A competitive energy market in Victoria means more choices for consumers. Many providers offer discounts, special offers or unique plans to suit a wide range of customers. When you're comparing energy plans, consider your needs. What time of day do you use the most electricity and gas? Do you prefer flexibility when it comes to payment options or would you rather a discount for paying via direct debit? Do you want a flat, simple fee structure with fixed payments or the flexibility to monitor your energy usage and pay for exactly what you use?
Here's what you should look out for:
Discounts. In a free energy market, electricity and gas providers offer all sorts of discounts and energy plans tailored to specific types of consumers, and many offer discounts for new customers. Keep in mind, plans with introductory discounts may have higher charges later on. Look for energy plans that extend discounts to customers beyond the early stages of a contract. Some plans include discounts for paying on time or signing long-term contracts and many providers offer discounts if you bundle gas and electricity plans together.
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 are specified in your contract. If you don't want to pay early termination fees, look for a no-lock-in contract that allows you to switch providers freely without incurring a penalty.
Payment options. Check if a provider lets you pay your bills in a variety of ways. If you're worried about paying bills on time, flexible options can help. Some providers let you purchase energy in advance, which can help limit bill shock.
Digital energy tools. Many providers in Victoria offer a variety of apps and online tools that let consumers measure their energy consumption. Knowing more about your energy usage patterns can help you make better energy decisions in the future.
How can I switch providers?
Switching energy providers in Victoria is simple. All you have to do is choose a new energy provider and contact the new provider to arrange the switch. Your energy flow shouldn't be interrupted during the changeover.
If you're moving to a different state, your energy options could change. New South Wales, South Australia, parts of Queensland and the ACT have open energy markets and many of the same providers as in Victoria. However, if you move to Tasmania, Western Australia or the Northern Territory, your options will be limited.
Whichever state you move to, you should always notify your energy provider at least a few days before you move out.
Energy providers or retailers sell electricity and gas that they purchase from energy distributors. Providers deliver the energy to customers using the distributer's grids and pipelines.
GreenPower is a government scheme that allows consumers to purchase renewable energy through their provider. Providers offering GreenPower must be accredited by the Australian government. Check out Finder's full GreenPower guide for more information.
Sarah Brandon is a senior writer at Finder. She has a degree in Psychology from New York University and loves learning about why people do what they do. Sarah has researched and written about a wide range of topics, from pool fences to private jets to personal loans. But no matter the subject, her number one priority is figuring out what information our readers need to make the best decisions.
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