Can you find the best electricity plan like a true champ? These tips will help you get the most out of it.
Everybody knows that energy and gas bills can be expensive, but what not everyone knows is how much choice you have in the matter. Depending on your state there may be up to fifteen different retailers of electricity available to you, and just as it does on the high street, many retailers and much competition can lead to lower prices.
But where do you start?
Search and compare energy suppliers
Complete the form with some details about your residential or business electricity and gas needs and you'll be contacted by a consultant for an obligation-free discussion about your options.The consultant will work with you to compare a range of energy suppliers in your area.You may also receive a quote from the below providers.
How to save using finder.com.au
|If you would like to discuss your options or to see if you can find a better deal, fill in the form above to get in touch with an energy consultant. Your energy consultant will help you determine your next steps.||Have a copy of your existing energy bill ready. You'll also need to tell your energy consultant about any solar powers panels you may have.||If you're happy with what your energy consultant has presented to you, they will help you facilitate your switch, so you can start saving money.|
At finder.com.au we know that it is impossible to compare things unless they are side by side, so the best place to start is by figuring out where you are, so that you have something to compare potential plans to. So you’ll want to know who your current energy provider is, how much your bills typically are, and what your usage is. This may sound similar, but actually it’s not. Some retailers sell electricity based on the amount used, and others sell based on the time used.
When you have an idea of what you’re currently paying, you’ll need to know what is available in your area. For this we’ve provider handy, state-by-state guides. If you look on the left hand side of this page you’ll see links to:
- Previews of all the energy providers available in Australia.
- A guide to energy within your state.
- Tips and guides on energy use.
So browse through our guides to see exactly what is available in your area. And if you’d like a little help at any stage, you can talk to a specialist energy consultant, who will help you understand the jargon, compare plans and find the best provider for you.
What are considerations around switching electricity providers?
So there are several things to think about before you switch electricity providers and several pieces of key information that you’ll need to start shopping around for your best price.
Firstly, the basic stuff you’ll need to know:
- Your postcode or suburb.
- Type of property: residential or business.
- Details of your current provider.
- Summary of your current energy usage.
When comparing prices we recommend you have at least your last electricity bill, although the more bills you have the better to work out your usage over a long period of time.
Then we’ve taken the trouble of reviewing just about as many energy providers as we could find as well as partnering with a couple of energy comparison sites to try and find you the best deals. So have a read of this guide, browse through the companies that offer services in your area, and search your way to a better deal.Back to top
What happens after I switch?
Not much actually. When you switch electricity suppliers from one to another, your account is transferred with no disruption to your service. There is no changing of fuse boxes, cabling or meters, and your life will go on just as it had before. The only real difference is that now your bill will come from a different company (and will hopefully be a lot lower than it used to be).
How to compare electricity providers?
Again, the first thing we’re all going to be looking at when it comes to comparing energy providers is price, but there are additional considerations that you might want to take into account when comparing. These include:
- Exit fees/early termination fee - Some providers have exit fees associated with their services, this is an additional charge for leaving the service early. As prices are always changing and it is often beneficial to have the option to switch plans, it is always worth looking at what the get out clause is from whoever you choose to supply you.
- Managing your account online - You probably do it for banking, shopping and just about everything else in life, and your power supply should be the same. Look for a provider that lets you check your account, pay your bills and generally manage your account.
- Renewable energy - Obviously price is usually the most important metric of finding a new energy provider, but if environmental impact is a concern of yours then look hard at where your new supplier gets its power from. For low environmental impact, you’ll want to look for companies that use solar, wind or hydroelectric power.
- Membership rewards programs - Some providers offer rewards programs, points clubs and other incentives for being a customer. These are changing all the time so keep your eyes peeled for adverts that might lead you to additional rewards.
- Bill smoothing - This is a neat little system that can make your payments more manageable and account for the seasonal variance of electricity usage. Bill smoothing calculates your total energy cost over a set period of time (usually a year) and smoothes out your bill, so you pay the same amount each month.
For example, if you spent $50 per month through the winter, and $100 dollars per month through the summer, bill smoothing would have your paying $75 per month throughout the year. Obviously, seasonal swings are greater than this and so the benefits can be greater too.Back to top
How you’re charged for electricity depends on your tariff.
Now tariffs are slightly complicated, but we’ll break it down here for you and make it nice and easy to follow.
What is a tariff?
A tariff is the price that you pay for your energy under your current contract. The tariff contains two different elements the fixed charge and the usage charge. These are really simple to explain:
- Fixed charge: This is a set amount that is charged by the provider for supplying your home with energy each day. It’s often called a ‘Service charge’ or a ‘Daily supply charge’ and is charged no matter how much electricity you use.
- Usage charge: This is the additional charge for how much power you actually use, measured in cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh). It is sometimes called a ‘variable charge’ or ‘consumption charge’ and will vary from month to month.
It is important to remember that tariffs that show up on your bill will not have the Goods and Services Tax (GST) included, this is usually added at the foot of the bill.
How am I charged for electricity?
This isn’t essential information for knowing a good deal when you see one, but it’s good to keep in the back of your mind.
- Single rate: This is the most common type of tariff, basically it charges you a flat amount for your electricity usage, no matter what time of day it is used.
- Off-peak/two rate: This basically splits the usage into on peak and off peak times, and so charges more for peak use and less for off peak use.
- Time of use: This tricky little tariff charges you different rates at several different times of the week, including day use, evening use and weekend use. (It’s a lot like the two rate tariff, except it also uses a third time called ‘shoulder tariff’ which is often in the morning, but worth checking this in advance with your provider.)
- Block: This tariff splits your energy up into blocks and charges you a different rate for each one. For example your first block may be energy use from 0-1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) this is charged at one rate, and any use over this will become block two, which will be charged at a separate rate. Again, check with provider when these limits are if this is the tariff that you choose to use.
- Renewable tariff: If you decide to go with a provider that specialises in renewable or green electricity then there may be higher tariff charged for this electricity. We’re not sure why, since surely green energy should be being encouraged, but either way it’s worth checking with your provider if you think this might affect you.
That’s about it for the basics. Now that you’ve got this under your belt, why not take a look around our provider reviews and start looking for your next deal.