors that lead to an increase in electricity costs
What are the appliances that consume electricity in your household? The more appliances that are in use, the higher the cost of electricity to expect.
It is also important to consider how old your appliances are. Most likely, old appliances are not as energy-efficient as the new ones. Aside from the energy-saving technology that new appliances are usually equipped with, old appliances that have already degraded over time require more power to operate.
Now, you can already check how energy-efficient appliances are through the Energy Star rating. It uses comparison labels to rate a model based on efficiency as compared to other models of the same size.
The changing weather is another factor that impacts energy use. During winter, you’ll need to leave your heater on longer to stay comfortable. You will also want the water heater on to take a hot shower.
On the other hand, in summer, the scorching heat will force you to stay indoors. Most likely, you will be using your air conditioning system longer than usual, and while at home, other appliances will be in use too. All of these factors contribute to a higher energy bill during these seasons.
Time of use
This applies to consumers who are on a time-of-use plan. Under this plan, there are certain times of the day, usually during “peak hours”, when electricity charges are higher. At the same time, there are also certain times, known as the “off-peak hours,” when charges are lower.
An important consideration here is to understand your usage. If energy use is higher during “peak hours”, a time-of-use tariff may not be your best option. Otherwise, you can make the most of it if you schedule the use of certain appliances during the “off-peak hours” of the day.
Electricity comparison providers in Australia commonly offer discounts to consumers for their current plans; however, there are end dates to those discounts and you have to be aware of when the benefit period ends.
If your discount has expired, then look for other energy comparison providers in your area that offer that either off a discount or a low-rate plan. Doing the search for new providers should be easy, especially with an energy comparison tool that can provide the better options for you.
Check out Electricity Wizard to take advantage of a 100% free energy comparison tool that you can use to easily compare energy plans and find electricity providers in your area.
ALSO READ: Switching electricity providers in NSW
What can be done?
Energy poverty is a complex problem and there is no single and easy solution to eliminate it.
Energy management, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, retrofitting old houses, and finding the right electricity providers are among the steps that can be taken. There are other aspects that must also be looked into, especially when the consumers involved belong to the vulnerable population.
Learn more about how you can manage your energy use better and get the best value from your plans. Check out Electricity Wizard today.