Anyone who has ever looked at their latest energy bill in horror will have probably taken one of two courses of action. Either they will have let out a scream and paid the bill or they will have logged on to a comparison site with a view to switch providers.
For the best part of a decade the advice from energy experts has been to switch providers as often as possible in order to get the best deals. Given the continued hikes in energy prices, switching has become common practice for many Australians and, as a recent report shows, it’s a dynamic that doesn’t look as though it’s going to change anytime soon.
Switching is Now the Norm for Aussies
According to information obtained from iSelect by The Advertiser, 43% of South Australians compared energy providers in the last two years. Largely a response to increasing prices across the country, the survey shows that almost half the population have considered switching suppliers at least once.
Moreover, of those 43% that sized up the market, 37% (more than 100,000 households) actually switched suppliers in an effort to reduce their bill. Not only that, but iSelect’s survey also found that 82% of Aussie’s surveyed feel that energy is “expensive”.
While the advice to switch is still applicable, there is a new way to save money on your energy, and that’s gadgets. Thanks to a new breed of online power companies, homeowners are now being given more control over their energy supply through their computers, smartphones and tablets.
Switching Isn’t Essential
As you’d expect, the natural result of having more control is lower energy bills. As outlined by Powershop, it’s now possible for electricity customers to see how much they’re using and what it costs “as you go”. Using Powershop’s app and online usage tools,, customers can track the consumption and cost of their electricity in close to real time.
In addition to this data, this new smart technology can actually analyse trends and tell you how much more or less energy you used over a particular timeframe. Using this information, customers can then chip away at unnecessary costs and drive down the overall size of their bill.
This infographic from Powershop outlines a variety of useful gadgets that you can use around the home to improve your energy efficiency. For example, Raven Smart Windows contain a thermochromic filter that is activated when the temperature reaches a certain level, blocking solar rays and keeping your home cool. If you’re wanting to transition into sustainable energy practices, another gadget worth considering is the Tesla Home Battery. The Tesla Powerwall stores energy generated by solar panels meaning your home can maximise self-consumption of its solar generation.
Put the Power in Your Own Hands
Beyond the offering from power companies, appliance manufacturers are also getting smarter. Through a combination of more efficient mechanics and inbuilt monitors, products such as lights, entertainment centres and even sockets are now more cost-effective.
As outlined in a 2014 article by Forbes, things such as smart power strips, Energy Star certified products and LED lighting will all help reduce the size of your energy bills. Essentially, the message from energy experts is changing. While comparing (and possibly switching) is always a great way to ensure you’re getting the cheapest rates possible, the power is now very much in the hands of consumers.
Thanks to the advent of smart, energy efficient gadgets, it’s no longer necessary to be in the dark when it comes to consumption and cost. By tracking your usage and analysing the relevant data, you can now reduce the cost of your bills and contribute to a greener planet.