Australians need to watch their energy usage while staying at home in isolation.
Australians need to watch their energy usage while staying at home in isolation.

Energy bills to rise by $2 a day in isolation

MILLIONS of Australians are bunkered down at home in isolation and it's likely to result in larger energy bills in the coming months.

Households are churning through more energy because they have been forced to work from home and some also have the added pressures of home schooling children.

While many worry about their costs in this struggling economy, new research shows the cost of using devices is small but the big guzzlers are heating and cooling.

The calculations depend on a number of factors but new figures from Energy Networks Australia shows using heating or airconditioning for four hours a day can typically cost about $2. Over a month this can equate to more than $60.

However, the costs of charging a phone, using a computer and LED lighting are only a few cents each day.

Alinta Energy executive director of retail markets Jim Galvin said it could be a challenge to monitor power costs during this stressful time.

"With a house full of energy-hungry teenagers and their devices, I know it can be very tough to try and monitor or reduce energy consumption, but there are a few things you can do to cut your consumption," he said.

"Also try and focus on using only the energy you need.

"If you're spending your day working in one room, try and only heat or cool that one room if you can, rather than the whole place."

Australians are under increased pressure at the moment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australians are under increased pressure at the moment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Galvin said turning off appliances on standby was another easy step to take because standby energy could cost more than $100 a year.

Energy Networks Australia's chief executive officer, Andrew Dillon, said costs might seem small but they quickly added up.

"Running your laptop and other home office equipment will cost around 15 cents a day," he said.

"Likely the largest impact on your electricity bill will be heating or cooling.

"When you need to heat the room with a reverse-cycle system, try to set it to 18 or 19 degrees which will keep you warm and save on your bill.

"With cooling setting airconditioners to 24 degrees will consume much less power than lower temperatures."

Energy providers have said they will support any customers struggling to meet their bills during this time.

Origin Energy executive general manager of retail Jon Briskin urged anyone financially struggling to contact their provider immediately.

"For customers who are in financial stress and worried about how they are going to pay their next energy bill, they should know that we are here to help and there is support available," he said.

"We encourage any customers who are doing it tough to contact us so we can help and provide tailored support including payment extensions, payments plans or referral to our hardship program."

If you're working from home, don't forget that energy charges are tax deductible.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth

 

ENERGY COSTS

Device, consumption, cost per day.

13" Macbook Pro, $0.03, assumes two full recharges.

27" computer monitor, 25W, $0.06.

Phone charging daily $0.01.

Kettle, 2000W, $0.05, boiling 1.7L water.

Laser printer, 35W, $0.01, printing for 10 minutes.

Lighting $0.02, 2 LED lights running for four hours.

PlayStation, 165W, $0.20 for four hours.

TV for 4 hours, $0.40.

AC/heating for four hours, $2.

* Source: Energy Networks Australia. Estimated average consumption will vary depending on device and use.

Originally published as Energy bills to rise by $2 a day in isolation


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