Energy experts iSelect are encouraging Victorian households to urgently review their current energy plan, with some energy providers increasing their usage rates by up to 12 per cent from 1 January 2018.
New research by Galaxy Australia suggests that 86 per cent of Victorians are concerned about the potential impact of the upcoming price increase on their energy bills, including 41 per cent who are ‘very concerned’.
Victorians reported spending an average of $216 on their monthly energy bills which is approximately 20 per cent above the national average of $181, according to separate research conducted for iSelect by Kantar TNS in September 2017.
With Victorians feeling they already have the highest energy bills in the nation, it’s not surprising that 85 per cent of Victorian households said they are worried about their upcoming summer bill.
In order to pay for their expensive summer energy bills, 73 per cent of Victorians will be making cutbacks to their household spending.
This latest price hike comes in the middle of summer, when energy consumption is already high as many Victorians run air conditioners on overdrive to cope with extreme temperatures.
Laura Crowden, iSelect spokesperson, said upcoming energy price rise should be a prompt for Victorian residents to review their current energy plan as soon as possible.
“With this significant energy price hike just around the corner, Victorians should prioritise finding a better energy plan. By getting on the front foot now, you can ensure your energy costs are more manageable throughout 2018 and beyond,” said Laura.
In the two weeks following the first 2018 rate rise announcements from some Victorian energy companies on 19 November, the iSelect Energy team saw enquiries from Victorian customers increase at four times the rate of the rest of the country.
Laura said it was important to remember that price increases can vary between providers and plans, and was worth Victorian households checking if their existing provider can offer them a lower tariff by moving to a different plan.
“Some providers may increase their prices more than others, so it’s well worth finding out whether moving to a different plan or provider could lessen the sting of this latest cost hike.”
But Laura reminded Victorian households that the right plan wasn’t always the cheapest and for many customers flexibility was just as important as low rates.
“Flexible payment options such as bill smoothing or more frequent payment cycles make managing energy cost a little easier and may help avoid the dreaded bill shock that comes from an unexpected large quarterly bill,” said Laura.
With so many variables, Laura encouraged Victorian residents to speak with an energy expert to review their current energy plan.
“While you may not avoid the price hike altogether, you may find a way to limit the damage,” said Laura.
 12% increase on median rates of a range of providers effective from January 2018. Assumes 4800 kwH (electricity) and 57,000 MJ (gas) annual usage.
 In December 2017 iSelect commissioned a nationally representative consumer research study with Galaxy Research to assess the attitudes of over 1,100 Australians household decision makers towards energy affordability.
 In September 2017, iSelect commissioned a nationally representative consumer research study with Kantar TNS to assess the attitudes of 2,000 Australians who are decision makers for their service providers towards their household bills and expenses.
 Based on iSelect energy customer enquiries data from the period 19 November – 3 December 2017, compared to 5 – 19 November 2017.