Appliances that chew through your money

Appliances that chew through your money

Are exorbitant power bills killing your buzz? Rather than relying on your credit card or savings account to pay your electricity provider, consider changing your power consumption. 

By targeting appliances that chew through electricity, you might be able to drive down your monthly bills, putting more money in your pocket (or your savings account.)

The main offenders

 

Appliance Typical consumption per hour Cost Per Hour
(at 10 cents per
kilowatt-hour)
Air conditioner/heat pump 15,000 watts $1.50
Clothes dryer/water heater 4,000 watts  40 cents
Water pump 3,000 watts  30 cents 
Space heater  1,500 watts 15 cents
Hair dryer 1,500 watts  15 cents
Refrigerator 1,000 watts  10 cents

Source: SparkEnergy.com

Topping their list of the highest appliance wattages are central air conditioner/heat pumps (15,000 wattage use), costing roughly $1.50 per hour and clothes dryers (4000 wattage use) at 40c an hour.

Dishwashers (1200-2400), clothes irons (1000–1800), vacuum cleaners (1000–1440), toasters (800–1400), portable heaters (750–1500) and hair dryers (1200–1875) are also high offenders.

How is over-consumption of energy measured? 

These energy-guzzling appliances are judged by typical wattage consumption for everyday appliances and the average cost of running them per hour. It is important that you take into account the usage of each appliance, the wattage and the operating settings when trying to cut down on your electricity bill. 

However, saving on energy doesn’t mean you have to go without your game console, wear crumpled shirts to work or let your hair dry naturally (though these are, of course, options). There are ways to use your favourite appliances more efficiently – which in return, will save you money.

Switch it off

Leaving mobile phone, laptop and tablet chargers plugged into the wall with the power on could be running up your electricity bill even when you aren’t utilising them. Getting into the habit of switching off ‘all’ electrical appliances and chargers can help drive down your power bill as appliances, such as your plasma screen television, still use energy even when on standby mode. 

Cutting big item costs down

Most Australians couldn’t live without their microwaves, fridges and washing machines. Luckily you don’t have to – there are ways to manage these big items so you consume less energy and alleviate the pressure on your bank account.

Fridges are a staple appliance in Aussie households, one you can’t switch off periodically. But you can save money on the electricity it uses by controlling its temperature. Energy Australia recommends keeping your fridge temperature between 4-5 degrees and your freezer set at -15 and -18 degrees celsius. 

Recently NSW.gov released their Appliance Replacement Offer, which means that eligible members of the public willing to switch to a more energy efficient appliance (i.e. a new fridge or a new plasma television) will now be entitled to up to half the cost of the appliance being covered by the government. With energy efficient fridges saving between $100 to $200 a year, this may be an investment worth making for some. 

While microwaves use less electricity than ovens, it’s still wise to leave your food in the fridge to thaw instead of using the microwave.

When you are using the oven, try to leave your oven door alone. Each time you don’t open the door to peek a look at your baked goods the more money you’ll be saving. 

As for cleanliness, Energy Australia advised it’s best to only run washing machines and clothes dryers on full loads. Another hot tip is to avoid hot water! You’ll save on energy costs by using cold water when washing your clothes.  

How you’re protected

Following a 2014 report from the Grattan Institute by Tony Wood and Lucy Carter which purported that Australians were paying unfair prices on energy bills, procedures of reform are in motion. The Coag Energy Council, who are responsible for pursuing priority issues and key reforms in resources and energy sectors nationally, proposed a National Energy Guarantee (NEM) that “aims to support the provision of reliable, secure and affordable electricity with a focus on ensuring:

  • the reliability of the system is maintained

  • electricity sector emissions reductions needed to meet Australia’s international commitments are achieved

  • the above objectives are met at the lowest overall costs.”

    The Energy Security Board (ESB) recently published a consultation for the draft design of the Guarantee (15 February 2018). To find out more on the NEM click here. In the meantime, if you think that you are paying too much for your energy supplier, it doesn’t hurt to shop around and see what other options may be available to you.

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Learn more about bank accounts

How can I wire money to a bank account?

You can wire money to an Australian bank account either through your own bank or by using a money transfer company such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Either way, you’ll need the other person’s name, BSB number and account number. If you use a money transfer company, you might also need to provide the recipient’s address for large payments.

How can I deposit cash into my bank account?

The traditional way to deposit cash into your bank account is to go to a branch and give it to a teller. These days, many banks will allow you to make deposits through an ATM as well.

Can I link a bank account to Paypal?

Paypal is a safe and convenient way to pay online without the need to share your financial details. You can send and receive money or accept credit and debit cards as a seller using Paypal.

It’s easy to link your bank account to a Paypal account and start making transactions within minutes.

To start, you first need a Paypal account (it’s free to join). When setting up your Paypal account, you will be prompted to link a credit card or bank account (or both if you wish).

PayPal works without a balance; you can use Paypal to shop or send money when your balance is zero.

When your Paypal balance is zero, Paypal will ask you to choose your preferred payment method at the checkout.

This could be either your linked bank account or credit card. Your bank details can be updated if you change banks or credit cards.

How do I close my bank account online?

You can usually easily open a bank account online, but you often can’t close it online.

Many banks and credit unions will only let you close an account if you go into a branch or call them on the phone.

However, some banks will let you request to close the account via your internet banking. Check your financial provider’s website for details.

Just remember: If you still have funds in the bank account, transfer them to another account, or withdraw the cash. Also, if you have any payments like direct debits going in or out of the bank account, these will also stop when you close your account.

How do I transfer money from Paypal to my bank account?

Transferring cash from Paypal into your bank account is simple…if you have a Paypal account that is.

Once you’re logged into your Paypal account, the account balance will appear on your home page. Below your balance are two options:

  • Add money
  • Withdraw money

Choose option two if you want to transfer money from your Paypal account to your personal bank account.

The next screen will prompt you to either enter new bank account details or choose a bank account that’s connected to Paypal. You can always add more bank accounts to your Paypal profile.

Another way to transfer out of Paypal is by jumping to the wallet tab on the top menu, and clicking ‘transfer money’. Both options will give you the same result.

How do you find a bank account number by name?

For privacy reasons, Australian banks won’t hand out account numbers or other details about their customers. However, if you provide a bank with a BSB and account number, they should be able to confirm if those numbers belong to one of their customers.

Can I start a bank account online?

Yes, most lenders that operate in Australia will let you set up a bank account online. The process is usually simple and takes five to 10 minutes. You will probably need to provide a passport or birth certificate, as well as a driver’s licence, Medicare card or another form of secondary identification. Requirements differ from lender to lender, so some institutions might ask for more or different forms of ID.

Are bank accounts frozen when someone dies?

Yes, Australian bank accounts are frozen when someone dies. If you want to close the account of somebody who has died, you might have to provide proof of death and a copy of the will. You might also have to prove your relationship to the deceased person.

If you have a joint bank account with somebody who has died, you will generally be entitled to all the money in the account. Again, you might have to provide proof of death if you want to change the bank account from a joint account to a one-person account.

How do you set up a bank account online?

Once you’ve compared bank accounts and found the right one, the process of opening a bank account online is quite simple and can be done in around 10 minutes.

To set up a bank account online, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide an approved form of ID as well as your tax file number (TFN).

If you’re a new customer of the bank, you’ll need to verify your identity and potentially upload documents before you can complete your online application.

Once your ID has been verified and you’ve set up your bank account online, you should receive your bank cards in the mail along with your PIN and any other account details.

How do you delete your bank account from PayPal?

Deleting your bank account from PayPal is a simple three-step process:

  • Go to your Wallet
  • Choose the account you’d like to delete
  • Click ‘Remove bank account’

Which bank is best for business accounts?

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to the question of which bank is best for business accounts. That’s because ‘best’ will differ from customer to customer, depending on their unique circumstances. These include not only your company’s financial position, but also its size, its age and the sector in which it operates. Another factor to consider is what features you want in a bank account. Your business may require different features than another business; and your business may require different features tomorrow than it does today.

The best thing to do is to thoroughly research the market before opening a business account. And when you do open an account, you should reassess your options every year or two, because the market moves quickly. A particular bank might offer the best account today, but be surpassed by one or several rivals tomorrow.

How do I close a bank account?

Closing a bank account is one of those tasks that’s easy to put in the too-hard basket. There are quite a few steps involved, some which may require you to hang on the phone for a while.  

Here’s a handy checklist of items to tick off, so the job gets done quicker. If you don’t do your banking online, the following steps can also be done at a branch.   

  • Cancel any scheduled or recurring payments
  • Update your direct debit details (such as loan repayments) with creditors
  • Export your payee address book (to keep a record of saved third-party bank account details)
  • Transfer the balance of your account (to the new bank account)
  • Close your account online, or by calling the bank or visiting a branch

Do you need a bank account to get a credit card?

To get a credit card, you need to show proof of income, which will almost certainly require you to have a bank account.

How do I overdraw my Commonwealth Bank account?

Overdrawing a bank account can happen by accident. It’s often hard to know what your balance is, particularly with direct debits, scheduled repayments and pending transactions competing for cash.

To avoid being stuck with a bank fee every time your account is overdrawn, you can apply for a personal overdraft. This will enable you to overdraw your account up to an approved amount.

A personal overdraft is connected to your CommBank Everyday Account, so you can enjoy easy access to extra funds once approved – anywhere from $100 up to $20,000.

Your overdraft funds can be accessed via your CommBank keycard or Debit MasterCard, or online through NetBank and the CommBank app.

To apply you can either call the Commonwealth Bank directly or visit your local branch.