IPART: Electricity price hikes will hurt low-income families in NSW

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Paying your household utility bills is just one part of the balancing act that is maintaining a smoothly-running home and the health and security of your family.

While the increases to electricity prices planned to come into effect after the commencement of the carbon tax are a concern for many of us, the tribunal responsible for the pricing recommendations has admitted that low-income households will be hurt.

Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal chairman Dr Peter Boxall stated to a forum yesterday (April 30): "We recognise that these price rises are significant and will place substantial financial pressures on some sections of the community, particularly those with lower incomes."

However, even in the face of increased electricity expenses there are ways that families can maximise their households' energy efficiency, to make sure that they are only paying for what is necessary.

Replacing halogen or incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent versions can mean significant savings on your electricity bill - they use much less power and last up to eight times longer than their less-efficient counterparts.

Using dimmer switches where possible can also mean that your lighting is optimised to only provide what is necessary.

Timers and sensors are also a great idea for outdoor bulbs, to reduce the amount of time that lights are unnecessarily active while still also offering security at night.

Posted by Charlie Moore