Electricity is a hot-button topic in Australia, with price rise scandals occurring and behavior taking place that the ACCC has labeled “uncompetitive”, “unaffordable” and “unsustainable”. As your everyday Joe or Jolene, you’re probably not super keen on getting stuck paying up to $522 a year more than you should be. After all, it’s for the same basic necessity of life as you’d be getting either way. Just a whole lot more pricey!
(By the way, wondering where that $522 figure comes from? It’s straight from findings from the Federal Government’s Australian Energy Market Commission’s recent report. That ~$522 difference is specifically for electricity providers in ACT. However, they also provide stats for electricity providers in NSW, SA, VIC, QLD, etc.)
If knowledge is power, then power to the people! Here’s what you need to know about electricity in AU.
What’s the best household electricity plan?
This is truly a case of different strokes for different folks. Some things to think about:
- When do you use your power? The choice of a Time Use tariff or single-tariff plan can make a massive difference. Night owls who use most of their power off-peak can save a pretty penny on a TOU plan, but they’re not always best for everyone. In particular, people who work from home and use their power during the day can get bill shock.
- What discounts are on offer? Is there a sign-up discount, and is that discount fixed-period or ongoing? Any other discounts, like direct debit or on-time payment discounts?
- What fees do they charge? Look out for exorbitant late fees!
What should I be keeping an eye out for when deciding to switch providers?
Electricity plans are legendarily confusing, but they don’t have to be. There’s plenty of information out there to help you understand your bill. you’ll find more about this over at electricity plan comparison websites. Some things to look out for include:
- Supply charges
- Usage charges
- Billing cycle
- Payment method
- Length of contract
- Exit fees
- Solar feed rebates
How do I compare electricity plans?
You can compare electricity plans at EnergyMadeEasy, a government tool that lists what’s available in your postcode, and estimate costs. There are also commercial companies like Econnex who work with a panel of major power providers, present you with deals, and will start the switching process on your behalf.
So, we hope that this article has made the confusing subject of electricity in AU a bit less confusing! It’s always good to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal; and with energy comparison, you can easily save hundreds of dollars with a little bit of time and effort. There are not many ways you can spend half an hour that pay back so handsomely!