Wondering why your bill is so high? Make sense of the average household electricity bill.
Our world is filled with gadgets and time-saving appliances that make our lives easier, but we don’t always realise how much electricity they need. That’s why we gathered some information about energy usage in Australia, and tips on how you can save energy and keep your power bills under control.
Typical energy consumption by Australian households
How much is the average electricity bill? There are many kinds of households across Australia, and each has different energy needs. The main factors that affect typical energy consumption include:
- Household size
- Housing type
- Energy mix
Let’s take a look at some typical examples.
Household A is a standalone suburban home occupied by a family of two parents and two children. They only use electric energy for hot water (25% of energy usage), heating and cooling (38%), cooking (4%), lighting (7%), a dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, three computers, two TVs and a swimming pool. They have no alternative energy source.
Household A consumes just over 15,000 kWh of electricity per year, or 41 kWh per day.
Bathrooms use a lot of electricity, especially when the hot water heater stays on 24/7. Add to that radiant heating, electric underfloor heating, heat lamps and heated towel rails, and your electricity bill can easily skyrocket.
Household B is a standalone suburban house, occupied by a couple in their mid-30s. They also use only electric energy. Household B’s energy usage includes electric hot water, temperature control, cooking, dishwasher, clothes dryer and a TV.
Household B consumes approximately 8,300 kWh of electricity per year, or 23 kWh per day. Household B has fewer occupants than Household A, which results in fewer appliances. They also have no pool with pumps that use electricity.
Household C is a city apartment that is home to a couple with a small child. They use gas for hot water, cooking and heating. They use electricity to run the dishwasher, clothes dryer, three computers, an LCD TV and air conditioning.
Household C consumes 5,000 kWh per year or approximately 13.7 kWh per day. The cost of gas for hot water, heating and cooking is added to their electricity costs to achieve a total energy bill.
Household D is a single retiree also in a city apartment. Like Household C, she also uses a mix of electricity to run her appliances and gas for hot water, heating and cooking. Her electric usage supplies her dishwasher, clothes dryer, air conditioning, computer and plasma TV.
Household D uses approximately 2,500 kWh per year or 7 kWh per day. The cost of gas for hot water, heating and cooking is added to their electricity costs to achieve a total energy bill.
Why is my electricity bill so high?
Looking at the figures above, you may wonder how much is electricity per month? There are several ways for you to learn more about your household’s electric consumption:
- Look at your bill. There should be a breakdown of your units used, as well as the local cost per unit. Unit prices can differ by city or region.
- Some smart appliances offer energy monitors to help you track your energy use.
- Invest in an in-house energy consumption display.
- Read your electricity meter every month to see how your usage fluctuates according to seasonal consumption patterns.
- Consider your energy mix. Using solar power or gas for cooking and heating, should help to reduce your electricity bill. It is estimated that heating water makes up for approximately 25% of household energy usage. 1
The final word
Are you paying too much for your electricity bill? Consider putting these energy saving tips into practice:
- Switch to LED light bulbs.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat.
- Buy solar panels if you’re serious about making long-term energy cost reductions.
- Sell the second fridge if you’re not using it often.
- Use the microwave rather than the oven to warm up small meals or snacks.
- Unplug appliances when they are not in use. Some appliances continue to draw energy even when switched off (stand-by power), which is estimated to draw on average 4% of a home’s energy use, but it can be as much as 10% of your total household electricity use. 2
- Consider choosing Energy Star rated energy-efficient appliances for the bathroom and kitchen.
- "Water Heating | Energy Rating." http://www.energyrating.gov.au/products/water-heaters. Accessed 6 Dec. 2017.
- "Appliances | YourHome." http://www.yourhome.gov.au/energy/appliances. Accessed 2 Jan. 2018.