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Aussies waste $15.1bn each year thanks to poor energy habits

Published on 01/08/2023

Poor energy habits cost each Australian adult an estimated $756 per year[1]

New research by ING Australia reveals 97% of Aussies admit to engaging in poor energy-saving habits, which is estimated to cost the nation a whopping $15.1billion each year.

In a typical week, eight in ten (81%) 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.

However, by ditching five of the most-costly habits Aussie adults could be saving an estimated $648.15 each year.

Most-costly, poor-energy habits:

  • Using the dryer to dry clothes on a sunny day, costing an average of $231.37 per person, each year[2]
  • Washing up under hot running water rather than filling the sink, costing an average of $145.41 per person, each year
  • Boiling more water than needed, costing an average of $127.87 per person, each year
  • Having a shower for longer than 10minutes, costing an average of $110.73 per person, each year
  • Using the defrost setting on the microwave, costing $32.77 per person, each year

Matt Bowen, Head of Daily Banking at ING Australia, says:

“It’s clear from the research that poor-energy habits can really add up. Simply drying your clothes in the sun and not using a dryer, for a year, could save an individual approximately $230, the cost of a standard streaming subscription.”

Encouragingly, the research also found some Aussies are finding creative ways to cut back on energy costs.

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/bathing with their partner
  • 16% are letting pets sleep in their bed with them
  • 15% having candle lit dinner rather than using lights
  • 8% are steaming their clothes in the bathroom while taking a shower, rather than using an iron

Matt Bowen added:

“It’s really encouranging 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.

“At ING we want to help so we offer eligible customers a 1% cashback on eligible gas, electricity and water bill payments.”

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, 88% Baby Boomer).
  • Undiscovered saving hacks: Three quarters (75%) of the nation didn’t realise a slow cooker can be more energy efficient than an oven


Matt Bowen at ING’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).


Visit here for more information on ING’s cashback on utility bills offer.



Notes to editors

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


For more information contact:

About ING

ING changed the way Australians bank more than 22 years ago by launching the country’s first branchless bank. ING now offers Australians home loans, transactional banking, superannuation, credit cards, personal lending, insurance and wholesale banking services. ING is:

  • Australia’s most recommended bank according to RFI Global’s XPRT Survey, October 2022 – March 2023 (n = 31,961) when compared to customers of 20 other banks operating in Australia
  • Australia’s fifth largest main financial institution (MFI) with 6% of market share according to RFI Global’s XPRT Survey, October 2022 – March 2022 (n = 31,961). MFI is defined as the bank that the consumer says is their main financial institution.
  • Canstar’s Bank of the Year and has been since 2020. Recognised for outstanding value across home loans, savings, credit cards, personal loans and customer satisfaction. (Canstar 2023)

Orange Everyday Benefits for Orange Everyday Customers

Orange Everyday Benefits 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, Personal Loans 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 Orange Everyday Benefits, and are not required to meet this monthly criteria.

Each month that you’re eligible for the Orange Everyday Benefits, you’ll receive the following on your Orange Everyday accounts:

  • 1% cashback on eligible utility bill payments (up to $100 per financial year);
  • Unlimited rebates on the ING International Transaction Fee; and
  • Rebates on the ATM withdrawal fees for the first 5 fee incurring ATM withdrawals (Domestic & International) on the account.

An eligible utility bill payment is a payment made by BPAY 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 Fees and Limits ScheduleOrange Everyday Benefits Schedule and the agreed utility supplier list at


[1] Based on all identified energy-wasting behaviours as outlined in notes to editors

[2] Based on the average cycle time of 45minutes, according to Whirlpool

Media Enquiries

Megan Landauro
ING Public Relations Lead
0413 317 225

Peter Gurney
Head of Stakeholder Relations
0417 633 467

60 Margaret Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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