At a glance:
- A rising inflation rate has increased electricity prices, so it is crucial to pick the most affordable energy provider in your area.
- One of the biggest influences on your home’s energy use is the number of people that live there.
- Compare electricity offers and energy bills today with Select and Switch to ensure you are not paying too much!
A rising inflation rate has resulted in life in Australia becoming increasingly expensive, but the cost of energy stands out among all others: Currently, gas and electricity prices are rising. The Federal Budget from October indicated that retail power prices are expected to rise by 30% in 2023/24.
What is the cause of the rising costs of energy, what can consumers do to reduce them, and how can renewable energy help?
Energy bills are a significant financial burden nowadays. So, what do you do? Do you follow the original rates or look for the lowest energy prices in anticipation of significant savings?
Does it still make sense to shop around?
Due to soaring energy prices, there are fewer affordable options available now. Nevertheless, getting the best energy deal via an energy plan comparison remains a smart option. You can find a suitable energy supplier if you know the kind of energy tariff and features you’re looking for.
Even though sometimes the difference between the best and worst electricity plans may not be that big, when you take advantage of a competitive market offer, you will be able to save money.
“Shop around for the right energy deal,” the Australian Energy Regulator advised consumers in its 2019 Report. In fact, the AER recognizes that “a majority of customers on standing offers are still able to get cheaper energy prices through market offers.” Why wouldn’t you want to save money on your electric bill? Compare electricity offers to make sure you are paying the right amount.
How do I choose the right plan for me?
Electricity plans are not and cannot be a one size fits all. There is a regional difference in pricing. Some plans are tailored to particular audiences, such as solar owners, people using high amounts of energy, or seniors. By keeping the following tips in mind, you’ll find the best deal for your situation. Select and Switch provides an extensive energy and gas plan comparison tool that lets you compare energy and gas plans thoroughly and rank them based on your preferences and usage.
What to know before finding affordable electricity or gas provider?
Size of the household
The number of people that live there is one of the biggest influences on your home’s energy use. Since small households usually consume less energy, installing natural gas or solar panels or purchasing more energy-efficient appliances may take longer to pay off due to their lower energy consumption. However, you may not care about these upfront costs if you live in a small household and value performance, reliability, and emissions reduction.
For families with larger homes that consume more energy, natural gas and solar panels are generally cheaper than most other energy solutions. Investing more upfront in these solutions will lead to faster cost savings.
How much energy do you use?
Understanding how much and when you use electricity (measured in kWh) is helpful. You can get the most accurate results from an energy comparison by entering your unique electricity usage profile from a recent bill. This has to do with the fact that each plan has a different cost structure.
In your electricity bill, you will see two major charges – the supply charge and the usage charge.
Energy supply charges differ based on your area, your retailer, your tariff and plan, and not how much you use. Even if you used no electricity, you would have to pay the same supply charge. In contrast, the usage charge is a variable fee. You’re charged cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) for the electricity you actually use. It’s also often called the consumption charge.
You can find all the information you need on a current electricity bill to make an accurate comparison. On your bill, you will find details about your tariff (generally you will have either anytime use, or time of use), your electricity consumption over time (kWh), and other factors such as solar feed in (if you have solar).
Time-of-use plans or flat rates can be used to charge for usage. On a time-of-use plan, you’ll be charged different rates depending on when you use electricity, but on a flat-rate plan, you’ll pay the same price regardless of when you use power.
For example some retailers will charge peak time as everyday between 3 pm and 9 pm, and off-peak time is between 9pm and to midnight, and midnight through until 3pm.
A switch to a different tariff type may result in additional savings. To choose the right offer for you, you need to understand your usage pattern. Different retailers have different tariffs, but you will know which offer is best for you once you know how you use your service. Time-of-use plans could be ideal for you if you tend to consume electricity outside of peak times or if you can change your energy consumption habits to do so. If you consume a lot of electricity during peak times, having a time-of-use plan will be more costly for you.
Are you able to change your energy provider?
The best energy options for you will also depend on your location. Take into account factors such as:
- How much does energy cost in my area? It is important to keep in mind that electricity and gas costs can vary greatly from one location to another.
- Are solar panels a good option for me if I have good sunlight?
- Climate conditions during the winter – heat pumps and electric appliances perform poorly under low night-time temperatures in some areas.
To illustrate, electricity retailers are available in South East Queensland, so you should be able to choose one of them. Regional Queenslanders continue to have the right to choose their electricity retailer, but there may only be limited options, depending on where you live. The Queensland Competition Authority regulates energy prices every year, so you have the right to receive energy at regulated rates.
To allow energy users to choose who will supply them with electricity, energy choice marketplaces and deregulation laws have been put in place across states in Australia.
You can switch energy providers if you are buying a brand-new house. It’s the same if you’re renting as long as you pay the energy bills. You can switch or update your energy plan with your energy provider as long as the contract is between you and the energy provider, not your landlord. Depending on whether a retailer is willing to offer you a deal, you can choose an electricity retailer to power your unit instead of the site owner if you live in a multi-unit complex.
States you can change energy providers:
- Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
- New South Wales (NSW)
- South Australia (SA)
- South-East Queensland (SE QLD)
- Tasmania (TAS)
- Victoria (VIC)
Perth metropolitan area residents can choose their gas provider if they live in Western Australia (WA). Tasmanians and residents of the Northern Territory (NT) have limited options, but they can choose between providers.
How to find the most affordable energy provider?
In 2020, a report released by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) found that residential consumers switched providers because they were dissatisfied with the value for money offered by their current energy plan.
Make sure that the new electricity plan you choose will save you money. The poles, wires, and pipes connecting your property to the electricity network will remain the same regardless of which retailer you switch to. Ensuring that you get the best value from your energy retailer is the main goal when switching retailers.
Let’s explore some tips to help you find the best energy provider and save more money.
By comparing the energy providers:
The annual cost of the energy deal is more important to the customers when compared to their choice of supplier. Low-cost energy providers are now harder to find as many smaller suppliers have already left the market or have stopped taking on new customers at the moment.
The service provided by energy provider is an important aspect, regardless of the broader market. You need to do research and compare the reputation and reviews of various energy retailers to help you choose the right one. Some suppliers also offer benefits and rewards to customers. Consider them during an energy providers’ comparison.
By analysing fixed and variable rates:
Both fixed and variable plans are available. Fixed rates often span up to 12 or 24 months and commit to charging a certain amount for each unit of energy used. Your bills will be determined by your monthly usage.
The price of wholesale energy influences the rise or fall of variable price tariffs that provide the most affordable electricity deal now. But it changes if the wholesale prices increase.
Avoid standard variable rate tariffs in general. These are the default contracts that are generally more expensive.
Are discounts worth all the attention?
You can also receive discounts on market contracts, but you may also be required to pay fees. For both, make sure you are aware of what is involved. It’s still best to judge plans based on their total price as opposed to the distracting discount. It’s not about bragging rights about a hypothetical average home’s discount rate; it’s about finding the cheapest plan and total cost for you.
You may be able to get a conditional discount merely if you pay your bill on time or if you pay in a certain way, such as by direct debit. You should ask about the discount benefits period. Usually, the discounts only last for a certain amount of time (this is why it’s imperative to re-evaluate your contract every so often).
Retailers must use the price of the default offer when calculating a discount on a market offer. Default offers in Victoria have a set usage rate and a daily supply charge. There are more complex rules surrounding the default offer in other states.
Retailers may use a combination of usage charges and daily supply charges. Therefore, it’s critical to determine whether these discounts are applied to the entire bill or just to usage charges. Be careful not to assume that getting a discount means getting a better deal. If you cannot meet the conditions of the offer, you might pay more than if you got a discount applied.
Benefit period and customer service
Comparison rankings may include short-term discounts for plans that appear at the top. A retailer can remove or reduce the discount on the plan after the benefit period, which is usually 12 months. This means that the awesome deal might only last for a short while. It is necessary to contact the retailer just before the expiration of your benefit period to request the reactivation of your offer or ask for their best current rates. Make sure your response remains competitive by researching the market and doing a free energy comparison.
It is essential to consider money, but there are other factors as well. The importance of great customer service may drive you to pay more for a service provider who goes the extra mile for you. If you’re seeking support, choose a provider with a call centre in Australia or a social media team that is responsive to your inquiries. It might be worth your time to send a provider an email or check out customer reviews online to see what kind of experience they’ve had.
By comparing the energy plans:
The annual price of the different energy deals becomes an important factor based on the current situation of the market. However, there is no assurance that any particular deal will be ideal for you to switch over. There are additional factors that may affect your choice in the market. These are more significant as we try to slow down the process of climate change.
Some consumers use both gas and electricity, which is why they choose to evaluate energy prices for various fuels rather than bundling them into a single offer. Depending on the supplier, this may turn out to be less expensive than a dual-fuel deal with a single provider.
The place where you live will impact your ability to discover the cheapest supplier. By completing an energy plan comparison, you can find the cheapest deal by identifying low-cost suppliers in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia.
Recent increases in electricity prices and the threat of further increases mean that it is the right time to Compare, Select and Switch your current energy plan to a cheaper one. You can easily find better gas and energy deals to help reduce your bills with the help of our free online energy plan comparison tool. Once you have completed an energy price comparison, you can select a better energy deal and switch to the better offer to save on your electricity and gas bills.
- Input all the information available in your energy bill to compare energy plans based on your usage. The comparison page displays all plans that match your energy needs.
- Click on a plan to view its details.
- Don’t be swayed by discounts or attractive offers. Evaluate each plan’s pros and cons carefully.
- Any new plans should be compared to your old ones to ensure they are compatible.
- If you’ve found a plan that’s right for you, confirm the switchover.
- Apply online or over the phone to lock in your switch.
- There is usually a two-business-day turnaround time for electricity transfers, but it can still take up to 90 days for gas transfers.
Compare your energy bills now and Select and Switch to a new energy plan today!