Rising electricity costs could add hundreds of dollars to the cost of running an electric heater in your house.
With soaring wholesale energy prices, floods and other factors driving up costs for retailers, Australian households face steep bill hikes this winter.
It’s hard to know exactly how expensive electricity will get, but with energy regulators upping their safety-net prices this week, chances are retailers will start increasing their prices come July 1 when those offers are introduced to the market.
Just a few extra cents per kWh can add up when it comes to keeping a home warm during winter, especially in colder states, such as Victoria.
While a 20c/kWh general usage rate might be a pretty good deal in Victoria at the moment, these rates might become increasingly hard to come by in the next few months.
Come July 1, rates closer to 25c/kWh could be a possibility.
Numbers crunched by comparison website Canstar Blue found it would cost around $693.75 a year to run a portable air conditioning unit to heat a small-to-medium-sized room if the usage rate increased to 25 c/kWH.
That’s compared to $555 a year, on average, for a 20 c/kWh usage rate.
Similarly, heating a small room with a reverse cycle, single-split heat pump would cost $295.25 compared to $236.20 if electricity usage rates increased by 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Cooking dinner could also get much more expensive, with a jump from a 20 c/kWh to 25 c/kWh usage rate adding around $5-20 to the cost of running your electric oven over a 13 week period.
That, of course, depends on how often you cook.
Canstar Blue’s energy editor Jared Mullane offered up a couple of tips to save energy this winter.
Set your heater as low as you comfortably can
Be sure to ensure that all windows and doors are closed to make sure you’re trapping in the precious heat
A reverse-direction ceiling fan on low setting can help boost heating effectiveness
Don’t leave the heater running when no-one is using it
Throw a rug down if you have tiles or floorboards as it can create warmth in a room
Switch off appliances at the wall if they're not in use
Consider buying a door runner to stop draughts
Think like your grandparents and throw an extra layer of clothing on, including socks, scarf
Another easy way to save on energy costs is to shop around for a better deal.
According to the Australian Energy Regulator, the average household could save around $443 a year, or 24 per cent, on their energy costs by comparing and switching their energy plans.
Households can also take advantage of the many energy rebates and subsidies offered by state and territory governments.
Households struggling to pay their energy bills in NSW, for example, could be eligible for up to $1,600 in rebates from the state government.