Media Release

13 million Aussies struggling with the cost of high energy bills

  • 34% of Aussies are cutting back on their energy usage
  • Men are more likely to switch providers or ask for a better deal
  • How to cut down on your energy costs this winter

14 May 2018, Sydney, Australia – Expensive energy bills are a burden for most Australians, new research by finder.com.au the site that compares virtually everything reveals.

The survey of 2,274 people finds that 70% of respondents – equivalent to 13 million Aussies – are actively taking measures to fight the rise in energy prices.

One third (34%) of Aussies are combating high energy bills by reducing their energy usage, while a further 15% called their provider to ask for a better deal. Only one in 10 (11%) switched providers to find a better value plan.

Graham Cooke, Insights Manager at finder.com.au is saluting Aussies for being savvy but thinks there’s more that can be done as we enter the cooler months.

“If the weekend was an indicator of what we should expect this winter, we need to find ways to further reduce our energy spend as they’ll skyrocket with Aussies trying to stay warm.”

“Switching providers can often fall into the too hard basket, but we’re coming into a season where energy usage will no doubt be high. Now is the perfect time to review your plan and make sure you’re getting the best available deal for your needs ”

A further one in 10 Aussies (10%) have cut down on other expenses such as groceries and going out.

How have you dealt with the rising cost of energy?
34%I cut down on energy use
15%I called my provider and asked for a better deal
11%I switched providers
10%I cut down on other expenses to afford it (i.e. food, going out, shopping)
15%I haven’t noticed it
15%I have noticed it, but I have no problems covering the higher bills

“Although it’s nothing new, it’s disappointing to see that energy prices have become such a burden that Aussies are needing to cut down on other necessities and the things that make life enjoyable, like going out.”

“Instead, Aussies should consider switching or even simply asking their provider for more value from their plan – if you don’t ask you don’t get!”

“Many energy providers offer extra discounts if you switch your plan to an auto-payment option, but if you never see your bill, checking for incorrect charges will fall through the cracks. That means you’ll never know whether you’re spending too much, or notice unexpectedly high bills that might be due to power company errors,” Mr Cooke says.

South Australians and Queenslanders are doing the most to fight the rising cost of energy.

What states are making changes to deal with high energy bills?
South Australia77%
Queensland74%
News South Wales70%
Tasmania68%
Victoria66%
Western Australia67%

How to switch and save

  • Negotiate with your provider

Before you make the switch it’s a good idea to call your provider and see if there’s anything they can do. They might be able to switch you to a plan that offers you better discounts and rates that’ll suit your need, especially if you’re at flight risk.

  • Compare usage charges rather than discounts

It can often seem a lot easier to compare discounts and incentives over your usage charges, but try to get into the habit of looking at the fact sheet and weighing up which plan charges you less for your electricity consumption. A lower usage charge plan can sometimes end up leaving you with a cheaper bill than a plan with a large discount.

  • Ask about future changes to pricing

A plan might look good on paper but if the provider you’re thinking of switching to is considering rejigging their usage pricing, plans and discounts you might not end up with the best deal. Before you sign on the dotted line it’s a good idea to enquire about any potential changes to cost.

  • Choose a conditional discount you can actually meet

If you’re unlikely to pay your bills on time it’s probably a good idea to steer clear of plans that give you a discount for doing so. Keep in mind that if you don’t pay on-time you might lose your discount and also incur a late payment fee. Instead, it’s a good idea to opt for a plan that gives you a discount for direct debiting each bill. The only downside to these direct debit plans is that you can often forget to check your bill and see whether you have been overcharged.

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For further information

Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

More than 3 million Australians turn to finder.com.au every month to save money, time and make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, we’ve helped our users make more than 17 million decisions.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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