We need power to lead the lifestyles we want to live comfortably, but sometimes it feels like something we just “have to have”, rather than a desire. You know – like a grudge purchase. But when the power goes out and we’re left in the dark, that’s often when we realise just how much we rely on it. From keeping our iPhones charged and at the ready, to taking a hot shower and cooking food, electricity runs our lives more than we know it.
Because going about our daily routines means we often forget about the small things, it’s only natural to forget how much power we’re using along the way. All of the household appliances switched on at the powerpoint are contributing to your overall energy consumption, and potentially more than you thought possible.
In this article, we’re outlining a few of the biggest players in your household energy bills.
Take a guess at how much power your home uses
This obviously differs from one household to the next, but if you want to keep your electricity consumption in check, the first step is understanding what appliances are spiking costs over others. This will help you eliminate those that might be driving up your bills when you don’t necessarily need them running at all times – or at all.
In Australia, the average bill for heating and cooling sits at around 40 per cent of the total regular bill. Of these fees, heating up hot water sits at 21 per cent of that, while lighting attributes 6 per cent. The remainder goes towards cooking and refrigeration.
In the average Aussie household, refrigeration, cooking and TV use the most energy and drive up bills the most.
Your TV uses more electricity than you think
It’s responsible for delivering the nightly reality TV dose that we crave, but it’s also a big driving factor of bill costs too. In Australia, all television sets must have an Energy Rating label, as well as Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS). Any imported units must meet these requirements and Tier 2 MEPS standards (according to RedEnergy).
To check how much electricity our TV set is using, you can utilise this method:
- Check the input power in watts or kilowatts (e.g. 2400W)
- Convert that figure to kW by dividing the number by 1000 (e.g. 2400 divided by 1000 = 2.4kW).
- Find your local area’s energy tariff rate by looking at your most recent bill. E.g. this could be 30 cents per kWh.
- Multiply the input figure by your energy tariff rate to find how much it costs you per hour to run your TV. E.g. 2.4 x 0.30 = $0.72 per hour.
How to minimise unnecessary energy costs
Obviously the biggest way to avoid unnecessary bill spikes is to turn your appliance off at the powerpoint when it’s not in use. Even leaving them plugged in still consumes electricity, so this is an easy way to eliminate rising fees.
Don’t worry, you can still get your fix of Big Brother – just turn your TV off at the outlet afterwards!