Top Three Factors to Consider When Looking For the Best Electricity Plan
Picking an energy provider can be complicated, especially when you have many options available. With so many providers and plans, it is essential to understand the different factors you need to consider before making a decision. While price is significantly important, you’ll also want your retailer to offer excellent customer service and support when needed.
You might also want to look at a provider focusing on renewable energy or providing additional benefits such as rewards points. Most Australians can now buy energy from a wide range of providers. Healthy competition exists in the power market in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, the ACT and south-east Queensland. There is often a choice of up to two dozen retailers and more than seventy electricity plans. The difference between the cheapest and most expensive plan can be significant for the average household. Yet, the electricity provided is identical.
Most Australians include electricity bills among their main expenses. This is not surprising, considering that electricity costs have rocketed over the past couple of years. Energy regulators have made it mandatory for energy companies to notify their respective customers about better offers available. This year, the new ‘better offer’ statement has started showing on energy bills in several states and territories. It is still possible to seek out a better deal yourself by doing your homework, negotiating with your provider or switching to a new one.
To help you pick an electricity provider better suited to your personal needs and preferences, we have put together the following guide on the factors to consider when shopping around.
Cheaper is not always better when it comes to electricity. It is essential to compare plans and providers to get the best deal for your needs. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) published a report in 2019 that encouraged consumers to look around for the best deals. This is mainly because the AER recognises that by comparing electricity providers and their plans, most customers can still shop for cheaper energy prices through different offers in the market. It is only evident that you’d want to switch your plan to an economic one. Saving hundreds of dollars is possible. Spending some time every year comparing electricity offers available for your state can ensure you’re not overpaying.
To get an idea of how much you’ll be paying each month, look at the total cost of the plan, not just the usage rate. Remember to account for any additional fees and charges, as these can add up quickly. When comparing plans, it is also essential to consider each plan’s terms and conditions. Ensure that you understand what you’re signing up for, and that the plan is appropriate for your needs.
While you will naturally lean towards the cheaper option during your electricity rate comparison, the cheapest plan does not necessarily mean it is the best for your needs. Sometimes paying a bit more is worth it if you know you’ll get better service in exchange for the extra cost.
2. Customer Service
Customer service is frequently overlooked when selecting an electricity provider, but it is an important consideration. If you have any questions or problems with your service, ensure your provider can assist you.
If a company offers low prices, this could mean they are cutting back on other areas, including customer service. When you think about an energy company’s customer service, you probably imagine someone picking up the phone. That is a big part of it, but good service stretches further.
Does the energy provider have a working social media page? And how is their response to emails? If you have any queries, make sure the provider is available to assist you. If their phone number is hard to come by, this could be a red flag. You should also read their customer reviews online and see how they handle customer complaints.
3. Solar Power
While looking to switch your energy plan and provider, you must include the value of your solar generation in the comparative calculation. This will help you determine which plan is best for you. If you are using a website to compare plans, you’ll find that few providers value solar energy. The retailers know this. As a result, they use pricing strategies to attract attention, such as generous feed-in tariffs with additional restrictions. Sometimes they inflate usage and supply rates only because it is a solar plan. If you are in Victoria, while comparing online, look up the solar feed-in tariff in Victoria and study the figures that pop up.
When comparing solar plans, only one thing matters—the final costs after adding daily supply charges and usage charges, while also subtracting any solar feed-in tariff you will earn on your solar trade-in.
Make an informed decision
Keeping all these factors in mind, you should be able to make an informed decision when choosing an electricity provider in Australia. Remember to compare the various offers available and to read the fine print of any contracts you sign. Before you lock in on a new provider, it is also a good idea to look into any government incentives or subsidies that might be available.