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Media Release

9 million Australians fear energy bill blowout during lockdown

        • 47% of Aussies are concerned about the cost of their next power bill
        • Fears about energy costs most prevalent among "rent-vestors"
        • How to lower your energy usage

28 April 2020, Sydney, Australia – With the majority of Aussies now forced to stay home, energy usage is on the rise according to new research by Finder, Australia's most visited comparison site.

A recent Finder survey of 1,010 respondents revealed that almost half the population (47%) are concerned about their energy bill following lockdown restrictions.

Rent-vestors are the most concerned about increased energy costs, with 67% apprehensive about their next bill. This is followed by renters, with 58% sharing the same concerns.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre has warned that heating costs may see winter energy bills increase by as much as $200 per month due to coronavirus-related circumstances.

Graham Cooke, insights manager at Finder, said that increased energy usage during lockdown is inevitable but there are still ways to cut back.

"Roughly four million Aussies are now working from home and the nation is under strict instructions to only leave the house for essential purposes. This means we're reliant on power for longer periods of time.

"Many Aussies are using the TV and computer more than usual, leaving lights on during the day, running their heater or aircon and using cooking appliances for three meals a day. Unfortunately, this comes at a price.

"To keep costs down, try and rely on natural lighting as much as possible and switch off any appliances that aren't in use. Standby power can account for as much as 10% of household electricity usage," Cooke said.

Of all the generations, energy concerns peak among millennials: 58% are worried about the cost of their next power bill compared to just 26% of baby boomers.

3 in 5 (60%) Aussies working from home as a direct result of coronavirus are anxious about a subsequent increase to their energy bill. In comparison, just 49% of regular remote workers feel the same way.

Cooke said that Aussies should consider switching providers if their energy plan is becoming a worry.

"If you don't think you're getting the best deal, jump online and see what other energy retailers have to offer. Check the fine print for details on pricing along with discounts like pay-on-time offers.

"If you're really starting to struggle, contact your energy provider immediately.

"Most of Australia's major retailers are offering hardship relief to customers impacted during the pandemic," Cooke said.

Are you concerned about your energy bill during lockdown?

GenerationYesNoI don't pay for my energy bill
Baby boomers26%73%1%
Generation X50%47%2%
Generation Y58%38%4%
Generation Z52%28%20%

Source: Finder, April 2020 survey

How to lower your energy usage


Energy-efficient appliances. Appliances account for about 30% of your energy bills. Opt for simple appliances with basic features and look for higher efficiency star ratings.

Time of use. Do you use the most electricity during the day or night? If you use the majority of your power in the morning and early afternoon, you might benefit from a time-of-use tariff, which charges less during these off-peak periods.

Energy hotspots. Big energy sinks include heating and cooling, as well as standby lights. Ensure your heating, cooling and cooking devices are properly installed, well-maintained and efficient.

Be savvy with your aircon. Set it to 25 degrees if you want to keep costs down. Only heat the room you'll be using and shut all doors and blinds to keep the warmth in.

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For further information

Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

Every month 2.2 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and the United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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