Bill shock? how smart homes curb your electricity costs

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Right about now there’s a little letter in the mailbox most of us are dreading – the quarterly electricity bill.

 

And after an icy winter where heating has been a priority, chances are the comfort of a cozy home is set to come at a high cost. Couple that with shorter days that see us turn on the lights a little earlier and this quarter’s electricity bill could be set to be a big one.

Th fact is, Australia’s electricity costs are rising, which is why many people are looking at new and innovative ways to curb their electricity costs.

A smart home is among the options they’re considering with good reason, so here’s an insight into how smart homes curb your electricity costs.

The average Australian electricity bill

According to a survey undertaken in January this year by Canstar Blue, the average Australian household spends anywhere between $1600 and $1900 on electricity each year, depending on which state they reside in.

This figure is derived from households of all sizes, and is impacted by house size, electricity provider costs, and features like swimming pools, water pumps, and heating and cooling.

Canstar’s research found Victoria was the most affordable in terms of annual costs, with households spending on average $1602.32 a year.

Queensland follows closely behind, with annual average costs of $1608.75.

Then there’s a major jump for residents of New South Wales and South Australia, who pay on average $1898.40 and $1898.80 respectively.

Within these statistics, the costs also vary by age.

In Victoria (average $1602.32), bill-payers aged 18-29 reported the highest average bills in the Melbourne area at $2093. Customers aged 70 or over reported the lowest average electricity bills at $1250.

In Queensland (average $1608.75), bill-payers aged 18-29 reported the highest average bills by some distance at $2621. The lowest average bills in Queensland were reported by bill-payers aged in their 70s or older at $1071.

In New South Wales (average $1898.40), bill-payers aged in their 50s reported the highest average bills at $2067. Those aged in their 60s reported the lowest average bills at $1434.

In South Australia (average $1898.80), those aged 30-40 reported the highest annual bills at an eye-watering $2236, while bill-payers aged 70 or over have the lowest annual bills at $1524.

Meanwhile, the number of residents in a home is also reflected in the annual average Australian costs.

  • One resident – $1322.56
  • Two residents – $1695.28
  • Three residents – $2089.68
  • Four residents – $2088.00
  • Five residents – $2603.56
  • Six residents – $2515.80

Where Australians use energy in the home

According to the Australian Government, Australians tend to use energy in the following ways:

  • Water heating is potentially the greatest use of electricity in any home
  • Heating and cooling ranks second, with every extra degree on your thermostat increasing your heating and cooling energy use by between 5 and 10 per cent. Meanwhile, up to 40 per cent of the heat in your home could be leaking out your windows.
  • Appliances could be responsible for as much as 30 per cent of your energy bill.
  • Standby power can account for more than 10 per cent of your household electricity use.

How smart homes save electricity

Smart homes help to save electricity in a number of ways. In addition to allowing you an insight into what appliances or power points are drawing power, they can help you conserve heating and cooling costs.

Here’s an insight into how…

Energy monitoring

Fully automated homes like the ones designed and installed by Lera, come with a hub and software that offers detailed insight into your electricity consumption.

This software is accessible via PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone app and enables you to see which areas of the home are drawing power, when.

You can then also use the software to reduce electricity consumption by automating power points to turn off or by optimising the times that an appliance, or heating and cooling runs in accordance with off-peak tariffs.

So, for example, you could program your washing machine or dryer to come on late at night, rather than during peak electricity times.

Automated power points

It’s the little things that add up when it comes to electricity consumption – like lights left on or appliances left on standby.

Using smart power points and your smart home app, you can switch connected power points off to stop appliances drawing power while on standby. You can also automate this, so power points automatically turn off at specific times of the day – like when you leave for work.

Automated lighting

Although lighting might seem a minimal energy cost, it’s another area where you can chip away at that ever-increasing electricity bill.

In the smart home, you can set lighting to work off timers or alternatively sensors, meaning lights only come on when someone is in the room and then switch off when they leave.

You can also set scenes, which allows lighting, power points and fittings like blinds to work together at one time.

Heating and cooling

As the Australian Government notes, heating and cooling can be major energy consumers. Full home automation can help you minimise your heating and cooling requirements while optimising your temperature control.

For example, you can set the heating to come on early so the house is warm when you get up without having to crank up the heating.

You can also make your climate control work in conjunction with passive heating and cooling. For example, you can automate your blinds to open and allow in natural sunlight to warm your home. You can have your blinds automatically close at sundown to retain the heat of the day.

In summer, you can also use automated external or internal blinds to block the heat of the afternoon, ensuring your air-conditioner is maximised and is not required as often. Or you can harness natural cooling by automating windows to open and allow in natural breeze.   

All these little things soon add up to offer better awareness of how and when you use electricity and then take the actions you require to minimise that use and cost.

About Lera Smart Home Solutions

Lera Smart Home Solutions is a leading installer of smart home technology in the greater Sydney region. Our team boasts over 20 years’ experience in IT networking, programming and the electrical industry.

We have sourced the most reliable and cost efficient solutions from around the world to provide the very best in smart home solutions, and work with our clients to understand their needs.

You can learn more about transforming your house into a smart home here, access our smart home calculators here or contact us directly for further advice.

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