3 ways to flick the switch on higher energy bills
Power prices have doubled in the last 12 months and smaller energy retailers are starting to crumble under the pressure, passing on the surging costs to customers.
- LPE in Queensland with over 20,000 customers is increasing its usage rates by more than 100% from 1 June. In fact, it's urging customers to switch as soon as possible because LPE "is no longer competitive" due to the extreme and consistent price volatility.
- ReAmped Energy has already notified its customers of price increases of at least 20-35%.
- Discover Energy is increasing prices by 50% and we know at least 1 customer who said the provider was also removing solar feed-in tariff.
- Energy market analyst Gavin Dufty of St Vincent de Paul told The Daily Telegraph that AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin Energy were tipped to increase prices by 10-15%.
Find out why energy prices have skyrocketed in the last year.
How to tackle surging energy bills
It might feel hard to cut through the noise and find actionable steps to counter the doom and gloom of rising power prices.
But here's what you can do, especially in the lead up to winter when bills tend to be higher.
1. Start shopping around for energy deals and fixed rates
Your prices could still go up in June or July if you switch providers right now but at least you could snag a money-saving deal that could reduce the blow to your power bills.
See if you can lock in a fixed rate energy plan as soon as possible because they're disappearing quickly.
There are also a couple of other compelling reasons to switch:
- You were notified by your current energy provider that bills are dramatically rising by as much as 100%.
- You have been with your provider for over a year meaning any guaranteed discount it had offered for the year is no longer relevant.
Some strong deals we've come across include:
2. Make changes around your home
A recent Finder survey revealed the majority of Australians (74%) rely on their heater to keep warm during the colder months.
If you keep the heater on for 3 hours instead of 4 each day during winter it could lower your energy use by 25% and save you up to $46 a year.
Other changes include turning off your unused appliances, to naturally air drying your clothes when the sun is out. You can read all our tips here.
3. Don't shy away from research and making some calls
The next few months are going to be tough given the cost of living is on the up across the board.
My Finder colleague, Aaron, is already in the process of switching.
"Considering we have only been with our energy provider [ReAmped] since March this year, it's extremely disappointing to already be receiving a price rise of over 50%," Aaron explained.
"Further, it stings even more as not only is our electricity price going up we are also losing our solar feed-in.
"Unfortunately, it seems like almost every provider is lifting its prices and removing or reducing solar feed-in tariffs. My housemates and I spent the last week searching for better energy deals. We are now switching over to Alinta Energy.
"Before signing up we also went through the painful process of having to ring up Alinta to clarify if it had any immediate price increases on the way so we weren't met with another unwanted bill rise."
Bottom line: If your energy provider notifies you of price hikes that are more than 10-15%, it is time to switch.
Compare energy plans on Finder so you can start your switching process today.