Energy bills become easier to read and will tell you if you’re overpaying
The energy watchdog is giving power to consumers by making sure energy providers make bills easier to understand moving forward.
From 30 September 2023, it'll be easier to understand your energy bills as the Better Bill Guidelines come into effect.
These new rule set out by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), is aimed at reducing household frustration at figuring out how to read an energy bill and then understand how to get on a better plan.
How will energy bills look like now?
As part of the AER's new ruling, energy providers will now be taking the following action:
- If energy retailers offer a better priced plan that the what you're currently on, they must include it on the first page of the bill.
- Energy retailers must use plain language in their bills.
- The most important information must appear on the first page of a bill.
- They will need to include a link to the Energy Made Easy website, where you can compare plans from other retailers
These Better Bill Guidelines will impact those living in South East Queensland, NSW, SA, TAS and the ACT.
The Essential Services Commission (ESC) introduced a similar ruling back in 2019 so a version of the Better Bills Guideline has been implemented since then.
Why the need for these new guidelines?
The AER says the Better Bills Guideline will help protect vulnerable Aussies while enabling all consumers to participate in the energy market by comparing plans more frequently in search of savings.
Most of us will welcome a bit of energy bill relief given we've been burdened by back-to-back energy prices hikes in the last 2 years.
The last energy price hike kicked in on 1 July 2023.
You can now use your energy bill to do 2 key things:
- Negotiate with your energy provider to get on a better deal - you'll now be armed with information to do this a bit more easily.
- Have a better understanding of your current plan so you compare options from other providers and switch if they're offering more savings.
AER Chair Ms Clare Savage said it's critical that consumers can navigate their bill and proactively engage in the energy market.
"Now, more than ever, consumers must have the information they need, presented in a way they can easily understand, to ensure they can make informed decisions about their energy plan. These new billing obligations provide clarity and transparency for consumers," Ms Savage said.
How to maximise savings on your energy bill
The new Better Bill Guidelines will help you understand if you're overpaying.
But they will only show how your current plan looks compared to your current retailers plans.
Even if it shows that you're on your current provider's best offer, you should still be comparing plans from other providers.
The company provide your electricity or gas might not be the cheapest energy retailer on the market.
If you've been with your electricity provider for more than 12 months, it could be time to switch. Compare, switch and save on your energy bills.