In a sea of energy providers, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and confused about which plan is right for you. From discounts to flexible plans and other eye-catching benefits, taking the time to review the fine print will help you uncover an energy plan’s true value.
According to a 2018 report by the Australian Energy Market Commission, 23% of energy residential consumers intend to switch retailers in the next year. If you’re one of those people, it’s important to focus on the areas of your plan that really matter.
When you compare energy plans, understanding your energy bill will help you recognise how discounted offers actually affect your final costs. Let’s start by reviewing the foundation charges.
Electricity companies charge in cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) and there are three kinds of tariffs:
Your electricity bill will show a few different charges:
While a discerning eye helps you compare energy plans and filter out the best offer for you, it’s reassuring to know that the competitive deals do exist. Let’s take a look.
Now that you understand the underlying tariffs and rates that the discounts can be applied to, you’re better placed to spot reliable energy rates and reliable energy plans that suit you.
While the first thing to review is always the price, additional considerations that you might want to take into account when comparing energy plans include:
Will you be locked into a contract or are you free to exit at any time? This is important as there may be exit fees attached to your contract.
A discount on your first bill may sound great, but it’s important to look for an energy plan that’ll result in lower energy bills over the entire year - not just your first bill.
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?
Many energy retailers reward customers for paying on time by offering discounts on every bill that’s paid on schedule. If you’re always up to date with your payments, you can take advantage of this discount to save on your electricity and gas bills.
If you’re living in a rental property, consider energy plans with no exit fees or early termination fees. Getting stuck with additional charges is the last thing you’d want when moving home.
Many retailers have renewable energy plans that give you the option to select a percentage of your electricity bill to be matched by the retailer and used to reinvest in renewable energy sources. These may come at an additional cost, but give you the assurance of helping the environment.
Some providers offer rewards programs, points clubs and other incentives for customers. These often change so keep abreast of new offers.
Will you be billed monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly? Bill smoothing calculates your estimated total energy cost over a set period of time (usually a year) and smooths out your bill, so you pay the same amount each period.
For example, if you spent $50 per month through the winter and $100 dollars per month throughout the summer, bill smoothing would have you paying $75 per month throughout the year.
There are many factors that might determine which energy plan is suitable for you and/or your family. And while it seems like a lot to consider, we can help you compare energy plans from our range of providers* to find one that suits your lifestyle.