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How do you cut down on your energy costs?

By Andrew Bell

Are cuts to energy bills this year going to be enough? While it's worth noting that the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) anticipates price relief for Queensland home owners in the 2015-2016 financial year, it might not be enough to satiate your desire for lower payments.

"Overall, a residential customer with typical consumption on the main residential tariff (tariff 11) can expect a reduction of around $7 or 0.5 per cent in their 2015-16 annual bill," noted Professor Roy Green, chair of the QCA in an 18 June release. 

This reduction will apply to consumers from 1 July this year. But as it gets colder and you are more tempted to use the heater for an extra hour or two, what can you do to reduce power bills even further on your Surfers Paradise property

Ask the right questions

Often, people tend to go for quick fixes to their energy bills, like switching off certain appliances or doing away with them entirely. But by asking the right questions, you might be able to take bigger action that reduces your electricity costs in the long term.

According to the Federal Department of Industry and Science (DIS), this includes understanding exactly why power prices rise for you. Break down previous bills, and work out if it is gas, electricity or something else entirely, like the cost of poles and wires. You then need to identify 'hot spots' around the house – areas where you tend to use a lot of power.

Additionally, check the rates offered by your current provider. The QCA has urged consumers to get out in the market, and compare different retailers to see who could get them a better deal. Doing homework here could help you realise that your home isn't the issue, but the provider is! 

Consider the big changes

The Federal DIS website also notes that by making changes to the Surfers Paradise property itself that save water and energy, you're adding to the affordability of your home in the long term. 

This is a rising issue for many Australians. The DIS notes that any household which spends more than 10 per cent of household income on energy costs is considered to be energy poor. It also cites research which indicates that 75 per cent of households could benefit from weather sealing in the home. With an estimated cost of $420, this could prevent drafts in the home, and mean you need far less heating during winter.

A one-off payment to save you significant energy costs in the long-term could be likened to tearing off a bandage: It is a temporary bit of pain that is better for you in the long-term.

Change your habits

The Department of Industry and Science also notes that there are many simple actions that can reduce your bills a great deal. For example, washing your clothes in cold water instead of warm water could wipe $124 off your annual bills. Removing a second fridge can save you $155, while turning off game consoles after use (take note, kids!) can cut down on what you pay by as much as $175!

Even something as simple as installing a more water-efficient shower head can see you coughing up $350 less ever year on water or energy bills. Consider the small changes you can make that benefit your overall costs when you survey your home! 

There is so much you can do to boost your Surfers Paradise or Main Beach real estate's energy efficiency – just take time to do the research. You don't want to replace a shower head that is already very energy efficient! 

If you want to find out more about real estate in Surfers Paradise, get in touch with us here at Ray White. 

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