Australians everywhere are concerned with rising electricity and gas prices, and rightly so. In the past five years, energy bills have risen dramatically and have placed financial strain on households throughout the nation. If you want to combat this rise, do yourself a favour and undertake a price comparison, which allows you to find the cheapest gas and electric rates available to you.
According to energy experts, like the chairman of the Australian Energy Regulator and the Managing Director of one of the largest electricity networks in Australia, Ausgrid, electricity and gas prices are soaring for several specific reasons:
- Ripple effect of government renewable energy schemes.
- Funding needed to replace aging electricity infrastructures nationwide.
- Increasing demand for electricity and gas used during peak periods, such as on very cold or very hot days.
For Australian homeowners, there is hope in sight. You can take one important step in the right direction by comparing your current electricity and gas rates today using the ElectricityWizard comparison service. In just a few minutes of your time, one of our skilled representatives will provide you with an accurate cost comparison to help you possibly save large on annual energy bills.
For more information on important electricity and gas savings, simply call 1300 557 701 or fill in the form below to get started on your free quote at no obligation to you.
Save money on electricity and gas in off-peak periods
One reason that prices for electricity and gas are so expensive throughout Australia is the constant use of electricity during peak periods. Peak periods create something called peak demand, where households throughout Australia turn on their electricity at the same time, namely during very cold nights or hot days.
As a result, this creates a peak demand, where the electricity network has to work even harder to meet the increased need for electricity during a set time period. If an electricity network doesn’t have enough capacity to meet peak demand, the system will stop, and some areas may be without power as a result.
For this reason, electricity networks continue to raise their rates, causing a ripple effect that trickles down to more expensive electricity and gas rates from house to house. Electricity networks must increase their rates in order to build a larger electricity system that will be able to handle peak demand in each state so that all homes will receive ample electricity without any power outages.
So it makes sense that if you want to save money on your energy bill you should reduce your energy use during these peak times. The good news is it’s not hard. Here are a few quick things you can do to save energy during peak hours:
- Run your larger, high-drawing appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine during the off-peak hours. You’ll not only save money, but if you only run your dishwasher once a day you’ll save on your water use too. Check with your supplier to find out when their peak hours are.
- It might sound obvious, but dry your clothes outside, even overnight. Especially during peak summer months, our beautiful Aussie weather is perfect for drying clothes, and it uses much less electricity than running the dryer. Drying four loads of laundry outside, as opposed to using your dryer, can help you save almost $150 on your bill.
- When the temperature heats up, everyone finishes work and rushes home to turn on the air conditioner—why not try using the fan instead? Using a fan is much more energy efficient, and they’re a cheap investment, starting at around $20 from any homewares store. For even just one power bill, using your fan instead of the air conditioner works out to be around 80% cheaper to run, which means you can save up to $200 a year on your bill.
- Try using natural heating or cooling methods to help beat the peak during the day. Keeping your blinds, windows, and curtains closed during our hot summer days can effectively stop the sun’s heat from getting in, which helps to keep your house cooler. When the sun sets, all you need to do is open up your windows and let in the cooler evening air.
- Ditch that second fridge! Unless you’re a family of five or more, a second fridge is just a massive energy drain, running day and night, during both peak and off-peak times. Bar fridges and older model fridges drain your energy use, and are usually unnecessary, and
consolidating to just one fridge can save you up to $200 a year on your bill.
But if you want to save money on your utility costs today and set yourself up for long-term savings, it helps to do an electricity comparison in order to find cheaper rates. From there, you can reduce your electricity and gas rates even further by using electricity in off-peak periods when the demand is lower and prices are cheaper, and work your way down to your cheapest gas and electric bill yet.
How to compare electricity providers
Undertaking your own electricity and gas comparison for your home can be time consuming, but rewarding. Here’s what we recommend you do:
- Call your retailer and determine what electricity tariff your home is on. Here are the common tariffs you might come across:
- Block rate tariff – Your electricity gets charged in portions, or ‘blocks’. Your first block sees you get charged at a higher rate, but in all subsequent blocks you’ll receive a lower rate.
- Controlled load tariffs – Controlled load tariffs apply to single appliances which generally have their own electricity meter, like hot water systems and pool pumps.
- Feed-in tariff – This one’s for the houses with solar panels. If you have solar PV installed at your home but you’re not using all the electricity you generate, this gets supplied back to the grid so everyone else can use it, and you get paid a small credit for each kilowatt hour that you supply.
- Flexible pricing tariff – A flexible pricing tariff means you’ll get charged different rates depending in the time of day, which usually means higher rates during peak times, slightly lower rates during the shoulder period, and lower rates during off-peak times.
- Single rate tariff – One set rate for your usage, no matter when you use your electricity. These are usually lower than other tariffs, and are a good way to save a bit of money, especially if you use the most of your energy during peak time.
- Time of use tariff – This one can often get confused with a flexible pricing tariff, however the time of use tariff only takes into account peak and off-peak times.
- Determine your current peak and off peaks rates and your current bill. There is also another charge on your bill called a “service to property charge” or “supply charge”. This is similar to a line rental for your power lines that your retailer pays the distributor to maintain the lines, read your meters, and supply you with power.
This fee will usually stay around the same every bill—unless your supplier changes their pricing. It’s useful to keep in the back of your mind that if you see a plan with a much lower supply charge, this will probably be offset by a higher usage fee.
- Start contacting energy companies to get price quotes, and be sure to ask if they will match, or even beat, rates set by other companies. With the amount of competition in the market these days, suppliers are doing what they can to get you as a customer, and this is one of them. Asking to match or beat rates lets your get a cheaper rate with a supplier that you prefer.
- Also, ask about percentage discounts/credits off your bill. Suppliers often give discounts for things as simple as paying your bill on time, opting in to email notification, and setting up direct debit billing. But be sure to check the terms and conditions for any discount you receive—you don’t want to find any surprise fees later down the track.
It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? At the end of the day, you’re essentially looking at your electricity use versus your electricity rates. Find out how much electricity you use, then determine how much that will be depending on the different rates you’re looking at.
If this all sounds a bit overwhelming, don’t worry—that’s where we can help.
Let us help you find the cheapest gas and electric rates
ElectricityWizard allows you to quickly and conveniently compare an assortment of electricity providers and plans in your area. One of our trained specialists can help you find the better available rates and options in your service region so that you can choose a plan that better meets your needs, one that saves you money.