Shocked by your summer power bill?


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Air conditioning on full blast, fans turned up to the max - it's been a scorcher of a summer. In fact, Australia's third warmest on record.

If your quarterly electricity bill recently landed in your inbox, you might be reeling from the shock of sky-high charges.

how to deal with summer power bill shock

You can't turn back the clock, but there are some things you can do to help lessen the hit to your hip pocket as the mercury starts to drop.

Keep a close eye on prices in 2024.

Could electricity prices drop this year? That's the big question struggling Aussies are likely to be asking, but we'll have to wait until May for a clearer picture.

The Australian Energy Regulator's (AER) latest Wholesale Markets Quarterly Report revealed average annual wholesale electricity prices across the National Electricity Market (NEM) fell by between 44% and 64% last year.

The NEM applies to households in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and south-east Queensland. It acts as a wholesale market where generators and retailers trade electricity, aiming to provide competitively priced power to Aussies.

On July 1 each year, the AER sets 'default offers' in these regions.

Essentially, this is a price cap on how much retailers can charge households for electricity. If default prices fall, we likely see that flow through to retail plans too. As mentioned earlier, this year's default pricing is expected to be announced in May, so stay tuned.

Never too late to switch.

While wholesale electricity prices impact what households pay for power, it's not the only factor at play.

There are other charges that make up the total cost of your power bill, such as service and supply fees. That's why it's important to take a hard look at your bills.

When was the last time you looked at how much your provider is charging, and compared it against others? If you can't remember, you could be missing out on savings.

Changing providers can be a simple and highly effective way to help you save money, and remember, there's no limit to how many times you can switch.

So, before you now head off and check your current deal, we'll leave you with a few extra hacks that could also help you avoid bill shock in the future, such as flexible payment options.

Many providers may allow you to sign up for bill smoothing, which can divide your annual usage into evenly spread smaller instalments.

And remember, some retailers may offer you a better deal if you pay on time, manage your bills online or pay by direct debit, so keep an eye out for these offers.

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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.
Bernie Schelfhout
March 22, 2024 2.58am

We in WA only have Western Power (Synergy) and have no option to change to other companies. A monopoly is never a good idea.