Australians are too lazy to get electricity and gas from different companies

Angus Kidman 7 July 2016

CookingWithGas_Shutterstock

We lack energy for finding the best energy deals.

Most Australians have both electricity and gas for energy. According to Roy Morgan, 74.5% of city dwellers and 58.8% of regional residents have both services connected to their homes. (Almost 99% of households are connected to electricity, while gas is the relative laggard.)

Since each service is charged separately, there's no intrinsic reason why we have to use the same provider for both. Nonetheless, that's overwhelmingly what we do. On average, 70% of dual-service households in cities get both electricity and gas from the same supplier. The figure is somewhat lower for regional households at 52.8%, which might reflect the much higher proportion of rural households that use bottled gas.

Depending on the provider, the actual percentage can be much higher. The chart below shows the proportion of customers for individual suppliers who get both electricity and gas from that supplier:

There are a few potential motivations here. Some suppliers will offer some form of bundling discount or bonus if you purchase both services. Others will harp on about the convenience of a "single bill", though how much this matters if you've set up automatic payment of your bills is worth considering. But I suspect in most cases it's just laziness. We can't be bothered hunting around for the best deals, so we stick with what we know.

That's a pity. In many states, the energy market is highly competitive, and shopping around can save you considerable amounts of money.

One final note: those numbers are only from Australians who actually know who their energy supplier is. Previous Roy Morgan research has suggested almost one in five Australians don't know who their provider is. It's safe to bet those people have no idea whether they could get a better deal.

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 Monday through Friday on finder.com.au.

Picture: Shutterstock

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