It’s a question Australians ask themselves every day: why is my energy bill so expensive? The truth is, Australia is a very large country with one of the longest and most pricey electricity networks in the world. While we have some of the largest coal and natural gas reserves, we also have the sixth-most- expensive energy in the world. The good news is that energy prices have dropped since 2018. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released a report showing the median price fell 4.4% for residential customers. Yet, even though prices are falling across Australia, why are yours going up? It’s time to compare your energy bills and work out if you are getting the best rate.
How Do Electricity Plans Work?
Before we take a look at your electricity bill, it’s important to understand exactly how electricity plans work. This will show you exactly what you are being billed for.
When you receive your bill, you will notice that it is split between two charges:
- Daily Supply Charge: this is generally a fixed charge. It is the rate you pay your retail for supplying your home with electricity. Note that it has nothing to do with how much electricity you
- Usage Charge: on the other hand, this second charge is completely determined by the amount of electricity you use. It will be displayed on your bill as cents per kilowatt-hour.
On top of these two charges, there is also a tariff. This is simply the way you get charged for the energy you use. By doing a little bit of research and making sure you choose the right tariff for your circumstances, it can reduce what you end up paying for energy.
- Single rate: you pay the same tariff rate, whatever the time of
- Time of use: you pay more during peak hours and less during off-peak hours. The shoulder is the hours in between where you pay a little less than the
- Feed-in: if you have solar power, then any excess power you produce is fed back into the grid and deducted from the
When deciding what tariff suits you, you need to consider what hours you are home for and when you will mostly be using your electricity. This will help determine what rates are best for your needs.
What’s On Your Energy Bill?
You’re likely to receive an energy bill in the post or via email every quarter, or more regularly depending on the terms set with your provider. Here are the important details you need to check over when trying to understand your energy bill:
- Your name, address, and date on the bill: you want to ensure it is a current bill and is addressed to
- How much you need to pay and when by: this is the most important detail on the bill. It’s also important to note any credits or money owed you may have from a previous
- Your meter number: always check the meter number on the bill matches up to the one in your
- The billing period: this refers to the period you are being billed
- The meter readings: these are used to determine the amount you pay. They are measured in kilowatt-hours. Some bills are just an estimate of how much energy you have used. If this is the case for you, it will be noted on your
- The amount charged per kilowatt-hour.
- The supply charge (explained above) they charge per
- Any other fees or charges they may have added to your
Being able to understand your credit bill and all the different components involved will help you know whether or not you are getting a good rate. It will also mean you can take a look at all the different charges and make sure they are correct each quarter before paying the amount due.
Why Are My Bills Getting More Expensive?
Knowing that electricity in Australia is getting cheaper, it can be frustrating to realise that your bill is going up! But there are a few different reasons, that don’t have much to do with the prices you are paying to your energy provider.
It’s no secret that 2020 has been a huge year in many ways. We have seen many people let go from jobs, while many others have been sent to work from home in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19. With everyone being at home more often, it’s no wonder our energy bills are more expensive. According to the ACCC, in Victoria, they consumed between 10 and 30 percent more electricity during the lockdown period. This number is reflected in the bill you receive at the end of the quarter.
Likewise, there are other times of the year that call for more use of electricity. One of these is the Winter months. When the temperature drops, you will be thrown into the dilemma of turning the heating on and defrosting, or saving money. Of course, there will be times you just have to opt for that extra warmth to get you through.
On the other end of the scale, we have very warm Summer months in Australia, and it can be very hard to beat the heat. This is where air conditioning is a lifesaver. Once again, it does come at a cost. Even just turning the aircon down by a couple of degrees on those really hot days can help you save.
Not Comparing Providers
Another reason you could be spending more on your energy bills is that you are stuck with the same provider. Did you know, this can increase your electricity bill for several different reasons:
- The term of the plan you signed up for may have expired. In this scenario, you then default to a more expensive plan within the company and end up paying
- The plan you are on is no longer competitive in the market. It helps to do some research and check out what the competition is
- Your provider’s rates may have gone up. This is why it is so important to make sure you check your electricity bill when it arrives and make sure all the figures are correct. You will be able to spot if the rates have
How To Compare Your Energy Bills
If your bills seem to be getting more expensive, it’s time to shop around for a new provider. Before you go ahead and start comparing provider’s you must consider these key points first:
Understand What You Are Paying In Tariffs
Does it work better for you to pay a single rate tariff, or are you home enough to make use of the time-of-use tariff? This will factor into how much your energy bill ends up costing, so it is important to consider upfront.
Consider Your Energy Habits
Do you use a lot of energy, or do you use very little? This will determine what type of plan will best suit you and where the savings lie. Some energy providers offer discounts that are more geared towards either high-energy users or low-energy users, so it helps to work out where you stand.
Are There Exit Fees?
Some providers have exit fees. It is important to check whether or not you will have to pay a fee to switch providers. This can make the savings much less worthwhile, so it is worth weighing up when you are making a choice.
Review Your Current Rates
By understanding your current rates and what you are paying each quarter, it will help you determine whether or not there are better deals on the market for you. You can use it as a benchmark when it comes to deciding what good value means to you.
Comparing Energy Providers
When it comes time to compare providers and find the right deal for you, then head over to Econnex. We make it easy for consumers to compare energy prices across the best energy retailers in Australia to find the best deal for their situation.
Here’s how it works:
- Start by sharing a few details about yourself, such as postcode, type of energy plan, and your regular usage
- Compare the best providers in Australia: you have the opportunity to shop around for the right plan with a range of the best providers on the market. You can compare tariffs and rates and find a deal that works for
- Pick your plan: once you have spent the time to compare the different offers available to you, it is time to make the switch. We do all the hard work for you, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the
Energy bills aren’t something you should ever get complacent about. There is a competitive market out there, all vying for your business. Be sure to shop around and know you have the upper hand when it comes to finding the right deal.