The AC Bill Mystery: Why Does It Cost a Fortune to Stay Comfortable?

Managing your household budget is a constant balancing act, and for many of us, the electricity bill can be a real headscratcher.  You try to maintain consistent energy habits – turning off lights when not in use, unplugging unused appliances – yet the cost seems to fluctuate wildly from month to month. 

Here's the thing: your electricity usage isn't always constant. There are hidden factors at play, and one of the biggest culprits is high tariffs like "peak hours." 

Peak hours are times when electricity demand (and price) is the highest. This typically falls in the early evening when everyone's at home, using appliances and ACs. During these hours, electricity prices can surge, impacting your overall energy costs.  

Your split-system air conditioner can be a significant contributor to peak hour costs, up to 42%, to be exact.

But there are smart and simple ways to ensure savings on your aircon bills! Let us show you how:

1. Grasp the Basics

Understanding energy tariffs is the key to taking control of your electricity bill and potentially saving significant money. 

Energy tariffs are essentially the pricing structure set by your electricity provider. They are made up of fixed and variable charges and determine how much you pay for the electricity you use.

Depending on your location you can choose from a range of competitive market offers from different electricity retailers so it pays to look around for an innovative provider.

If you’re an Amber Electric customer, it’s important to understand and leverage Amber Electric's dynamic rates during peak periods, so that you can unlock substantial savings. The Amber Electric app is your gateway to real-time information. Keep an eye on price fluctuations and forecasted rates for the next 12 hours. Plan your energy-intensive activities for times when rates are lower, avoiding unnecessary costs during peak hours. 

2. Shifting: Flexibility in Energy Usage

Embrace a flexible approach to energy consumption. Consider shifting non-essential activities, such as laundry and dishwashing, to off-peak hours. Or setting your pool pump to run when you are producing solar. By adapting your routine to the ebb and flow of energy prices, you'll notice a positive impact on your monthly bills.  

Results? Now you understand your energy plan and you're shifting your usage your home is fine-tuned for maximum savings on your energy bills. Well done! You've mastered the essentials of smart home energy management. Stay tuned because we will be sharing more insights on how you can elevate your energy efficiency even more.

3. Understanding Smart Technology

Consider investing in smart technology to automate and optimise your energy use during peak hours. Here are some examples: 

  • Smart plugs and power strips: These allow you to remotely control appliances. You can program them to automatically turn on energy-intensive devices, like dishwashers, laundry appliances or pool pumps, during off-peak hours when electricity prices are lower or solar is available. 

  • Smart thermostats: These programmable thermostats allow you to set specific temperature schedules for your home throughout the day. You can pre-heat or cool your home during off-peak hours and have it maintain a comfortable temperature during peak hours without constantly running the AC. 

  • Smart home assistants: These voice-activated devices can connect to your smart appliances and thermostats. You can use them to adjust settings and monitor energy usage remotely, making it even easier to manage your consumption during peak hours.

"So, what's right for me?"

While shifting your daily habits to run appliances during off-peak hours is a great first step along with everything else that we’ve mentioned, life can be busy and remembering to adjust laundry cycles or dishwasher runs isn't always easy.  This is where investing in smart home energy management devices really helps.  

Smart thermostats, for example, are like having a dedicated energy butler for your home's climate control. You can program them to automatically adjust temperatures throughout the day. Pre-heat or cool your home during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower, and the smart thermostat will maintain a comfortable temperature during peak hours without constantly running the AC at full blast. This not only saves you money but also reduces wear and tear on your appliance.  Investing in smart home energy management tools takes the guesswork out of peak hour savings, allowing you to enjoy consistent comfort while maximising your energy efficiency and minimising your electricity bill. 

Difference Between a Smart Thermostat and a Traditional Thermostat 

Your split-system air conditioner can be a significant contributor to peak hour costs, up to 42%, to be exact. A smart thermostat intelligently adjusts settings during these high-demand periods, reducing your heating and cooling expenses without compromising comfort, by making use of features like price spike force off and pre-cool during off peak hours.  

Features Traditional Thermostat Smart Thermostat
Control Manual adjustments Programmable schedules, learning algorithms, remote access
Precision Limited ability to adapt to changing needs Optimizes temperature based on habits and preferences
Convenience Requires manual adjustments Remote control from anywhere
Data Tracking Limited or no data on energy usage Generates detailed reports on energy consumption patterns
Cost Generally less expensive upfront Higher upfront cost, but potential for long-term energy savings
Learning Does not learn user habits Learns user habits and adjusts automatically
Ideal for Simple and budget-conscious users Users seeking remote control, energy savings, and data-driven insights

Our Recommendation

There are many smart thermostats in the market right now that are doing a great job at helping people save money! It is important to pick one that suits your needs the most. Voltello AirFlex is one of the best smart thermostats and it is also synced with Amber Electric buy and sell prices!

Voltello AirFlex

Voltello AirFlex, a smart thermostat for split-system reverse-cycle air conditioners, is designed to revolutionise the way you experience home comfort while optimising energy usage.

Let's see a glimpse of how it can benefit you.

  • Synced

    Synced with your Amber Electric buy price, Voltello AirFlex ensures your air conditioner operates efficiently, leveraging low prices to cool or pre-cool your home during cost-effective periods.

  • Tailored

    Tailor your comfort and savings with the 'Aircon for Amber' automation plan. Adjust your aircon temperature based on your Amber buy price, staying in control and within your comfort zone.

  • Real-time

    Real-time Control with Voltello App: Manage your aircon and other appliances effortlessly using the Voltello app. Gain insights and make real-time adjustments from the palm of your hand.  

  • Compatibility

    Whether you have a new or old aircon, if it has a remote it’s compatible with AirFlex, offering ease of use across various models.

  • Set & Forget

    Set your preferred temperature range and automation preferences using the Voltello app, ensuring personalised comfort without compromising savings

Smart Strategies Employed by Voltello AirFlex for Savings!

1. Pre-heating and cooling is a strategic approach to use your air conditioner efficiently and economically. Here's how it works with Voltello AirFlex:  

  •  Strategic Temperature Adjustments: Voltello AirFlex lets you set your preferred temperature range and lets you choose whether to pre-heat or cool your space. During low-priced energy periods, AirFlex will ensure your home is comfortable without soaring costs. 
  •  Sync with Price Trends: You can set your temperature against price points to make the most of Amber's dynamic pricing. Voltello AirFlex intelligently adapts to price fluctuations, helping you maximise savings while keeping your home comfortable.  
  •  Voltello App Insights: Utilise Voltello’s companion app, Linkit+, to gain insights into optimal aircon performance. Set schedules and monitor filter health and more. 

2. Force Off During Price Spikes: Enable the Force Off feature during periods of high energy prices to avoid unnecessary consumption. Voltello AirFlex helps you make informed decisions to minimise costs during peak times.

For more information on Voltello products, click here!