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Energy Plan Comparison
Who doesn’t love a bargain, especially when it means saving money on energy bills?
One thing that may lower your bills is reducing your gas and electricity consumption. Whether you’re boiling water, drying your hair, cooking up a feast or binge-watching your favourite series, household appliances can account for up to 30 per cent of your home energy use.
The good news is, there are plenty of simple ways to be more energy efficient – from switching off unused appliances at the wall to popping a lid on that saucepan on the stove. Not only will you be doing your wallet a favour, it’s better for the environment, too.
But what about other ways to save big on energy bills? That’s as simple as 1-2-3.
Before you can start comparing, check with your current energy retailer to see whether there are any exit fees associated with switching providers or moving to a cheaper plan.
Even if your current provider plans to charge you an exit fee, you still might be better off making the switch. Otherwise, you can take a note of when your contract expires and act then. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to start researching better energy deals now to get an idea of how much you could save.
The next thing you’ll need to do is get out your latest bill and review your rates and pricing structures (aka tariffs).
Electricity is charged in cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) and there are three kinds of tariffs:
- Single rate. You pay the same rate for electricity day in, day out, morning, noon and night.
- Time-of-use rates. You pay three different rates for the electricity you use, depending on whether it’s during peak, non-peak or shoulder periods.
- Controlled load rates. Also called a ‘two-rate’ tariff, this is the rate you pay for using a specific appliance, such as an electric water heater.
Gas is charged in cents per megajoule (c/MJ) and tariffs include:
- Single rate. You pay the same rate all year round.
- Seasonal rate. Rates are typically more expensive in winter but cheaper at other times of year.
Rates, tariffs and plans will vary depending on where you live and the providers in your area.
Now that you know your rates and tariffs, comparing energy plans will be a lot easier.
Remember, lowest cost doesn’t necessarily mean best. Remember to look at the overall value of the offer, including:
- The contract type. Is it standard or market retail? Will you be locked into a long contract, or are you free to exit at any time?
- Fees and charges. Will you be charged any late fees, early exit fees, connection or disconnection fees?
- Billing. Will you be billed bi-monthly, monthly or quarterly? Can you save money by getting your bills online?
- Discounts and benefits. Are there any special benefit periods? If so, when do they end? Do you get a discount for paying on time or via direct debit?
If you find a better deal for your needs and budget, it could be time to make the switch.
Switching providers is simple and painless, and you won’t be stuck without power during the changeover. In fact, along with the cheaper price you’ll hopefully pay, the only thing that really changes is the company name on your bill.
Comparing energy plans is quick and easy with iSelect. Simply enter your postcode here and we’ll do all the hard work for you.