When choosing an energy provider, it’s easy for all the choices out there to overwhelm you. There are tariffs, discounts, different rates – it’s all a bit much sometimes. But don’t fret, because Billy Sumo is here to help. Nothing annoys Billy more than seeing everyday Aussies battle against rising energy prices, and he’s going to help you compare gas and electric providers.
Depending on where you live, there’s a stack of options for choosing the best energy provider for your family. You just need to compare what each of them is offering. We know, you’ve got to take little Trevor to his cricket match and get home in time for Sally’s dance performance – you don’t have time to search through website after website looking at energy prices. Don’t worry, if there’s one thing Billy Sumo knows more than sumo wrestling, it’s energy providers. Let’s take a look at the things you need to consider.
Did you know there are actually two types of contracts you can enter into when connecting with an energy provider?
Standing contracts have rates which could be set by the State or Territory Government because they are regulated. In simple terms, this means the provider can't change the rates, terms and conditions no matter how nice they'd like to be. The positive side is you are pretty well protected against unfair fees, charges and lock-in contract periods.
Market contracts, on the other hand, are controlled by the energy providers themselves. This means, when the competition is healthy, you could benefit from lower rates, introductory incentives and monthly discounts. Most market contracts will involve a fixed-term contract and possibly exit fees if you leave early.
Before connecting, make sure you understand the terms of your gas or electricity contract.
How you use gas and electricity plays a big role in choosing which type of tariff is right for you.
Single rate tariffs charge the same rate for energy consumption regardless of what time of day you’re using it. There’s no peak or off-peak times to worry about, so if you find that you use most of your power during peak times, a single rate tariff will likely be best for you.
Supply charges are a fixed daily rate and don’t change regardless of how much power you’re using. This part of your plan is worth checking, especially if you’re a small household and don’t use huge amounts of power. You could save money with a lower daily supply charge.
Usage charges, as their name suggests, are the rates you’re charged for the energy you consume. Needless to say, if your household uses a lot of power, looking for a lower usage charge is going to be a great source of savings. This charge ties in with the tariff your energy plan offers.
In today’s competitive market most providers will offer some kind of discount on your energy bills. So why not take advantage of them? Some common discounts are:
We recommend checking the discount conditions carefully. If you get a limited time benefit but end up paying increased usage charges you might be costing yourself money.
Aussies hate paying excessive fees and charges. It seems like everywhere we turn somebody is trying to hit us with a fee we didn’t even know was payable. However, some fees and charges are avoidable – late payment fees for example. Exit fees on market contracts are another time switching energy providers can catch consumers out. So, make sure you understand the terms of your plan.
Maybe financial savings aren’t as important to you as reducing your carbon footprint. With many everyday Aussies seeing climate change as a growing concern, it’s not surprising that many people want to be with an energy provider who does their bit to limit damage to our environment. Happily, most providers will publish information on what they’re doing to help the environment these days. So if this is a factor for you, make sure you check it out before signing up.
Hopefully, you now understand what to look for when it comes to comparing energy providers. If you want more information, we’ve got details on the cheapest gas and electric bills, not to mention a bunch of energy saving tips you can use to put more money back in your pocket.
But do you want to hear the best news? While it’s important to understand how to compare gas and electric providers, you don’t have to actually do the work. Billy Sumo makes it easy for you to compare gas and electric prices and start saving money today.