How Your Electricity Bill Changes Year to Year

Over the past decade, as costs rise and environmental awareness has been heightened by advertising, media coverage, and education campaigns, we have seen a dramatic decrease in per capita consumption of electricity. Our fridges, washing machines, lights, and other electronics have been traded-in and swapped out to make way for low-energy, high-efficiency models.

Our pricing system for electricity is also changing, and as that happens, so to will our daily consumption habits. As we switch to time-of-use monitoring and billing, we'll choose to do our washing overnight instead of when we arrive home from work. The dish washer is turned on before the last family member turns in. Air conditioning is more likely to be left off during the peak hot period while most of the family is out of the house. All these measures reduce our electricity bills. Our savings, however, can spell major trouble for the electrical distributors.

With economies of scale, electrical distributors buy bulk electricity from producers at a low rate, and re-sell the electricity to electrical retailers at a slightly increased rate. Those retailers in turn sell to individual users (homes, businesses, industry) at another increased rate. When the users consume less electricity, there is less of a profit margin for the distributors, and thus less available funding available to support the maintenance of the network.

With a spate of windstorms blowing through Melbourne and surrounds over the past few months, we've seen many examples of the labour and materials required to keep electrical networks running. Overhead transmission lines are susceptible to wind damage from trees or stress and also from bush fires, floods, and vehicle crashes.

These are some of the reasons why your electricity bills may still be on the rise. Each half-year, the distributors have the ability to request changes to their "network tariffs" for electrical distribution expenses, which covers the installation and maintenance of services. Each distributor must submit business cases to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) for the increase to be approved, and you've likely received notices regarding the changes a few months in advance. This January 1 past, Victoria's electrical distributors had a range of changes, some distributors managed to reduce costs, and others posted increases.

So what does this all mean for you? You've done all that you can to reduce consumption: changed the lights, appliances, practices. What else is left?

There are modifications which can be made to your building that will save you even more. The larger your building, the more savings you could see by applying solar reflective coating. Council managers, factory facility managers, property managers and others have started to take an interest in Solar Reflective Coatings which can reduce the internal temperature of your building by several degrees, which reduces the electrical demand on your facility's air conditioning systems on hot days. In fact, the hotter it gets, the better Solar Reflective Coatings works for you.

With a heatwave finally reaching Melbourne this coming week, its the right time to call Cocoon Coatings on 03 9720 5964. We work with you to maximise your savings and ensure a quality installation that will continue to benefit your building long after the paint has dried.

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