Energy Bills Explained


Tariff Rate-Discount applies

-The amount per kWh (measurement for energy in units of 1000Watts) you pay-this will be applicable to your household energy use and your separate hot water use if you have electric hot water or electric boosted solar hot water.

-The price for household energy may be 30cper kWh for example.


-Tariff rates are the ONLY part of the energy bill that receives a discount when it is offered.


Controlled Load (CL1,CL2)/Circuit Consumption-Discount applies

-This is your hot water if you don't have gas plumbed to your house.

-Depending on your current plan, it may not be itemised and included in the costing and usage(kWh) information.

-CL1 means your water re-heats overnight(10pm-7am) at a much cheaper "off-peak" tariff rate. Eg 10c per kWh

-Sometimes people also have CL2 if they are likely to run out of hot water before late evening. It is charged at a higher rate Eg 16c per kWh.


Daily Supply Charge-Never discounted!

-This charge is for the supply of electricity or gas to your house. As indicated in its name, it is charged each day of the billing period and NOT DISCOUNTED.

-This is where energy retailers can catch unaware customers out! 


-Some retailers will offer 25% or more off the usage/tariff charges, BUT they may have a much higher Daily Supply Charge and tariff rate.

Eg $1.30 Daily Supply Charge, 31c/kWh tariff rate and 25% discount off tariff prices.

Compared to: 

88c Daily Supply Charge, 28c/kWh tariff and 23% discount off tariff prices.

-Daily supply charges are also added separately to the hot water component of the bill as well. Again, depending on the plan, this may be hidden in the overall Daily Supply Charge if you can't see it itemised.


-GST of course is added to every bill.


Most households have a regular/standard bill plan with PEAK-Household energy usage where the tariff rate doesn't change other than the separate hot water meter which may also read as OFFPEAK.


There is also a TIME-OF-USE variation which does not suit families due to the high peak prices starting at 2pm-8pm (Eg 40c/kWh), shoulder usage at 8pm-10pm & 7am-2pm (Eg 25c/kWh) and Off peak 10pm-7am(Eg 10c/kWh). 


I have included a link that may also help with understanding bills better, but the key take- away from this is to compare the Daily Supply Charge and Tariff rates before deciding if the highest discount really will lower your costs. It may be disguising the other charges.



Waste your heating no more!

Quite often we underestimate how much heating and cooling is lost through the gaps under our doors, causing us to keep it on for longer, costing us more to run. There is a cheap and simple fix for this-its the humble door snake our grandparents used to have everywhere in their houses. They are starting to come back into vogue and are so simple to create, even the kids can make them! Perfect for a school holiday activity! Here are some instructions below:


Home-made Door Snakes

What you need:  Cute stockings, filler (full 2kg bag of rice or sand), 2 googly eyes, red felt, fabric glue, funnel (for pouring rice), needle and thread. 

How to Make It:

1.    Hold up the stocking with the funnel at the open end and slowly poor the rice/sand down it until it is almost filled. Leave some space at the top.

Stocking stuffer: Use a bottomless plastic cup or rolled up paper to funnel fill into a stocking if a kitchen funnel is unavailable.                                    

2.    Fold over the top of the stocking and stitch together, or alternatively tie a double knot, which is just as effective.

 3.    Glue on googly eyes, ribbons, glitter etc for decorations and red felt for the tongue. Some stitching may still be required for longevity of the snake tongue.

See more at: http://www.woojr.com/door-draft-blocker-snake-craft-that-kids-can-make/#sthash.X1PGTvSu.dpuf


Slashing your bills with stealth!


Does your jaw drop low when bills are higher than low? Do you stand there and shout or just simply pass out?

Some may recognise the title's folk song inspiration reference. But whether we react in a dramatic fashion as in the title or mumble under our breath a few obscenities and shake our heads as we put our energy bill down and walk away, we have all experienced bill shock at one point.

If you haven't received it already, it is that time of the Summer that we brace ourselves for and question if we really should have left the air conditioner on to keep the house cool when exploiting the Boxing Day sales. Yes, summer is fantastic for many reasons, but it is also our 2nd highest energy bill season. Energy retailers help this along also by increasing their tariff prices in January. Happy New Year! This tends to lead to further confusion as to why there are two separate billing blocks on the one page. Put simply, they are pre-January tariff and usage charges and January increased tariff and usage charges.


Tips on reading your bills.

There are a few things to look for when you look at your energy bills:

1.    Know your tariff structure. Are you on a Flat rate or Time Of Use (TOU)?


2.    Despite having certain tariff rates applied, it is the number of kWh hours to look out for when comparing bills from previous ones. This provides you with a better understanding of how much energy you are actually consuming each quarter.

3.    Does your plan include pay-on-time discounts and or bundled discounts for gas and electricity? Each retailer has a different discount they offer to entice potential customers to buy their product and pay on time. 

4.    Lastly, when was the last time you changed energy retailers? Energy companies rely on customer complacency to make their profits.

Energy Made Easy has a webpage that also compares just the energy companies and their various plans.

However, the best way to cut costs on your future energy bills is to contact me here at Energy Ninja.



How can you save more energy and $ while on holidays?

Leading up to, during Christmas and through the New Year festivities, our fridges have been fairly well stocked with a combination of food and beverages. After the silly season comes to a close, most of us tend to pack the family up and go on holidays. So what has this got to do with energy saving and saving a few dollars on your power bills?


One of the items on our checklist to complete before leaving our house usually, is to clean out the fridge of disposable items, thus leaving it predominantly empty. Great right? Not quite.


Cleaning the fridge out is a great time to be wiping down those fridge seals and checking to see how well they work (if they hold a piece of paper in the door while it is closed, then you're good, if not, consider getting new seals). However, an empty fridge and or freezer whilst it is still being powered, is a much harder working fridge, and this will reduce its longevity as well as chew up electricity supplies to try and keep the emptiness inside it cold. So how do we keep it running without food spoiling while we are away?

Problem Solved.

Our fridges operate most effectively if the cool temperature it produces is maintained by enough thermal mass to create a temperature equilibrium, which is also why appropriately fitting seals are important. So therefore in non-physics terms, keeping the fridge full with items such as bottles of water or other beverages will maintain the correct temperature and thermal mass dynamics in order, reducing the fridge's need to use more electricity and keep it happier for longer increasing it's lifespan in your kitchen. Second fridges are recommended to be turned off completely if it is only for the benefit of beverages when guests visit.  

So there you have it! Keep your fridges full when you are away, and you will save more on your next Summer energy bill. For more tailored information on energy saving around your home, book a consult now at : candice@energyninja.com.au, or call:0414887025




Summer has definitely arrived!

So what can you do to remain comfortable and save on your Summer energy bill?

Summer energy bills are typically the second highest bill people receive during the year. Try switching on a fan instead of the air-conditioning. Fans have a much lower wattage and assists to keep you cool by evaporating the heat from the surface of your skin. If you haven't installed a ceiling fan as yet, there are a number of retailers with sales on ceiling fans at the moment.

If air-conditioning is the only option you have, try setting it between 23 and 26 deg Celsius. In those really high 30 something to 40 something degree days, this will still be very cool in comparison. Every degree lower than 23 deg Celsius will cost 10% more to use.

For more advice on saving your energy use and bill costs around your home, contact me to arrange an appointment today!