En­ergy costs hit hard all year

McIvor Times - - TRADE & SERVICES GUIDE - By VIVI­ENNE DUCK

IF you want to keep cool this sum­mer, you may be fork­ing out a lot for your en­ergy bill.

New re­search re­vealed Vic­to­ri­ans plan to cut back on spend­ing to af­ford their sum­mer en­ergy bill with 46 per cent say­ing the cost of en­ergy will af­fect how long they use their air con­di­tioner this sum­mer.

The Galaxy Re­search study, com­mis­sioned by iS­elect, sug­gests al­most one mil­lion Vic­to­rian house­holds are con­cerned about their up­com­ing sum­mer en­ergy bill.

En­ter­tain­ment and din­ing out are on top of the chop­ping block, with 41 per cent plan­ning to tighten their spend­ing in those ar­eas, while the re­search sug­gests over 320,000 house­holds even plan to cut back on gro­ceries.

Spokesper­son for iS­elect Laura Crow­den said with Heath­cote res­i­dents ex­pe­ri­enc­ing an­other hot sum­mer, it is likely many lo­cal house­holds will feel the heat when it comes to their en­ergy bills at the end of sum­mer.

“Most Heath­cote res­i­dents are pre­pared for large win­ter bills but dur­ing the warmer months, keep­ing air con­di­tion­ers run­ning around the clock and the ex­tra en­ergy con­sumed by kids at home dur­ing the school hol­i­days can re­sult in sum­mer en­ergy bill shock,’’ Ms Crow­den said.

‘‘But if you sim­ply use the air con­di­tioner a bit less, you may be dis­ap­pointed to dis­cover your en­ergy bill hasn't de­creased as much as you had hoped.

“This is be­cause for most house­holds a large por­tion of your en­ergy bill is ac­tu­ally made up of net­work charges and other vari­ables not as­so­ci­ated with us­age.”

The sur­vey also found over half of Vic­to­rian homes will rely on open­ing and clos­ing win­dows to keep their bills down but just 14 per cent are plan­ning to re­view their en­ergy provider this sum­mer in search of a bet­ter deal.

‘‘The eas­i­est way for Heath­cote res­i­dents to save money is to make sure you are on the most cost-ef­fec­tive plan to be­gin with,’’ Ms Crow­den said.

“This is be­cause tar­iff rates and payon-time dis­counts can dif­fer sig­nif­i­cantly from provider to provider and even from plan to plan with the same provider.

She rec­om­mended speak­ing with an en­ergy ex­pert to find out what op­tions are avail­able to ease bill pain both over the hottest months and year round.

‘‘There is no one size fits all so­lu­tion to ris­ing en­ergy prices and un­for­tu­nately there are thou­sands of vari­ables when it comes to selecting the most cost ef­fec­tive en­ergy plan or provider,’’ Ms Crow­den said.

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