How to get a better deal on power bills


Winter isn't over just yet, but spring sunshine should bring some relief soon.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for power prices, with some major retailers hiking rates for some residential customers on either July, August, or September 1 this year (depending on where you live), leading to even more pocket pain.

So, whether your energy rate just increased, or is about to, let's jump straight into these hikes and find out why it may not be too late to find a better deal before the end of winter.

how to get a better deal on power bills

How much will my power bills increase?

It depends on where you live - either New South Wales, Victoria, south-east Queensland, or South Australia. You also need to factor in who your current provider is, and what plan you're on.

To give you an example, major energy retailers have announced or have already implemented hikes to average rates for residential customers on variable electricity market contracts across Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and south-east Queensland, some by as much as 29.8% or $565 a year.

A variable contract means that the price of your energy could go up or down with the energy market, but the bottom line is that your retailer is required to let you know when, if and by how much your rate is going up, and this should be your cue to shop around.

In light of increasing power prices, new research commissioned by comparison service iSelect has revealed that rising winter energy bills are on many people's minds with spending cutbacks also on the agenda for most, with takeaway food and drink the number one expense on the chopping block, followed by entertainment/dining out.

By comparing your energy plan and provider to see if you can switch and save could mean the difference between getting that barista made latte in the morning and a cup of homemade instant coffee.

Shopping around isn't as tough as you think

While energy prices may be higher across the board, there could still be savings to be found with small price differences between retailers and plans.  Even a small difference could add up and impact your energy bill over time.

iSelect's general manager of utilities and credit cards, Julia Paszka, said new research revealed that more than half of Aussies surveyed have either never switched or haven't switched their energy plan and/or provider for more than two years.

"It's concerning that many Aussies are not taking the time to review their current deal, because the iSelect commissioned research also highlighted the significant savings that could be made by switching," Julia said.

"Of those Aussies surveyed who switched their provider and/or plan in the last two years, 73% say they saved money, and based on this survey, we calculated around $240 was the average amount respondents estimated saving annually as a result."

Energy can be confusing and might seem like such a minefield, but it doesn't have to be. It could really pay off to take a few minutes to get your head around recent and upcoming changes in energy prices, compare your current plan and check to see if there's a better deal to be had.

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Sophie Ryan is the spokesperson for comparison service iSelect. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of the Sunshine Coast, and provides advice on how Aussies can save on their household bills.