Aussies saving power by switching off appliances…but not the air con

February 03, 2012

Concerns over high electricity costs are leading consumers to switch off appliances, with beer fridges, televisions and freezers the first to get the flick. According to independent research from the consumer survey group Canstar Blue, 1 in 2 consumers are adjusting their appliance use because of concerns over electricity prices and the approaching carbon tax.

“Consumers are hearing from every direction that living costs are likely to increase over the next twelve months and managing their energy costs is one of the ways they are responding,” said manager of Canstar Blue, Rebecca Logan.

“Interestingly, our survey showed 56 per cent of respondents have started turning off key household appliances designed to be kept on constantly as a way to combat rising electricity costs.”

However, while consumers are switching off some products (with Gen Y respondents the most likely to turn off appliances), the power-hungry air conditioner has escaped the cut. According to the Canstar Blue survey, 1 in 5 respondents have recently cut back on household spending in order to offset air conditioning costs.

“We might switch off our beer fridges and TV to conserve energy but many Australians won’t budge when it comes to their beloved air conditioner, with 35 per cent of respondents relying on their air conditioner to sleep properly in summer,” said Logan.

The survey also found that Australians are increasingly concerned with the environmental impact of their power use, with “39 per cent of respondents reading the levels of greenhouse gas emissions on the back of their bills and 18 per cent having changed to solar power”.