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Flip the switch already: 1 million Aussies refuse to change energy providers

Posted: 20 June 2022 4:09 pm
News
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A significant amount of Aussies facing rising energy bills are too lazy to switch providers, according to new research by Finder.

A new Finder survey revealed a whopping 6% of energy users can't be bothered to switch providers, despite energy bills skyrocketing.

That's equivalent to more than 1 million people who might be slapped with a 100% rise in their next energy bill.

Australians are paying on average $320 on their quarterly energy bill in the second quarter of 2022, up from $296 in the first quarter, with larger rises on the way.

The research found a cheaper plan would encourage 56% of respondents to switch plans, while 21% said they would be inclined to switch if offered rewards, such as free streaming services.

Green energy options would motivate 1 in 5 (19%) to switch. Bundle options for energy and gas (18%) or energy and Internet (12%) would incite others to change providers.

Sarah Megginson, senior editor of money at Finder, said hundreds of thousands of Australians are feeling the pinch of the rising energy prices.

"Wholesale electricity prices have more than doubled in the last 12 months due to the situation in Europe and demand at home driving up coal and gas prices.

"Soaring wholesale electricity prices have hit Australian energy retailers hard. They're being left with no choice but to pass on costs to customers – or in some cases beg them to leave.

"Given wholesale prices make up 30–40% of a customer's energy bill, there's no avoiding the impact of rising costs on your energy bills.

"On top of this, the Australian Energy Regulator said it was going to raise the benchmark set for power prices, with increases of between 5% and 18% due to come into effect from 1 July."

Finder Retail Awards for Energy

Simply Energy took out the top spot for Best Rated Electricity Brand – National in Finder's 2022 Customer Satisfaction Awards, narrowly beating Alinta Energy and Origin, who placed as finalists.

Simply Energy scored high marks from Australians for customer service, value for money and environmental sustainability.

Finder also announced winners and finalists for electricity and gas providers in each state. For a full list of winners in each state, visit https://www.finder.com.au/finder-energy-awards-2022.

Megginson said now is the time to consider switching energy providers.

"In light of everything that's happening in the energy market, every Aussie needs to assess their bills, look out for communications from their power company, shop around and lock in a good energy deal before all hell breaks loose.

"When switching energy plans it is important to look out for discounts, variable vs fixed rate plans, disconnection fees and other costs. Before you switch it is also key to compare and call other providers," Megginson said.

The data found 20% are happy with their provider and nothing would prompt them to switch.

Interestingly, 5% of respondents do not know who their energy provider is – equivalent to more than 850,000 people with electricity.

What would encourage you to switch energy plans?
A cheaper plan56%
Rewards (e.g. free streaming services)21%
Nothing, I'm happy with my current plan20%
Green energy options19%
Bundle (energy and gas)18%
Bundle (energy and Internet)12%
There's only one provider/I can't switch9%
Real-time energy-monitoring apps/software7%
Nothing, I can't be bothered6%
24-hour customer service5%
Source: Finder survey of 929 respondents with electricity, April 2022
*Respondents could select 3 responses

Average electricity bills in Australia

StateAverage power bill (quarterly): January – March 2022Average power bill (quarterly): April – June 2022Difference
Western Australia$235$286$51
New South Wales$305$350$45
South Australia$327$358$31
Victoria$277$306$29
Queensland$282$295$13
Source: Finder Consumer Sentiment Tracker

For more practical ways to save on your energy bill, visit https://www.finder.com.au/easy-ways-save-700-dollars-energy-bills-this-year.

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