The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - With ed­i­tor Robyn Wil­lis robyn.wil­lis@news.com.au

Bill shock and cheat­ing the chill

Feel­ing the cold lately? It’s cer­tainly start­ing to bite at my draughty old house with tem­per­a­tures drop­ping into the low teens for those of us in the city and be­low zero in a num­ber of re­gional ar­eas of NSW.

Apart from that old standby of putting on an­other layer of cloth­ing or tak­ing a run around the block to keep warm, most of us are re­ly­ing on heaters of all shapes, sizes and fuel types to keep the chill at bay.

And it’s about this time of year that the first heat­ing bills start to hit the let­ter box, which can come as a rude shock, es­pe­cially for those on low or fixed in­comes.

I watched re­cently as a young woman I know, who is sup­port­ing her­self while study­ing, went into a panic af­ter the bill came in for heat­ing the rental prop­erty she shares with a cou­ple of friends.

Af­ter elim­i­nat­ing the pos­si­bil­ity that the gas heater keep­ing them warm was leak­ing — they’d prob­a­bly al­ready be dead if that was the case — they had to face up to the knowl­edge that the bill was in­deed gen­uine and would in­deed have to be paid.

Given we still have a good month be­fore tem­per­a­tures start to lift, they also have to work out how they’re go­ing to keep them­selves warm with­out cre­at­ing an­other whop­per bill.

In some ways, though, they’re the lucky ones. They’ve found some­where to rent that they can af­ford with enough space for them all to work and study.

In re­cent weeks I’ve no­ticed the grow­ing piles of blan­kets and sheets of card­board on the streets in Syd­ney and won­dered how those with­out a per­ma­nent place to sleep are man­ag­ing in this weather, not just at night but dur­ing the day when icy winds are tear­ing down the street.

Some­times a warm home is a lux­ury.

Keep ev­ery­thing in or­der while you sleep with the Kiruna three-drawer bed­side ta­ble made from sus­tain­able mango wood, $290 from Hud­son Fur­ni­ture, hud­son­fur­ni­ture.com.au eor sun­loung a back­tobe ital­so­folds fromSatara coole­nough, use,$3105 so­fawasn’t...

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