Energy bill health check

10 October 2016

Getting a high electricity bill can be a shock, but with these helpful hints, you can reduce your usage for next time.

If you’re looking to save on your electricity bill and wondering why your last was so high, there are a number of things to consider.

Avoid bill shock by asking yourself these five questions.

Is your bill more or less than the same time last year?

Seasonal spikes in temperature can increase household energy usage, so it’s good to have a look at the same billing period the year before to check whether your usage has increased. Other things to consider are whether you’ve purchased any new appliances that may be impacting on cost, such as heating or cooling, fridges, TV’s or computers. 

Have more people been staying at your home?

Sudden increases in household usage, such as showers can add to your bill.

How many appliances do you leave on standby?

Did you know that standby power can add an extra $120 a year to your bill? Check what appliances you have plugged in and unplug those that aren’t needed.

How many days are in the month?

Simple variances in billing periods can mean that your bill will seem a bit higher. It’s worth having a look at your daily usage.

Has your current plan come to an end?

If your current plan has come to an end you may need to talk to our Customer Care team so they can get you on the best plan for your needs. 


Avoid energy bill shock by asking these 5 questions


There are many other varying factors that contribute to your energy bill, including the weather, what household appliances you have running and the rates you are on.

Weather

Living in a beautiful country with diverse weather occurring all-year-round means we can see large fluctuations in temperature. Having a plan on how to manage those temperature changes can help to reduce your usage and ultimately impact on your electricity or gas bill.

Quick tips for making the most of the weather:

In summer, try using a fan instead of having the airconditioning on overnight

Open windows to allow for a cross-breeze

Keep curtains drawn during the day to reduce internal heat

Keep your thermostat set to 24 degrees

In winter keep a throw blanket on your bed for extra warmth

Try using a clothes horse for drying laundry rather than a dryer

Check doors and window seals for drafts

If your bill looks more expensive than your previous one, check it against your usage from the same time last year, be sure to check your daily usage for the same period.

This will give you a better idea of your consumption and will let you know if you need to consider more ways to save electricity.

Appliances old and new

Is your fridge running? Well, you’d better go and catch it.

Sure it’s the ultimate of dad jokes, but it’s also pretty good food for thought when looking at how to save electricity at home.

While household items like a fridge always need to be powered, there are a number of other appliances using a surprising amount of energy – even when in standby mode.

So if you’ve recently purchased new appliances or left a lot of household items powered on, you could’ve been increasing your electricity bill without even realising.

For a great way to reduce electric bill consumption, try turning appliances off when not using them.

When purchasing new appliances, it’s best to check for a high-energy efficiency star rating as this is an easy way to save on electricity costs.

Concession and rebate

While technically not a tip on how to save electricity at home, having an eligible concession card can reduce the overall cost of your bill if it’s been higher than normal.

Letting your energy provider know of your card can lead to a concession amount on your bill.

Origin customers can register their concession by logging into their My Account or by calling 13 24 61 on weekdays between 7am and 9pm.

South Australian residents will need to register your details with the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion.

Bill timeframes

As you are well aware, some months are shorter than others and this can have a result on your electricity bill.

Before looking at ways to save electricity due to a small variation in your bill, double-check the dates between this billing period and a previous bill.

What you might find is that your bill period is for more days than previously. Or that you’ve received an amended bill which includes your energy usage from other time periods.

If this doesn’t explain the variation, it’s also a good idea to check and see if energy prices have increased.

When this happens, your energy provider will let you know on the first bill you receive following the change, so be sure to double check for this.

Estimated bills

You might be paying more on your electricity bills if an energy provider can’t access your natural gas and electricity meter. When this happens, your energy use will need to be estimated based on the same time the year before or your previous billing period.

This will be demonstrated with an ‘E’ on the back of your bill

Usually, when there is access to your meter, your local distributor will do an actual reading and will then adjust your bill accordingly.

If you have an access issue with your meter, you can let Origin know using the contact form at My Account.

Your energy plan

Before exploring more options on how to save electricity, be sure to check if the plan and discounts you signed up to are still valid. 

The good news is you could join a new fixed-price plan or check out the other plans and discounts available. 

A higher bill could also be explained if your previous bill wasn’t paid in full, meaning the remainder might be carried over.

 

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