Energy Prices

An Australia-wide survey of almost seven and a half thousand energy customers by consumer research company, Canstar Blue, revealed some big shocks about affordability of energy. "Energy costs are now the biggest financial concern of householders more than mortgages, more than the cost of food and clothing, energy is the biggie. Canstar Blue's Steven Mickenbecker, says almost one out of four Australian households confess they're struggling to pay their power bills and half the population is having to cut back on necessities, just to pay for continually rising electricity and gas prices.

Nicole and Gareth Timbs, with two children Alyssa 8 and Jake 6, says without the air-conditioning, they roast on hot days - and that takes a toll on the budget. So they employ as many energy saving techniques as possible. "We try to cut back in other ways so we can have the comfort of the aircon. We've cut down by keeping the windows shut or keeping the blinds down to eliminate the amount of heat that's coming in the house." But it's still a huge expense, typical of homes dependent on air-conditioning during the hot months. With the summer quarter hitting $515, their yearly cost for electricity is around $2,650 plus $800 for gas hot water and cooking, almost three and a half thousand dollars per annum.

Following the removal of the carbon tax, electricity costs in Western Australia fell 4%, but households are being warned about increases of around 7% annually up to 2017. Still, after Queensland, WA residents pay the lowest energy prices in the nation. Not taking into account government subsidies, the average household bill in WA for electricity is around $2,000 a year, about $38 a week; for gas between $700 and $900, depending on where you live. The biggest energy guzzlers in summer are air-conditioners, clothes dryers, the fridge, hot water for showers and sink wash-ups - it's cheaper to do a full dishwasher load instead. Minimize air-conditioning by shading your windows externally to keep the heat out.


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