Australian gas: We’re browned off with suppliers

Angus Kidman 14 February 2018 NEWS

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43% of Aussies don't think they're getting a good deal on gas.

Cooking with gas is the preference for most chefs, but we're not so keen on the experience of paying for it. New research from Roy Morgan finds that Australians are increasingly unimpressed by what they're forking out for gas.

The study, based on a survey of 10,000 gas customers, found that overall satisfaction levels as of November 2017 were 57%, down 3.5% from a year previous. That means that 43% of people don't think they're getting a good deal.

Roy Morgan also tracks satisfaction for individual providers. Only one of the 10 companies tracked saw an increase in satisfaction, and that was fairly marginal: AGL went up 0.1%. The biggest drop was for Actew/AGL, which fell by 16.3%.

Supplier % satisfied Nov 2017 YoY change
Kleenheat 70.9% -2.3%
Red Energy 68.0% -9.5%
AGL 65.0% 0.1%
Simply Energy 64.7% -6.7%
Lumo Energy 64.2% -11.2%
Energy Australia 63.4% -3.8%
Elgas 62.4% -3.2%
Alinta 60.8% -6.8%
Origin Energy 59.8% -7.1%
Actew/AGL 56.0% -16.3%
Overall 57.0% -3.5%

So what's driving all the dissatisfaction? Roy Morgan's industry communications director Norman Morris argues that the general brouhaha over energy policy is a major factor. "It is likely that the most recent decline is a result of the continual negative news regarding energy issues," he said. "Even though most of this adverse publicity has been focused on problems relating to electricity, the much higher community awareness of energy as an issue appears to be impacting on satisfaction with gas providers."

A simpler explanation might be that bills are going up too fast. We know that energy prices paid by consumers went up 63% in the last decade. Even if your gas supply doesn't have a single outage, that's enough to make many people unhappy.

Especially if you're renting, you may not have much choice about having to pay the gas bill. But you do have a choice about who you use, so make sure you shop around.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.

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