Friday, 22 June 2018 16:11

amaysim's apt advice to avoid awful winter electricity bill shock

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With the shortest day of the year just having passed, it still won't get any warmer for at least the next couple of months, so amaysim's tips on staying warm should avoid sending a chill up your spine.

With one third of Australians trying to save money by not switching on the heating until it gets "extremely cold" due to fears of being hit with a hefty energy bill this winter, it's no wonder people want to give outrageously high power bills the cold shoulder.

Now comes advice from amaysim, once just a telco offering great pricing on monthly pre-paid phone service, but now with fingers in various pies that enable the company to bill itself a "home service simplifier".

Its stats have not only shown the aforementioned figure of a third waiting for severe cold before turning on a heater, but also the fact that "the two age groups most concerned with tightening up their spending are the millennials and the over 55s".

We're told that "almost one in four (23%) Aussies aged 25-34 and a whopping 36% of 55-64 year olds claim their strategy to avoid bill shock is to simply survive the freezing conditions at home. A further 15% of the population admit that they won’t turn their heating on at all during winter".

These stats come from Pure Profile surveys, with the last stat from a Finder survey.

The info also follows recent news on how "households in QLD, NSW, SA and VIC could be paying as much as $1500 more annually on electricity by being stuck on the worst deals in the market".

So, here comes amaysim, which not only bills itself as the aforementioned "home service simplifier", but also calls itself "Australia’s first provider of simple home services", and which says it is "easing consumer frustration by providing clever tips to stay toasty as the temperature turns, but cool on your bill balance".

One wonders whether companies such as Telstra, who just explained they will convert a mind-numbing 1800 phone plans down to just 20, or the incredulously cerebrally challenged executives at power company AGL, who prioritise profit and contested green initiatives over cheap prices for human beings suffering in the present, are "home service complicators" and "providers of difficult home services", which may well be the case.

In any case, we look at the case being presented by amaysim chief executive Julian Ogrin who said: “Our research has highlighted some surprising findings amongst consumers who are looking at quite extreme methods to avoid hefty energy bills.

"We want to remind Australians that there are some easy ways to save money on your household utilities this winter, without having to sit at home freezing.

“We’re constantly looking at ways to make life simpler for Australians by taking the hassle out of their everyday life. To inspire customers on their energy saving journey, we’ve compiled a list of conventional and unconventional ways to help free up more money for the more important and fun things.”

Saving on household energy is great for both your wallet and the environment, so do yourself a favour and follow these simple tips for a happier bank balance:

1. Think smart

"From coffee machines you can talk to, through to colour-changing lightbulbs – smart homes are no longer a thing of the past. They’re here to stay and are a powerful way to reduce your energy wastage. Smart devices optimise your energy usage by heating your home only when you’re there, or when you’re awake to enjoy it.

"For example, a programmable thermostat can save households up to $180 per year, according to Energy Star. Meanwhile, the Nest Thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature after users set it manually for the first few days, to establish usage patterns and preferences – consider your mind blown!"

2. Upgrade to energy efficient appliances

"Did you know that household appliances generally account for over 30% of your energy bill? That dollar-sign on your energy bill will only increase the older the appliance is, because of the rate of energy it burns.

"Most Australian ‘white goods’ have an energy efficiency rating, and while retro appliances might look the part, they’re often the reason for your new-age energy bill!

"Cheap appliances mean an expensive bill – spend a little more now on an energy-efficient model of the same capacity and you’ll save plenty in the long run."

3. Layer up, don’t dial up

"It seems like a no-brainer, but always remember to add an extra layer of clothing before reaching for the thermostat dial. Encourage family members to use throws on the couch, wear socks, and stay warm with additional layers.

"Other ways to stay cozy without burning through unnecessary energy include hot water bottles, or a nice hot beverage."

4. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs

"A real lightbulb moment in the energy-efficiency game is to switch your old bulbs for modern compact fluorescent (CFL) or alternatives like LED. They use less power to produce the same amount of light, and last longer too.

"The savings from swapping these bulbs alone aren't massive, but every little bit adds up over time, especially if you’re powering a large household."

5. Shop around for cost-effective energy plans

"The most energy-efficient habits will count for nothing if your energy plan isn’t making you feel warm and fuzzy inside. But just one in ten Aussies (11%) switched providers to find a better value plan. You want to be one of them!

"amaysim’s amazingly simple energy plans feature no lock-in contracts, giving customers total flexibility with their decision.

"When choosing a provider that suits you, look out for those offering competitive rates, monthly bills, discounts that don’t expire as well as competitive pay-on-time discounts."

You can find more info on amaysim’s range of energy plans here.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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