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Post on June 12th, 2015

Get a fair and accurate electricity comparison for your home

Getting an accurate electricity comparison for your electricity account might seem difficult. There’s a whole range of different electricity retailers that each offer different deals for home or business customers, plus those retailers have different plans and contracts. With so many online comparison services available, each one with wildly different results, how do you know what is right and what is wrong?

The good news is that you don’t need to fret—it’s not as hard as it seems. Electricity Wizard is here to help.

We can help you compare your rates against other suppliers to make sure you’re getting the best gas and electricity plan, the cheapest rates, good payment options, and are with an energy supplier that suits you. We’ll help you find a plan that both saves you money, and helps you combat rising utility costs now and into the future.

How to compare rates correctly

Comparing rates can seem daunting. With the number of energy suppliers out there today, it can seem like a lot of information to wade through. But if you want to make some big savings to your energy bill, it’s worth the effort.

Here’s how we recommend you go about comparing rates for your electricity and gas, so you can help beat rising utility costs for your household.

  1. Determine your tariff. Electricity Wizard, like most energy companies, uses a national database called MSATS (Market Settlement and Transfer Solutions) to calculate tariffs. This isn’t available to the general public, making it difficult to do this on your own (more information can be found here). But you can call your energy supplier, and they will provide you with the tariffs and extra fees that you are currently paying. There are a number of different types of tariffs (meaning different meters) depending on which state you live in. Before you can do any comparison, you MUST work this out. These tariffs include:
    • Peak only – The peak is when the most amount of electricity is used across the grid—the “peak” time for use. Given the volume of households using electricity, companies tend to charge more during this time, hence the peak only tariff option.
    • Peak and off-peak – This one is usually saved for a dedicated hot water use tariff.
    • Time of use – A time of use tariff means that your electricity will be charged at different rates at different times of the day. So, it could be peak, off-peak, or a shoulder time. The “shoulder” period occurs in between the peak and off-peak, and is usually slightly less than peak.
    • Single rate tariff – The single rate tariff is exactly what it sounds, one single rate, regardless of the time of use. A single rate tariff is usually lower than other tariffs, and can be a great idea if you use your electricity mainly during peak times.
    • Controlled load tariffs – Some appliances you operate by be charged a controlled load tariff. This usually applies to things like electric hot water systems, or underfloor heating. A controlled load tariff only applies to the one appliance, which will generally have its own meter, and is generally lower than other tariffs.
  2. Check your bill. Once you know your tariff, you should have a look over your bill and check your current rates, and your household energy usage. Begin by checking your existing bill for your peak rate, off-peak rate, shoulder rate (if applicable), and daily energy supply charge. On your bill, these will be GST exclusive (as GST is added on at the end) so bear this in mind when looking to get an accurate estimate of your costs. Have a look at the trend, too. Does it look like your energy use has been increasing? Does it seem to be all over the place? These can help you determine what type of plan you should be looking at.
  3. Work out the type of plan you want. There are two general types of energy plans you’ll find – variable plans and fixed rate plans. The majority of plans you’ll look at are variable plans, which means that the usage rate you get charged can go up or down, depending on wholesale energy prices, at the supplier’s discretion. A fixed rate plan means you’re locked in to one usage rate for the term of your contract, so it will always remain the same. Fixed rate plans are usually only offered by the larger power companies, so, unfortunately, you won’t see these ones as often as you’d like. Still, it’s worth looking into, as these can help deliver some serious savings.
  4. Determine your present discount. This is normally found either on the front of the bill or on the back next to your rates. That’s if you’re getting a discount.  A large percentage of consumers are still paying the standard rate without getting a discount! You might be missing out on the opportunity to save money, and not even know it!
  5. Determine your new discount. That’s right—when you’re comparing plans, you now have the power to get the discount that you want. You might be able to get a discount for paying on time, for setting up direct debit billing, or even just by switching to paperless correspondence. Work out if you want a “pay on time” discount or similar, or if you want a flat discount off rates regardless of paying on time. Depending on your usage, a rate discount may work out better than a monetary discount applied each other.
  6. Start calling each supplier and getting quotes. But be sure to work out which suppliers match your values first. If you’re after a company that focuses on green energy, ask them. If you’re after a supplier that’s locally owned and operated, check to see if they are.
  7. Ask if they match rates. When you’re shopping around for better rates, it never hurts to ask if the supplier can match, or even beat, rates offered by their competitors. A lot of them do, and this gives you the power to choose a supplier that you want, and get a better deal at the same time. You’re after a cheap electricity comparison, after all.

And just remember: a comparison is just a comparison. You’re just looking around. You shouldn’t feel locked into any new contracts or feel obligated to sign up with a company just by asking around.

This is your way of getting a better price on your energy bill, so you have the power to choose. If any companies make you feel uncomfortable or are trying to pressure you into anything, remember that you’re free to walk away at any time during your comparison shopping.

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Getting an accurate electricity comparison

At this point, you’re probably mentally exhausted just thinking about it. Doing an electricity comparison isn’t easy, and most energy brokers don’t do it correctly. This is where Electricity Wizard comes in. We’ll do a comparison the right way, ensuring we cover all the critical elements when comparing energy providers. Our energy experts have all the latest information on changes in the electricity and gas market, we know who’s offering the best deals, and which retailers have the lowest prices in each region. The advisers at Electricity Wizard will find out what you want from your energy retailer and give advice on the best company to switch to if you want to save money on your bills, find a green energy supplier, or bundle your gas and electricity use in the one plan.

Get in touch with Electricity Wizard today

We’ll help you get an easy electricity comparison for your home or business, and you can do your part to fight rising utility costs. If you’re still interested in doing it yourself, here’s a summary of what we suggest.

We recommend taking the following steps when comparing electricity and gas suppliers:

  • Call your retailer and determine what electricity tariff your home is on. They’ll be able to advise you accordingly.
  • Determine your current peak rate and, if it applies, your off-peak rate from your current bill. These rates are usually located on the back of your bill.
    • Here you will see your Peak Rate, Off Peak Rate, Shoulder Rate (if applicable), and “service to property charge” or “supply charge”.
  • Start calling energy companies to get price quotes. For Peak Rate/Off Peak Rate/Supply Charge, use only EX GST rates as GST gets added on the front of your bill.
    • Any percentage discounts/credits off your bill.
    • If any discounts apply off the total bill or just the rates.

Remember: Not all electricity companies offer the same deals.

In all deregulated States, electricity suppliers can offer vastly different plans. This is why it’s important to use a comparison service like Electricity Wizard to help you fully understand exactly which supplier is going to best meet your needs, now and in the long term.

You Knowledgeable Electricity Wizard Adviser Will:

  • Compare apples with apples to ensure you’re comparing plans that each offer the features you need.
  • Ensure the supplier payment method suits you. Whether you’re keen on direct debit or prefer to use BPay, we’ll look into it for you.
  • Protect you from “unexpected” rate rises. After all, we’re here to help you save money on your bill.
  • Make sure you are free to move homes without penalty.
  • Protect you from a contract with disconnection penalties.
  • Get you the “solar buyback” that you deserve (for solar system users).
  • And much, much more!

It’s never been easier to compare energy providers than with Electricity Wizard. Call now on 1300 359 779 and speak to an energy specialist who can do a fast and free electricity comparison to help you find the deal to best meet your needs.

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