Queensland is known as the Sunshine State. Energy bills are usually higher in the summer months. But when temperatures fall, the cost of heating can add up.
Space heating is not common in Queensland homes, so this means you may have to rely on smaller heaters. The upfront cost of these heaters is low, but there is a catch as they are expensive to run.
Rose, a Financial Counsellor with YFS, warns that while a small fan heater might be cheap to buy, it could end up costing a lot to use. “The operating cost will be around $130 if you use it every day over winter for four hours a day,” she says. “Reverse cycle air-conditioners are a bit more efficient as they heat larger areas, but they are still expensive to run. One of the most effective alternatives is an electric throw. As the wattage is much lower it will cost about $7 used for the same time.”
Tips to lower your heating costs
Rose has these tips from energy.gov.au to keep your heating costs low this winter.
- Dress for the season.
- Shut the door on wasted energy – heating the entire house can waste a lot of money. Shut the door to areas you aren’t using (like bathrooms and the laundry).
- Turn off heaters when you are out of the house.
- Let the sunshine in – use the free power from the sun. Open your curtains when the sun is shining and close them when it’s getting dark.
- Use a ‘solar’ clothes dryer – hang your clothes outside to use free energy from the sun and the wind to dry your clothes if you can.
- Draught proof your home – this is one of the cheapest ways to keep your home warm. Doing it well can save you up to 25% on your heating bills. Install brush-strip seals under the doors, or draught-proofing strips. Or use a draft excluder. Block the gaps around internal doors too and draught-proof rooms you’re not heating, such as laundries and bathrooms.
If you’re finding it hard to manage your energy bills, contact a Financial Counsellor for free information and advice. Call YFS on 3826 1500.