Monday, 21 May 2012

Wearing a Jumper Instead of Turning on the Heater: Condescending or Common Sense?

I was reading the news online at work today (yep, I'm naughty) and I was horrified to come across this article.
People should wear jumpers, use blankets, play board games and walk more to save on energy bills this winter, a Federal Government website says.  
But the suggestions are "very condescending" and overlook the cost of living struggles of many Victorian families, organisations that help the vulnerable say.

The article goes on to quote a charity as stating that most families on low incomes are already doing everything they can to lower their energy bills, which I would agree with. Once you start chatting to people who honestly don't have a single dollar to spare, you find out how frugal some folks really are.

What I have a problem with is the concept that advising others to wear a jumper and turn off the TV is condescending. To me, it seems like this is common sense. I may choose to continue to watch TV or use the computer despite the energy usage, but I know that if I was serious about receiving the lowest electricity bill possible I would turn the idiot box off. Heck, if I was so poor that I didn't think I could pay the power bill when it arrived, I'd probably go to bed at 7pm to avoid using the lights or indeed any electricity at all.

Maybe I'm alone in thinking this is common sense? Or maybe I spend too much time in the frugal mindset.

Anyway. It's started getting cold even here in sunny Perth, so I've started wearing warmer clothes in the evening. Some nights I even change into my flannelet jammies as soon as I get home from work - Perfect Boyfriend is a lucky man! If I start feeling too cold, I jump on the exercise bike for five or ten minutes until I'm toasty again. During Winter I like to cook in the oven anyway, and that tends to take the edge off the cold in my little home. Homemade lasagne or apple crumble goes down a treat on a chilly night!


  1. Yeah I don't see how giving a few pointers to people on how to save on their electric bill is condescending.

    1. Have you developed any strategies to save on energy since you started paying bills additional to your rent?

  2. Was this in a tabloid paper perhaps?

    Government advice is supposed to be condescending, since so many people seem to lack common sense. *is thinking about her ex-housemate who used to prance around in underwear during the depths of winter whilst the inefficient space heater was on at full blast*

    Thermals and a beanie are my trick. And having showers in the afternoon, early evening, when it's not too cold.

    1. Thankfully thermals are really unneccessary in Perth! All we really need is a warm jumper and a hot cup of tea to stay warm here.

      It IS amazing how some people fail to connect their immediate behaviour (putting on the heater instead of wearing warm clothes) with the consequences just because they aren't immediately appparent - i.e. the electricity bill takes a month or two to arrive, so by the time it does they've forgotten the behaviour that lead to the high bill. It's unfortunate when it affects what you have to pay, too!

      It was I really should know by now not to read its "money" articles.