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Summer energy bills warning: Price spikes coming

Energy bills during summer are expected to jump 25 per cent.

A composite image of a woman using an air conditioner and people flocking to Bondi Beach to represent rising energy prices.
Energy prices are expected to rise again this summer. (Source: Getty)

The weather is starting to get hotter, which means Aussies are preparing to be hit with expensive energy bills as they try to stay cool.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has warned El Nino will bring hotter temperatures than last year, and they are expected to continue through to February.

Money-saving guru Joel Gibson said summer and winter months were usually peak times for power bills and, with a hot summer forecast, Aussies should expect prices to rise as much as 25 per cent compared to last year.

“Wholesale prices are down, which is good news, but this takes six months to a year to flow through to household bills,” Gibson said.


“So, keeping a lid on the air con costs will be crucial this summer.”

Back in August this year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found some energy companies had increased prices 10-20 per cent above the safety net.

The price safety net was designed to protect consumers who didn’t compare their energy plans. It establishes pricing rules that cap how much companies can charge customers on standing-offer plans.

In fact back in July, some energy providers were charging over $800 more than they were a year ago, according to analysis by Finder.

The recent price hikes have caused some Aussies to take extreme measures to cut down on prices including only using appliances in off-peak times, or even by ditching appliances altogether and using a coal barbeque to cook instead.

Just one degree can make a difference

Gibson said 75 per cent of Aussie homes now had air con so it was crucial to know that every degree on the thermostat mattered.

“Just dialling it up from 20 to 21 [degrees], for example, can cut your summer cooling bill by 10 per cent over the season and add up to $100 for some bigger systems,” he said.

“So, don't turn it all the way to low. Just try to take the edge off the heat and minimise the power your air con is using.”

Don’t forget to shop around

Research from Vinnies found, by moving from the most expensive to the cheapest energy plan, Aussies could save between $600 and $1200, depending on what state they lived in.

Gibson said those looking for a cheaper plan should start at government websites such as or (for VIC only).

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