By now you may have received your summer energy bill and, if you’re like most Aussies who blasted the air-con all summer, it’s probably a bumper bill.
As the warmer months draw to an end, the stress of summer energy affordability will soon be behind us.
But it won’t be long until the winter energy concerns arise as we start cranking up the heater and enjoying our long, hot showers in an effort to fight the winter chill.
If you’re feeling defeated by your recent summer energy bill, now might be the time to become more savvy and consider taking steps to minimise your energy costs before the mercury drops.
It’s not just about usage
While cutting back around the home can help reduce your energy usage, for many households it may just be a ‘Band-Aid’ solution. Your energy bill is made up of usage and supply charges and service fees. It’s important to speak to an energy expert to make sure you are on the right plan that suits your needs.
Don’t set and forget
Many Australians have adopted a set-and-forget mindset and have not reviewed their energy plan in years. In some instances, retailers are now required to notify you when your rates change or your discount (and other benefits) expires. This should prompt you to compare other plans in the market to ensure you’re getting the best value deal.
Don’t be distracted by discounts
Many retailers advertise heavily discounted rates (as high as 30 per cent to 43 per cent off) but are often conditional. Opting for a retailer that offers lower ongoing rates without discounts can be cheaper in the long run, especially if you often pay your bills late.
Understand your energy plan
Determine whether you’re on a standing offer or a market offer. Historically, market offers have been the retailer’s best available plans and some have included generous discounts. It’s important to know that market offers usually expire after a year or two and following this, you’ll automatically be rolled onto a higher-priced offer.
So if you haven’t switched your energy provider or plan for some years, you’re most likely currently on a standing offer and perhaps paying more than you need to.
Look for flexible payment options
If you want to avoid the same bill shock on your winter bill that summer served you, perhaps opt for a flexible payment option on your bill. For example, you may be able to pay your bills weekly, fortnightly or monthly, or sign up for bill smoothing, which will divide your annual usage into even monthly instalments.
The best way to save money is to make sure you’re on a good value plan in the first place. So use increased energy competition to your advantage by comparing current offers in the market.
Energy bills can be complex and trawling through all the small print from providers can be tedious and overwhelming. Plus, let’s face it, we’ve all got better things to do with our time.
The energy experts at iSelect can help you make sense of your energy bill and find you a plan that suits both your needs and your budget.
So stop fearing your next bumper energy bill and take control before winter sets in – your future self will thank you for it (and for being nice and toasty warm).
DISCLAIMER: iSelect does not compare all energy providers or plans in the market. The availability of plans will change from time to time. Not all plans available from our partners are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements or service availability, not all products compared by iSelect will be available to all customer. Some plans are available only from our call centre and others are available only from our website. Energy plans are available only for properties located in eligible areas of Victoria, New South Wales, South East Queensland, South Australia and ACT. Visit iSelect.com.au to view our range of providers.