Top Stories electricity
As we move into colder weather and the heaters come on, more households are at risk of ‘bill shock’ from their electricity bills. To counter this, Melbourne-based power company Sumo Power has introduced an ‘unlimited’ energy contract, or so to speak, providing as much energy as your household needs for one fixed price.
Back in May, 2015, we crunched the payback figures for the Powerwall, based on an assumed Australian cost and example electricity prices. Now there are local installed costs available, we have broken out the calculator and gone over the figures. The question is, can the Powerwall give a decent payback time?
Cutting back on electricity can save you some cash, but the savings vary. For example, unplugging an idle phone charge will only save you a few bucks per year. On the other hand, using an electric heater rather than gas could shave 70% off your heating bill. This chart tells you how much you’ll actually save using a handful of different strategies.
Smart meters have taken us a step closer to “digitising” our power usage and making it easier to monitor just how much electricity we’re using. CSIRO however is taking the concept further and in conjunction with app developer HabiDapt, is trialling software that will allow you to see the current power consumption of individual household appliances, along with a breakdown of usage costs, with the ability to turn them on and off remotely.
Origin Energy Limited has been ordered to pay $325,000 in penalties by the Federal Court for flouting Australian consumer law. The company was slugged with the fines for falsely advertising the level of discount customers would receive under one of its energy plans. Tch. Will electricity providers ever learn?
Think that by signing a fixed-price contract for electricity or gas you’ll know what the rate is for the life of the contract? Think again. The market regulator has confirmed that power companies have the right to change the rates charged on a fixed-price contract whenever they like — even before the deal begins. What a ridiculous joke.