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Ask An Electrician: Why Is My Electrical Bill in Sydney So High, and How Can I Reduce It?

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

High electricity bills can be a source of stress for many households in Sydney, especially in vibrant areas like Marrickville and Inner West Sydney, where the cost of living can already be quite high. Understanding why your electrical bill is more substantial than expected and how to reduce it is crucial for maintaining a budget-friendly lifestyle. Let’s dive into some common reasons for high bills and explore practical ways to lower electricity costs.

Understanding High Electrical Bills

Several factors can contribute to a high electrical bill, including inefficient appliances, increased usage, standby power consumption, and lack of maintenance for HVAC systems and other large appliances.

Tips for Reducing Your Electrical Bill

  • Audit Your Energy Use: Conduct an energy audit to identify major energy consumers in your home.
  • Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances: Opt for appliances with the Energy Star label.
  • Implement Smart Home Technologies: Use smart thermostats, lights, and power strips to control energy use.
  • Reduce Standby Power Consumption: Unplug devices or use smart power strips.
  • Use Energy-Efficient Lighting: Switch to LED or CFL bulbs.
  • Maintain Your HVAC System: Keep it serviced to improve efficiency.
  • Insulate Your Home: Ensure good insulation to save on heating and cooling.
  • Consider Solar Panels: Solar energy can significantly reduce electricity bills.

Hypothetical Example: The Thompson Family in Inner West Sydney

Meet the Thompsons, a family of four living in Inner West Sydney. Despite their best efforts to keep energy costs down, they noticed their electrical bill was consistently higher than they’d like. Determined to make a change, they decided to take a comprehensive approach to reduce their energy consumption.

Initial Steps: The Thompsons started with an energy audit, which revealed several areas where they could improve. They discovered that their decade-old refrigerator was using excessive electricity, and many devices were left plugged in, contributing to a significant amount of standby power consumption.

Implementing Changes:

  • They replaced their old refrigerator with a new, energy-efficient model that boasted the Energy Star label.
  • They invested in smart power strips for their entertainment system and home office, significantly reducing standby power consumption.
  • They replaced all incandescent bulbs in their home with LED bulbs, drastically cutting down their lighting energy use.
  • They scheduled a professional maintenance check for their HVAC system, which led to replacing a faulty thermostat and cleaning the air filters, improving the system’s efficiency.

Power-Saving Strategies Implemented

  1. Replacing Incandescent Bulbs with LEDs: The Johnsons replaced all 20 incandescent bulbs in their home with LED bulbs.
    • Cost of LEDs: $5 per bulb x 20 bulbs = $100 (one-time investment)
    • Savings: LEDs consume about 85% less energy and can save about $5 per bulb annually in electricity costs.
  2. Upgrading to an Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner: They replaced their old air conditioner with a more efficient model.
    • Cost of New Air Conditioner: $1,200 (one-time investment)
    • Savings: The new unit is 40% more efficient, saving approximately $100 annually in cooling costs.
  3. Eliminating Standby Power: They used smart power strips for their entertainment system and computer equipment to eliminate standby power.
    • Cost of Smart Power Strips: $30 each x 2 = $60 (one-time investment)
    • Savings: Reducing standby power can save up to $100 per year.
  4. Upgrading to an Energy-Efficient Refrigerator: They invested in a new, more efficient refrigerator.
    • Cost of New Refrigerator: $800 (one-time investment)
    • Savings: The new fridge is 30% more efficient, saving about $60 annually.

Total Investment and Savings

  • Total One-Time Investment: $2,160
  • Annual Savings: $5 x 20 (bulbs) + $100 (AC) + $100 (standby power) + $60 (fridge) = $360

Impact on Costs

Assuming the Johnsons’ strategies only begin to impact their bills in the following month, we can calculate the savings over a year to gauge the effectiveness of their investment.

Before the Changes:

  • Monthly Electricity Bill: $250
  • Annual Cost: $250 x 12 = $3,000

After the Changes:

  • Estimated Monthly Savings: $360 / 12 = $30
  • New Monthly Electricity Bill: $250 – $30 = $220
  • Annual Cost After Changes: $220 x 12 = $2,640

Net Savings:

  • First Year Savings: $3,000 – $2,640 = $360
  • Break-even Point: $2,160 (total investment) / $360 (annual savings) ≈ 6 years

Results: Within a few months of making these changes, the Thompsons noticed a substantial decrease in their electrical bill. The energy-efficient appliances paid for themselves in savings, and the family also enjoyed a more comfortable home environment. They were particularly impressed with the impact of reducing standby power consumption, something they hadn’t considered significantly before.


The Thompsons’ story is a powerful example of how taking targeted steps to understand and reduce energy consumption can lead to significant savings on electrical bills. Whether you live in Marrickville, Inner West Sydney, or anywhere else in the city, implementing these strategies can help you achieve a more energy-efficient home.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks in our “Ask an Electrician” series, designed to keep your Sydney home safe, efficient, and cost-effective.


Meet Steven, owner of Mr Sparky and seasoned professional electrician in Sydney. With more than 15 years of experience in taking care of the electrical needs of Sydney’s residents, Steven loves to share his expertise and knowledge to ensure everyone is electrical safe. Need an electrician in Sydney – give Mr Sparky a call


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