Reduce your energy bills
What's powering the price rises?
Electricity prices have risen significantly over the past 8 years largely due to increases in network costs. The 'network' is the transmission and distribution system of poles and wires that carries electricity to your home. The repair and replacement of ageing poles and wires, increased peak demand (periods placing the highest demand on the energy network—such as hot summer days), population growth, and rising standards for power reliability have all contributed to network cost increases.
Over the long term developments in electricity delivery will give us a more reliable, modern and efficient power industry and help to build a secure energy future for Australia. The Australian Government has produced a series of fact sheets to help you understand electricity costs (185KB PDF) and what's causing the changes (225KB PDF) in more detail.
While a range of factors will continue to affect electricity prices, you can influence how much you pay by reducing your energy consumption and choosing the best contract for your circumstances.
Reducing your energy use will help to counter rising electricity costs. The impact on your bill will depend on the changes you make coupled with the impact of any price changes. Regardless of whether your bill reduces overall, it will be less than if you had done nothing (and far less than if you had increased your energy use).
Changing gas prices
Retail gas prices have also risen significantly. Households need to carefully compare electricity and gas prices in relation to their particular circumstances to make informed decisions about reducing their energy bills.
The decision on whether the use of gas or electric appliances will reduce energy costs will depend on a number of factors including:
- where you live and the energy supply options available
- how much gas you use
- your gas tariffs (some gas tariffs are tiered and decrease in price when households use more gas)
- the number of gas appliances you have (heating, hot water, cooking)
- how old your existing appliances are and the upfront costs of replacing one or more appliances
- how much alternative electric products cost to purchase and run
- connection fees and charges.
As with electricity, households should shop around to see if a better energy deal is available in their area (see Making the switch). Particularly if you have been on the same contract for some time, there may be a number of different offers that may better suit your circumstances and help to reduce your energy costs.