Tools to Help Calculate your Electricity Costs
The Energy Users Association of Australia recently published a report on the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), our energy system, and electricity prices in Australia. The EUAA is an organisation that represents over 100 large power-using companies, including the Commonwealth Bank, the Brisbane City Council, BHP, and Coles. Their investigation into the electricity market found that:
- Australian electricity charges are 70% higher than the US average.
- Electricity prices are expected to increase by 160% in two years.
- National electricity prices in 2010/2011 rose by 16%.
- Many Australian households pay regulated electricity prices as high as $.28 per kWh.
According to their inquiry into retail electricity costs, the average price of household electricity in New South Wales would be reduced by $1000, from $1700 per year to a mere $700, if Australia had the same electricity prices as Canada!
Despite the high cost of electricity, genuine savings can be found by shopping around. Increased competition between retailers means that consumers who learn more about the range of plans offered by electricity companies can take advantage of lower prices. Many homeowners don’t take the time to investigate the differences in electricity cost per kWh offered by the different electricity retailers available in their region. Online electricity comparison tools will help you find the best deal and save you money.
What to Do: Compare Electricity Prices in Australia
If you want to take control of your finances and potentially save big on power bills (despite rising electricity costs throughout the nation) it’s important to pay attention to how you use electricity.
You can work out how much you are spending on electricity each day with a handy electricity cost calculator. This will provide you with real figures to determine where you can cut back on your use of electricity.
Ergon Energy, a leading electricity retailer for homes and businesses in Queensland, provides a helpful electricity cost calculator to determine how much your appliances are costing you in electricity each month.
For example, here is the average cost of some common household appliances on an hour by hour basis:
- Coffee Maker – 15c
- Dishwasher, cold water – 18c
- Garbage Disposal – 10c
- Microwave – 30c
- Refrigerator – 4c
- Freezer – 3c
The Australian Government also has a number of handy online electricity cost calculators. You can use the Energy Rating Calculator to look at specific appliance running costs. Or find out how to save on your energy bill by calculating hourly appliance running costs with the South Australian governments online calculators (the electricity calculators are relevant for households in all Australian states). The Government’s Energy Savings website also has tips on how to calculate lifetime running costs of your home appliances to help you make informed purchasing decisions.
As you begin to account for all of the many appliances that are using electricity in your home each day, the cost of energy can quickly add up. Fortunately, you can save on energy each month by using three quick tips to cut down on rising electricity costs:
- Regulate your air conditioning. Turning off your air conditioner for just 15 minutes an hour is an easy, cost-effective way to save on energy. Use the air conditioner in the morning and turn it off intermittently throughout the afternoon to cut down on electricity usage.
- Microwave instead of cooking. A microwave oven will cook food three times faster than a standard electric oven, while using 70% less electricity.
- Use cold water for laundry. Using cold water whenever possible to wash laundry, reserving hot water for special laundry loads, such as whites and delicates, will save you money.
And, last but not least, compare electricity costs between different energy providers to get the lowest rate on your monthly or quarterly statement. Using Electricity Wizard‘s online electricity cost calculator to compare a wide range of different options is the best way to save money on your electricity bill!