Here are 5 key factors to help you wisely choose your next energy provider.
1. Compare Rates & Pricing
When choosing the best gas and electricity provider in Australia, it is important to understand the rates and electricity pricing provided by different energy companies in your area. There are typically two types of rates to choose from: fixed rate and variable rate.
With a fixed-rate plan, you pay a set price for each kilowatt-hour for the whole plan. Your electricity rate doesn’t change during the contract term. This is good for people who use energy during daytime hours. Your bill is more stable and predictable, making it easier to budget and plan for expenses.
On the other hand, a variable rate plan means that your rate per kilowatt-hour will possibly fluctuate according to the market conditions. With this, you can save more if the rates go down, but they can also increase unpredictably, resulting in higher bills.
Gaining an understanding of your energy usage habits can help prevent unnecessary charges and potentially reduce bills. If you have a smart meter, you can use it and potentially benefit from variable rates (i.e. time of use tariffs). By considering these factors when comparing rates and electricity deals with providers, the best option can be chosen to suit needs and help save on energy bills.
2. Contracts & Plans
Electricity providers offer a range of contract options to suit different needs and preferences.
Here are four main 4 types of discounts you need to know about.
- Direct Debit discount – when you pay your bill directly from your credit card or bank account.
- Bundling discount – combine your gas and electricity bills to minimise cost.
- Paperless billing discount – when you opt to receive your bill via email.
- Pay on time discount incentive – when you pay the full amount on time make sure you don’t have overdue payments.
When comparing energy plans, it is important to consider the supply rates (measured per kWh), your tariff type, fixed daily supply charge, and any conditional discounts. Remember to review any late fees or additional charges that may apply. Some providers may also offer different billing frequencies, such as quarterly or monthly, so it is essential to select an energy plan that suits your preferences.
Don’t forget to consider the length of the contract. While some electricity plans have no fixed term, others may require a contract for a specific period. Be sure to carefully review the terms and conditions, including any early termination fees, before entering into a contract. By being prepared, you can help reduce the overall cost of electricity bills and guard yourself against any extra charges.
3. Customer Service
When it comes to selecting an energy provider, don’t overlook the importance of their customer service. You want to ensure that the provider is responsive and readily available to assist with any issues or power outages that may arise, especially on business days.
To evaluate the customer service of energy providers, check their website for multiple communication channels like email, phone numbers, or live chat, which shows their commitment to being available to customers.
You can also research real customer feedback to get an idea of how satisfied people are with the provider’s customer service. Look for reviews on independent websites or social media platforms for unbiased opinions.
By considering these factors, you can make a more informed decision about which electricity provider offers the best customer service. Remember that good customer service is important for a smooth and positive experience with your provider.
4. Understanding Renewable Energy
In a world where environmental concerns are increasingly top of mind, it is crucial to consider renewable energy sources.
When choosing an electricity retailer, it is important to consider their commitment to renewable energy, as well as any green energy credentials they may hold. Many electricity providers offer the option to purchase green energy, which is electricity generated from renewable sources rather than coal and fossil fuels. By opting for renewable energy sources like solar power, wind power, and hydropower, you are supporting renewable energy generation and helping to reduce your overall carbon footprint.
5. Helpful tools – Usage tracking and billing
Find a provider that offers usage tracking and billing tools to help you gain a clearer understanding of your energy usage and costs. This will enable informed decision-making and potential savings on energy expenses.
Being able to track and monitor your energy usage allows you to gain a comprehensive understanding of which appliances or activities consume the most electricity. This information can also help you make informed decisions when purchasing new appliances or upgrading existing ones.
Time to Compare Energy Providers
Overall, it is important to choose an energy provider that offers competitive rates, flexible contract terms, good customer service, renewable energy options (if applicable) and helpful tracking tools to meet your needs. Given the range of energy providers, you don’t want to wait until your next moving day – for example, it takes at least three business days to connect gas!