One of the biggest mistakes I have made is to take my electricity bill for granted.
I was always moaning to my husband that despite being careful with what I buy from the supermarket or limit how much I drive our car, our household bills were always too high. But we totally ignored the obvious!
When our electricity bill came each month, I barely gave it a glance. We needed the lights to go on, our fridge to cool and our stove to cook, so I automatically paid the bill without a second thought.
But then one day, a friend of mine mentioned she couldn’t believe how much money she had saved by switching power providers and it was as if the clouds had parted. How could I have not paid more attention to something that was right before my eyes?
So that day, hubby and I went through the last few months of electricity bills and were blown away by how much cash we had been throwing away by not being more vigilant. The next day we did our research, switched providers (we found that Alinta Energy offered the most competitively priced package) and I’m secretly scheming what I’ll spend our savings on (I think a new pair of shoes).
So don’t make the same mistake we did. Switching energy providers can really save you money.
1) Misconceptions about Switching
Ok, let’s first talk about what kept us from switching providers. The thought of it seemed like a huge mountain to climb. But now that we’ve gone through the process, it’s really not a big deal.
We were originally under the impression that we would have to get someone in to install a new electricity meter if we switched energy providers. But we learnt that electricity comes from the national energy supply so the same meter can be used, whoever your energy supplier is.
The thought of losing power during the process of switching was very unappealing. But we were reassured that we wouldn’t have to endure any blackouts and the actual electricity supply wouldn’t change. The only thing that would differ is that we would get bills from our new provider, with the direct savings passed on to us.
We’re Locked Into a Contract
This was actually the biggest deterrent to switching over. We were pretty sure we had some sort of contract with our energy provider and didn’t want to pay penalties by breaking it.
But when we looked into it, we realised that we actually had no exit fee and we could switch without paying any extra to our old supplier.
Will I actually get a better deal?
Before I was enlightened about switching, I just assumed that all energy providers were the same. But that is definitely not true. The best deals are found at the suppliers that are focused on the customer and giving us the best service and price. We liked that Alinta Energy is well established with a 20 year history, and that they supply energy to more than a million Australians. They both generate and retail electricity which means they are able to offer extremely competitive and affordable pricing. A big tick for us!
It’s such a hassle!
No, it actually isn’t. Sure you need to do your homework and research first but the actual process of switching can be done online in a few minutes.
Right, now that you don’t have any more excuses, let’s look at what you need to do to switch.
2) Beware Of These Money-Sucking Bill Pitfalls
One of the most important steps in this process is to understand your current bill. You need to do this so you are equipped with all the knowledge to find the best deal.
You should get an idea of your monthly energy consumption as well as the prices you are paying for your electricity.
Very important is to determine if you’re on a standing offer – which often happens if you’ve been with your provider for a long time. In many cases, the discount you received upon initially signing up no longer applies and you don’t even realise how much more you are paying.
You could also be on an electricity tariff that is no longer suitable to the way you consume your energy. You may be super conscious of how much power you use, but your provider charges a high daily rate, with a low usage charge so you’re being stung unnecessarily.
3) Shop Around
There are two main parts of your electricity bill that you need to use as a point of comparison: the usage charge and the daily supply charge, which is sometimes referred to as the fixed or service charge. These tariffs vary from suppliers and plans so it’s definitely worthwhile to shop around.
Then compare what rate you’re getting with other providers.
But do be aware of discounts – they may be too good to be true. Make sure you read the terms and conditions associated with these as the prices may not be as cheap as it seems. For example, discounts may only apply to your usage charges and not to your daily supply charge. Other deals may only be discounted if you pay on time but you could be penalised if your payment is late. Be sure to look at the deal over the longer term as you don’t want to be switching all that regularly.
4) Don’t Become Complacent
Make sure you keep track of how your energy provider is faring against its competitors. Evaluate how much you are paying at least every year. And if in doubt, give your energy provider a call to check if they can give you a better deal.
Remember, don’t be afraid to switch – it could save you heaps. Check out the deals available on Alinta Energy, switch and start saving today.