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Higher energy prices in Victoria kick off – how to avoid bill shock

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Energy prices for VIC households go up 1 August. If you haven't already, now's the time to compare plans and switch to a cheaper deal.

The price hikes coming into effect this month impact VIC households that are on market offers with their providers.

You're mostly likely on one if you've chosen your energy plan in the past or previously negotiated a plan.

Market offers are what majority of households are normally on, or should be on as they're the most competitive options and can come with discounts and other perks.

My rates are going up. What do I do about my energy plan?

If you've been told by your provider in the past few weeks that your rates are changing, it's time to compare energy plans, especially if your new rates are higher than the Victorian Default Offer (VDO).

The VDO is a benchmark pricing that helps you compare plans from different providers. You should aim for one that's at least 10% lower than the VDO.

There's 2 things you need to do simultaneously.

  1. Contact your energy provider and ask if they have a cheaper plan to offer. Haggling is not fun but it can help lower your energy bills as you secure cheaper rates.
  2. At the same time, compare energy plans available in your area by clicking the green button. Keep your last bill handy so you can add in details around usage for a more accurate annual estimate.

Compare energy plans in VIC

If your existing provider can match or do better than the cheapest energy plan available, stick with them. Otherwise it's time to switch and avoid paying the loyalty tax.

All Victorian households are eligible for a $250 Power Saving Bonus from the state. Find out how to apply and save more money on your energy bills.

Who are the cheapest energy providers in Victoria right now?

This will depend on your postcode, but taking Melbourne as an example, the cheapest energy plans are 21-29% less than the VDO and are being slung by:

  • Keep in mind, not all plans from these providers may be cheap so make sure to compare before signing up.

Why are energy prices going up in Victoria?

We're still dealing with the aftermath of the surge in wholesale electricity prices in 2022.

That's why the benchmark pricing, or VDO, was increased by 22-27% for VIC by the Essential Services Commission. It was a similar scenario for some other states including NSW, QLD and SA.

This increase impacts customers on default offers which are normally more expensive and act as a safety net for households that don't shop around for their energy plans.

Market offers are definitely a better option though these have also gone up.

Our own research of 7 providers in VIC based off a single postcode found some companies have bumped up their annual prices by $290 to $396.

  • Good to know: Wholesale prices are are still higher than we'd like according to the Australian Energy Regulator's latest Wholesale Markets Quarterly Report. It shows wholesale power prices increased for the quarter up to June 2023 compared to the previous 3 months.

Want to know which energy providers are offering the best value for money? Check out Finder's 2023 Customer Satisfaction Award winners for electricity and gas to get started.

Image: @AleksandarNakic via Canva.com

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