What will the weather be like this winter?
As we all know, when the winter temperatures drop our electricity bills often increase as we focus our energies on staying warm.
So, you may wonder just what the weather will look like this winter and spring and how this will impact the price you pay for electricity and gas. Here is what the Climate Council predicts for the cooler seasons of 2014.
Warmer than average conditions
It looks like it will continue to be unseasonably warm throughout the winter and beyond, as all Australia's regions will experience warmer than normal temperatures.
These are predicted to be particularly high for the southern half of the continent.
While this does mean that you may not need to run the heater for as long as last winter, resulting in lower electricity and gas bills, the unfortunate consequence is that the bushfire and drought season may be extended.
El Niño conditions
Australia looks soon to experience an El Niño-type event, which the Climate Council says will drive temperatures up even higher and trigger dry conditions in the east and south of the continent.
Is this related to climate change?
Although Australia is known for its high temperatures and heat waves, the sea, air and ocean temperatures are around a degree higher than they were in 1910.
This means extreme weather events such as heatwaves will continue to become worse - another reason why you should try to keep your electricity prices low!
The Climate Council say the risk of hot weather is higher but conversely the risk of cold weather has decreased.
"Over the past decade, the frequency of record hot days has been more than three times the frequency of record cold days," the report says.
How can you benefit from a warmer winter?
In order to prepare for warmer winter days there are a few steps you can take. Lower temperatures mean you may be able to keep warm without using a heater.
Instead, make sure your blinds and curtains are kept open during the day to capture any heat from the sun, but closed at night to trap that heat indoors.
As the nights draw in and the skies become darker earlier, it is more important to have energy efficient light bulbs installed as these can reduce your power bill while still providing that warm glow you desire.
You may also find your washing dries more quickly outside than in previous years, avoiding the need to use the clothes dryer.
Another important step to take is doing an electricity comparison to save money on your bills. There may be another company with lower tariffs, which could help you save.
Posted by Tim Wolfenden