Why running your dishwasher in the evening could soon cost you more


There's no doubting that energy bills have become a permanent burden on the household budget, especially with so many Australians working from home throughout the winter months.

While opting to put on a jumper instead of cranking the heater can help you save on electricity, there are a few new things to consider this year that could change the cost of your bill.

1. New demand tariffs could increase bills

running dishwasher washing machine off peak save money energy bill electricity bills

An energy tariff is the amount charged for providing energy under your contract. It includes both fixed and variable charges. A new demand tariff was introduced on July 1 this year that may impact residential and business customers.

This Demand Tariff will calculate and record the maximum demand that is placed on the grid and obtains your own peak demand measurement within a specific period of time (often measured within a month.)

Demand Tariff rates are based on both the amount of electricity you use and your overall power demand on the network.

These new Demand Tariffs could result in a potential rise in energy costs for some customers depending on your energy use in peak times.

So, what can you do to save some energy and potentially its impact on your hip pocket?

  • Choose your usage moments
    • If your demand is being measured in peak times, then it makes sense to reduce how much energy you use in those times. Try to avoid unnecessary heating and cooling or choose an off-peak time to run the dishwasher or washing machine.
  • Examine your usage
    • It's not only important to know when peak usage times occur but also what devices and appliances are using the most power. It can be helpful to understand whether heating and cooling, hot water, lighting or home appliances are causing your bills to increase so that you can make informed decisions.

2. Lower rates don't mean automatic savings

Some energy retailers announced a decrease in electricity rates throughout 2021, along with a reduction to the Default Market Offer (DMO), known as the Victorian Default Offer in Victoria. However, this doesn't mean all consumers will see an automatic decrease on their bills.

Those customers on market offers - the ones you see advertised by retailers-  will not automatically see a decrease on their energy bills and instead are advised to shop around for a competitive market offer to secure themselves a great deal.

Customers on the DMO can, however, expect to see savings of up to $116 for households and $441 for small businesses, however even with this reduction the DMO will still be higher than many market offers currently available.

3. The way we use our energy has changed

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are now permanently working from home which means our energy usage has likely shot through the roof. In fact, new research by iSelect found more than one in three Aussies say their energy bills have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

All those extra lights, heaters and appliances running throughout the day can really add up. Combine this with a new demand tariff and many Aussies could be in for their most expensive winter energy bill yet.

If you think you're already on a pretty good energy deal, that's great. However, do remember many energy plans can change after a year or two, after which time you may be offered to roll onto a higher-priced plan. Retailers are now required to notify you when your plan expires and this should be your prompt to compare energy plans.

Don't let the new changes to energy tariffs, prices or usage go unnoticed in your household. Get on the front foot today and make sure you're still on an energy plan that suits you and your wallet.

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Jessie Petterd is the spokeswoman for comparison service iSelect. She has a Bachelor of Communication from RMIT University, Melbourne, and holds a wealth of knowledge on how Aussies can save on their household bills.