New South Wales, are you ready for higher energy bills?4th Apr 2012
As if winter isn't depressing enough, it seems that residents of New South Wales could be faced with more misery in the shape of rising electricity bills in the months ahead.
Estimates from comparison website Make it Cheaper suggest that as much as $500 could be added to the average annual bill - all thanks to the carbon tax and regulator-imposed price hikes.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), which decides the maximum price we can be charged for our energy, recently predicted that energy prices are to rise by ten per cent.
Not content with IPART's mathematical skills, electricity specialist and chief executive officer of Make it Cheaper Tim Wolfenden believes the increase could be closer to 20 per cent.
He explained: "Several policy and market changes have occurred since IPART last estimated the average increase in regulated electricity prices.
"These changes are likely to likely to lead to steeper price rises than originally predicted."
There are, of course, things we can all do to lower our electricity bills.
Aside from sitting in the dark or digging out board games instead of watching TV, we can all make slight changes to our everyday lives that will make a big difference to the prices we pay.
One way is to generate our own power using solar panels - let's face it, if we don't have to buy energy from the grid, then electricity providers can't line their pockets with our hard-earned cash.
Other solutions include switching to a front-loading washing machine, which the price comparison site reveals are 15 per cent more efficient than top-loading models.
Using your microwave to cook food rather than an oven is also a good idea, as they operate much faster and use up to 70 per cent less electricity than a conventional cooker.
You may even find that keeping doors closed can make a real difference, as this will stop heat escaping from your home.
Maybe winter doesn't have to be miserable after all…
Posted by Mike Peacock