"Energy Made Easy can help you beat bigger bills", says the Australian Energy Regulator in this 8 August 2017 press release, which continues:
"Energy is a significant cost for many households and small businesses and recent price increases have added to these costs.
It’s not welcome news but there are things you can do to lessen the impact of those price rises. If you haven’t switched energy providers in some time, or if you are still on a standing offer, chances are you are paying more for electricity or gas than you need to. There are lower price energy plans available and the Australian Energy Regulator’s free comparison website Energy Made Easy can assist households and small business customers to find a plan that suits their needs, and potentially save a substantial amount of money.
Energy Made Easy (www.energymadeeasy.gov.au) lets you compare plans from all retailers, and doesn’t require you to enter any personal details – just your usage information from one or more recent bills, or, if you don’t have that available, you can use our usage estimates.
Depending on the area, the difference between the most expensive and cheapest plan can be hundreds of dollars. Doing an energy offer search on Energy Made Easy is a good first step to see what the options are and what the best plan is for you.
While finding a good price is important, there are other things to think about when choosing an energy plan. Fees, terms and conditions, how any discounts are applied, and whether a retailer offers extra services like flexible billing options or apps, can all influence whether a plan is the right one for you.
It can be hard to know what to look out for, so here are some tips for finding a good plan.
- Switch to something better – There are lots of plans in the market and you can save by switching, especially if you have been on the same plan for a while. You may not even need to switch to a different retailer – your current retailer may be able to offer you something better. Prices often rise, so it’s a good ideas to set yourself a reminder to compare energy plans once a year – it could save you hundreds of dollars
- Don’t be dazzled by discounts –A bigger discount doesn’t always mean a bigger saving – check the rates the discount applies to. Is it off the whole bill, or just your usage? It’s also important to check what conditions you need to meet to get the discount.
- Know what lies beneath – Contract terms, payment options and conditions can have a big impact on your bill. Retailer fees can vary widely – check what fees apply to the offer you’re considering. It’s a good idea to avoid plans with late payment fees or pay on time discounts if you have trouble paying your bills on time.
- Avoid bill shock – Retailers can change your electricity prices even when you have committed to a contract. They don’t have to tell you before the change happens, so before you sign up to a new plan, ask if there are any price changes planned and if so, how you will be notified. If you like certainty, a plan with fixed prices might be a good choice, or even a plan with a set monthly fee.
- It’s not all about price – Price is not the only thing that can make a plan a good one for you. Plan features like monthly billing, or apps that track your energy usage can help you manage your costs: ask your retailer what they can offer.
Visit the Energy Made Easy website www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/tipstoswitch for more tips on how to find a good plan."