Hot tips to cool your home this summer – and avoid ‘bill shock’

Canstar Blue compares bills across cooling products and states to help consumers avoid bill shock.

There’s nothing like an Aussie summer to turn up the heat, but are you ready for the subsequent bill shock?

Canstar Blue have compared running costs for a range of common cooling products. Then they’ve compared the increased electricity cost you’re likely to face, depending where you live in this wide brown land. This sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, if you want to get poetic.

So, hold on to your hat, because the following is not always pretty reading…

Whole-house, ducted air-con costs most

Results of the cooling product running price comparison range from the sublimely cheap – a modest 2 cents per hour for ceiling and pedestal fans – to the expensively ridiculous.

Canstar Blue compares bills across cooling products and states to help consumers avoid bill shock.

Solar panels and smarter use of air conditioners can melt away summer bill shock. Image: Pixabay

Namely those with whole-house, ducted air-conditioning can expect to pay $2.45 per hour – averaging $882 more on power bills over three months.

A standard split-system air-conditioner costs 25 cents to run per hour, with a three-month bill coming in at $90. Portable air conditioners are more expensive, having a running cost of 45 cents per hour.

State by state, estimated summer electricity bills range from the lowest in Victoria – $387 for a split-system air-conditioner – to the highest in South Australia at $638.

In ascending order of price, the states rank: Victoria, Queensland, ACT, NSW, South Australia.

Ducted, whole-house air-conditioning costs $1,179 in Victoria, and peaks at $1,430 in South Australia. That’s some Summer bill shock!

Use your air-conditioning conservatively

However, there are ways to maximise the efficiency of your cooling system(s) over summer.

  • Close windows, curtains and blinds during the day to avoid the house heating up with hot outside air.
  • Turn ducted cooling off in rooms that you don’t use.
  • Run your air-conditioner at the highest temperature you can tolerate (i.e. 26 rather than 18).
  • Close doors to avoid losing cool air when running a portable air-conditioner. These are best used to cool one room at a time.
  • Buy air-conditioners with high star and efficiency ratings.

Use solar energy to avoid bill shock

Research by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) in 2018 shows higher energy prices are encouraging customers to opt for solar energy.

Between 41 and 62 per cent of power consumers across the National Electricity Market already have or are considering solar panels. Up to 46 per cent of customers may also buy solar batteries over the next year.

Meanwhile, another AEMC report in December 2018 predicted annual Australian energy bills will fall by $28 over the next two years because of increased wind and solar farm construction.