Savings hacks

Make friends with your energy bill

If you have some less than perfect energy habits, then you’ve felt the shiver up your spine that comes with a hefty power bill.

You’re not alone, new research commissioned by ING Australia shows 97% of Aussies admit to having some poor energy (and saving) habits.

If you think that’s a high number, wait till you learn they’re costing the nation $15.1 billion a year! That’s more dollars than there are stars in the Milky Way. These poor energy habits are costing each Aussie adult an estimated $756 per year¹.

Matt Bowen, Head of Daily Banking at ING says:

“It’s really encouraging that nine in ten (93%) Aussies are actively looking for ways to cut back on their energy bills, and over half (55%) are looking for ways to cut back a lot.”

And there’s good reason, you could be saving an estimated $648.15 each year. That’s a decent weekend away, right there.

So, what are the biggest, baddest energy habits Aussies have fessed up to taking part in? In a typical week, 81% of Aussies say they leave electronics on at the switch, and 62% leave the TV/laptop on standby overnight, costing an estimated $20.31 and $28.69 respectively, per person, each year.

The most costly, energy-poor habits are:

  • Using the dryer to dry clothes on a sunny day, costing an average $231.37 per person, per year²
  • Washing up under hot running water rather than filling the sink, costing an average $145.41 per person, each year
  • Boiling more water than needed, costing an average $127.87 per person, each year
  • Having a shower for longer than 10 minutes costing an average $110.73 per person, each year
  • Using the defrost setting on the microwave, costing $32.77 per person, each year

If that data looks like your life story, here are Matt’s top three tips for those looking to cut back on energy costs:

  1. Do an energy assessment of your space. Grab your partner or housemate and assess what you could be doing differently to save on energy costs.
  2. If in doubt, switch it off. Make turning off your lights and electronics part of your routine.
  3. Open an ING Orange Everyday account. Eligible Orange Everyday customers will receive 1% cashback on all eligible gas, water, and electricity bills (T&Cs apply).

If you’re hungry for more, here are the top 5 most creative ways Aussies are using or would use to reduce their energy bills:

  • 30% are using an air fryer rather than an oven
  • 17% are showering or bathing with their partner
  • 16% are letting pets sleep in their bed with them
  • 15% are having candle lit dinners rather than using lights
  • 8% are steaming their clothes in the bathroom while taking a shower, rather than using an iron

Additional research findings include:

  • Work benefits: Almost 2 million Aussie workers (15%) say their favourite way of saving money is working from the office rather than at home to use office electricity.
  • Relationship bug-bear: almost one in five (18%) Aussies agree that wasting energy is a big turn-off in romantic partners, and one in 10 (11%) would move out if a housemate had poor energy habits.
  • It’s a generational thing: Millennials (98%) are the most likely generation to say they are looking to cut back their energy usage (93% Gen Z, 90% Gen X and 88% Baby Boomers).
  • Undiscovered saving hacks: Three quarters (75%) of the nation didn’t realise a slow cooker can be more energy efficient than an oven.

So, there it is folks. You might have to expend a little more mental energy while you’re creating those new habits, but you’ll thank yourself for it when you get that new bill. Celebration suggestion: an air-fried meal by candlelight.

Make you money go further. Find out more about our 1% cashback on eligible utility bills with an Orange Everyday account.


¹Based on all identified energy-wasting behaviours as outlined in notes to editors
²Based on the average cycle time of 45 minutes, according to Whirlpool

Research was undertaken by YouGov in June 2023 (total sample size was 1,025) and July 2023 (total sample size 1,001). The figures are representative of Australians aged 18 years and older.

All costs are estimated based on the average number of hours a week those surveyed said they partake in identified energy-wasting habits and average hourly cost according to the latest AusGrid Energy use guide, unless otherwise stated.

Identified energy-wasting habits, and estimated cost per person, per year, include:

  • Using the dryer to dry clothes on a sunny day – $231.37
  • Washing up under running water rather than filling the sink – $145.41
  • Boiling more water than needed (e.g. for a cup of tea) – $127.87
  • Having a shower longer than 10 minutes – $110.73
  • Using the defrost setting on the microwave – $32.77
  • Putting the dishwasher on half full – $31.27
  • Leaving the TV/laptop on standby overnight – $28.69
  • Leaving electronics on at the switch – $20.31
  • Using the washing machine to clean a few small items (e.g. socks, jumper, t-shirt) rather than a full load – $19.59
  • Leaving the lights on when leaving a room/the house – $3.93
  • Watching TV shows twice after skipping ahead from a partner/housemate/friend – $3.58
  • Total: $755.51


1% Utility Bill Cashback Offer for Orange Everyday Customers

The 1% utility cashback offer will apply for the next month when you meet the following eligibility criteria during the current month:

  • deposit at least $1,000 from an external source to any personal ING account in your name (excluding Living Super and Orange One), and
  • also make at least 5 card purchases that are settled (and not at a ‘pending status’) using your ING debit or credit card (excluding ATM withdrawals, balance enquiries, cash advances and EFTPOS cash out only transactions).

Orange Everyday customers who hold an ING Home Loan are automatically eligible for this offer, and are not required to meet this monthly criteria.

Under this offer, each month that you’re eligible, you’ll receive 1% cashback on eligible utility bill payments (up to $100 per financial year) on your Orange Everyday accounts.

An eligible utility bill payment is a payment made by BPAY, PayTo (when available) or direct debit (BSB and account number) from your Orange Everyday account for a water, gas or electricity bill from an agreed supplier for the Australian residential address of the account holder.

For full terms and conditions, see the Orange Everyday Terms and Conditions, the Everyday Banking Fees and Limits ScheduleOrange Everyday Benefits Schedule and the agreed utility supplier list.

This offer may be changed or withdrawn at any time at ING’s sole discretion.


The information is current as at publication. Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Deposit products, savings products, credit card and home loan products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. All applications for credit are subject to ING’s credit approval criteria, and fees and charges apply. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Terms and Conditions, Fees and Limits Schedule, Financial Services Guide, Key Facts Sheet and Credit Guide available at when deciding whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, a product. Before interacting with us via our social media platforms, please take a minute to familiarise yourself with our Social Media User Terms

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