AUSTRALIANS have once again identified rising utility costs as their biggest financial concern, new data has revealed.
According to Mortgage Choice's 2015 Money Survey, one in every two Australians said they were worried about their gas, electricity and water bills this year.
Of the 1000 respondents surveyed, 53.8% said utility bills were their biggest financial concern for 2015, marking the fourth consecutive year that utility bills have been the number one concern among Australians.
Mortgage Choice spokeswoman Jessica Darnbrough said the fact that Australians were becoming increasingly concerned about their utility bills was hardly surprising, given that 78.3% of respondents admitted their electricity costs had increased in the past 12 months.
"Utility bills have long been recognised as the number one financial concern for Australians, and given that almost 80% are seeing an increase in their utility bills year on year, this mindset is very understandable," Ms Darnbrough said.
"But while utility bills are inescapable for most people, there are some easy ways for Australians to reduce these ongoing expenses and ultimately make things a little easier on their hip pocket."
Mortgage Choice's recommendations for saving on utility bills:
Use water wisely: Being diligent with your water consumption could save you hundreds of dollars each year.
According to savewater.com.au, replacing your current shower head with a three-star water saver shower head could save you more than $150 a year in water costs.
Fixing leaky taps and taking showers instead of baths can also help you to significantly reduce your level of water consumption.
Turn appliances off: Many Australians will go to bed each night and leave their television, DVD player and even computer on stand-by power mode.
The reality is not turning these appliances off at the wall can cost you.
Data from the South Australian Government shows people who turn their television, DVD player and computer off at the wall each night are able to save more than $60 a year in standby power costs.
Switch and save: If you are already taking the necessary steps to reduce your water consumption and turn your appliances off at the wall, but would still like to save more money on your utility bills each quarter, it may be worth researching various energy providers to see whether or not you are able to secure a better deal by switching.
Websites such as helpmechoose.com.au can help you to review and research your options and identify whether or not there is a better provider in the marketplace.