How to Get a Better Deal on Power & Gas in 3 Easy Steps
Electricity and gas contracts are a bit like mobile phone contracts:
You're probably not getting the best deal.
But unlike phone deals, the quality and reliability of the service does not change when you change energy retailer. After all, there is only one set of electricity wires and gas pipes to your house.
Finding the best price, however, can be a little tricky and confusing.
1. Do a quick check of electricity offers
There are many electricity price comparison websites out there and I have been a little disparaging of them in the past. This is based on direct experience, knowledge of how they work, and numerous complaints voiced by others on this blog against various campaigns such as One Big Switch.
One service that I have used myself is Energy Quotes. In my case I was already on a decent deal, so they left it at that and did not contact me again (which cannot be said for other energy brokers!).
But Energy Quotes, just like the other power price comparison sites, is a private company.
So If you'd prefer not to use them you can check government websites like energymadeeasy.gov.au or check with the energy retailers directly. Both of these options are, however, more time consuming.
2. Understand the key details on your power bill
You can generally find the key information about your current rates on the second page of your bill.
Key things to check for include:
- Your current rate(s) per kWh vs. the new rate(s).
- Does the rate change depending on certain conditions or times of day (eg. First 1,000 kWh = X, Next 1,000kWh = Y) and will the same conditions apply to the new contract?
- Confirm if the rates are inclusive or exclusive of GST (otherwise you are not making a like-for-like comparison).
- Check what discounts (if any) are applied after the above rates are presented.
- Check the daily supply charge ($/day).
3. Avoid these common power pricing tricks
Be aware of these issues when considering a new electricity contract:
- One company's "10% discount" is not the same as another's as they may be working off different base rates.
- Some retailers still charge disconnection or termination fees, although generally speaking these are becoming less common and smaller.
- Don't forget that your current retailer may well have a better deal, you're just not on it! Simply phoning them and asking can be a fruitful exercise.