Weird electricity habits that cost thousands
For Rachel Stevenson, a huge electricity bill won't stop her leaving the TV, radio and airconditioning on for her pet cat Chip when she isn't home - and she's not alone either.
Many Aussies confess to keeping their pets comfortable, with an Origin Energy report finding 28 per cent admit to running the airconditioning or heating for animals when not at home.
Ms Stevenson, 31, said she get always gets a shock when she receives her electricity bill as it has skyrocketed since she became a pet owner.
"We put the aircon on for him or heating on and when we first got him he was terrified of hair dryer and ran off, but then over time he loves it and he wants to be dried with the hair dryer for half an hour," she said.
But the Sydneysider insists its worth the money as they found Chip abandoned in a carpark and rescued him.
"He had a horrible start in life and now he gets to live like a king now," she explained. "He's got accustomed to his lifestyle - and I couldn't possibly bring him back down to earth - I wouldn't want to leave him in a hot flat and the hair drying thing is funny so that will continue too."
It's not the only weird habit that Aussies have when it comes to electricity, with 23 per cent admitting they run the air conditioner with the windows open and 57 per cent use their heating or cooling as a first resort rather than changing clothes.
But this is adding thousands to bills. Cooling a single room, rather than the whole house, can save households between $361 and $1,232 on their annual energy bill, according to Origin Energy.
An older air conditioner could also cost up to $446 more a year to run compared to investing in a new and more efficient model
It's not only pets who are getting the luxury treatment with 35 per cent of Australians saying they run heating or cooling when not at home to maintain a preferred temperature.
Air conditioners should be set between 22C and 24C in summer - every degree below this recommended range could add 10 per cent to your energy bill, found Origin Energy, while drying clothes on a washing line or clothes-horse can save households between $62 and $103 per year.
Younger Australians - 18 to 34 - are more likely to fall into bad habits too, with 54 per cent running the dishwasher when it isn't completely full and 35 per cent leaving indoor fairy lights on.
Originally published as Weird electricity habits that cost thousands