Victoria's energy market is highly competitive, giving consumers plenty of options for electricity and gas retailers.
There are over 20 electricity retailers and more than 10 gas providers selling energy to Victorians. Energy consumers in the state can compare plans and prices across these providers and potentially find a much better energy deal.
Search and compare energy providers in Victoria
How can I switch providers?
In a free energy market, electricity and gas providers offer all sorts of discounts and energy plans tailored to specific types of consumers. To switch providers, it really is as simple as:
- Finding a new energy provider
- Contacting the new provider to arrange the switch
Your energy flow should not be interrupted during the switching process, but you should always contact your old and new providers if you have any concerns.
Why should I consider switching energy providers?
Switching providers could save you serious cash, and it's easy to do. But you have to do your research to get the best possible plan and provider. Here's what you need to consider when comparing providers.
- Tariffs. Always look closely at the tariffs charged by various providers. Some tariffs are fixed while others are variable. Providers can and do raise tariffs, so check energy contracts carefully.
- Cooling-off periods. Check if your provider's energy plan includes a cooling-off period. Many plans are legally compelled to have a 10-day cooling-off period that allows you to cancel a plan free of charge.
- Termination fees. Some energy providers charge a fee when you terminate a contract before the end period. Early termination fees generally range from $40 to $100 and must be specified in your contract.
- Contract terms. When shopping for energy, check the contract terms carefully. For example, many providers automatically roll over your contract when it expires, which can be convenient but may come with higher charges.
You might not even need to switch energy providers to get a better deal. It's always worth asking your existing provider if they are willing to match the better price you've found elsewhere. It never hurts to ask.
I heard electricity prices in Victoria will rise this year
Victoria's electricity prices look set to rise this year. This is partly due to rising wholesale energy costs generally, but also because of the closure of the Hazelwood coal-fired power station. A rise of 8.4% is predicted for 2017/18 but this will be partly offset by an expected decrease of 1.3% in 2018/19.
What energy plans and deals are available for Victorian residents?
Before looking at energy plans, consider your needs. At what time of day do you use electricity and gas the most? Do you value flexibility when it comes to payment or would a discount for paying on time benefit you more? Do you want a flat, simple fee structure with fixed payments or an energy provider who gives you options to monitor your energy consumption and buy energy in ways that suit your needs specifically?
Here are some common benefits offered by competitive energy providers:
- Discounts. Providers routinely offer discounts for new customers. This alone can make switching worthwhile. But an introductory discount upfront might be balanced out with higher charges later on. Look for energy plans that extend discounts to customers beyond the early stages of a contract. You want to be rewarded for your loyalty. Some plans include discounts for paying on time or signing long-term contracts.
- Choice of plan. Many energy providers sell more than a single plan, and may even let you buy your energy at different rates. You might find that one plan is far better for you than others, depending on the discounts included and the way you use energy.
- Payment flexibility. Check if a provider lets you pay your bills in different ways. If you're worried about paying bills on time, flexible options can really help. Some providers let you purchase energy in advance, helping you control your spending and limiting bill shock.
- Energy tools. Many providers, particularly smaller newcomers, include a variety of apps and online tools that let consumers measure their energy consumption. Information is key: knowing more about your energy usage patterns can help you make better energy decisions in the future.
- Bundling. A provider may sell both gas and electricity and offer discounts on one or both if you bundle them together.