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The true cost of ice-olation: Aussies to spend at least $1.6 billion on staying warm this winter

        • Australians use their heater for 4 hours per day on average
        • 25% of Australians say energy bills are among their top three financial stressors
        • How to save on your energy bill this winter

25 June 2020, Sydney, Australia – Australians are set to spend millions on staying warm this winter, new research by Finder, Australia's most visited comparison site, reveals.

According to the survey of 1,008 people, Australians use their heater for 4 hours per day, on average.

This usage will cost households at least $233 over the three months of winter on top of their quarterly electricity bill – that's $1.6 billion across Australia.

Finder research shows that the average quarterly energy bill is $385. This means that the average household electricity bill could skyrocket to $618 for the quarter.

Graham Cooke, energy expert at Finder urges households to rethink their heating habits.

"In today's economic environment, Aussies can't afford to be using their heater 24/7 – it's simply too much money.

"We need to be finding other ways to stay warm or lower our electricity spend so we're not facing a bill blowout at the end of winter."

A previous Finder survey revealed that almost half the population (47%) are concerned about their energy bill following lockdown restrictions.

"Some Aussies are still stuck working from home with no end in sight. We're using more electricity and unfortunately this is doing damage to our hip pocket."

Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker, a nationally representative study with a sample size of 14,250 respondents, has found that one in four (25%) Australians say their energy bills are among their top three financial stressors.

"Increased usage will put more financial pressure on those that are already struggling with their bills."

Taking time to pick the best heater for your household needs and budget is important, says Cooke.

"Many of us get caught out at the beginning of winter and we often reach for the first reasonably-priced heater we can get our hands on. Not only could this sting us in running costs but it probably won't last more than one season."

Finder analysis shows that the best electric heater for cost conscious Aussies is an oil-filled column heater, which will set you back $3.70 for every 8 hour work day.

In comparison, the most expensive electric heater is a radiant bar heater, which costs $9.10 for every 8 hour work day.

"Finder has a list of the best heaters to keep you warm this winter. Compare your options and invest in a heater that will last."

Cooke urges Australians to think outside the box if they want to see big savings.

"An electric blanket can save you hundreds over the winter period while working from home. It might not heat an entire room but an electric throw blanket is a cheap option to keep you cosy.

"It's not just what type of heater you choose but how you use it. Make sure to close off the room you plan on heating making it draught-proof, and close the curtains to keep the heat escaping from the windows – anything to keep the warm in."

"Switching energy providers is often put in the too-hard basket. Aussies either think it's too complicated or not worth the savings, but there's real money to be saved simply by comparing plans and making sure you're on the best plan available to you."

The cost of running your heater

Heater typeDaily running cost (8 hrs)Winter running cost (8 hrs)
Convection Heater$5.04$453.60
Fan heater$4.50$405.00
Oil-filled column heater$3.72$334.80
Panel heater$4.05$364.25
Radiant bar heater$9.12$820.80
Tower heater$4.75$427.20
Electric blanket$0.29$25.92

Source: Finder

How to save on your winter energy bill

Pick an energy efficient heater. If you're in the market for a new heater there are a few things to consider. The overall running cost and energy rating should be on the top of your list of things to compare.

Look for a cheaper plan. It's easy to set-and-forget when it comes to your energy bill, but this kind of mentality means you could be overspending. Don't pay the lazy tax, compare energy plans and switch to one that better suits your usage.

Prepare your home for winter. Take some time to draught-proof your home, install thicker curtains and lay down some rugs on any timber floors. There are lots of ways to stay warm without blasting the heater all day.

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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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