When Billy Sumo compares energy providers, his main goal is to put money straight back into your pocket by slashing your current gas and electricity bills. A lot of people just stick with the same energy retailer they’ve had for years. Maybe their parents used the same one, and that’s all they know. Today though, there are options galore for comparing and finding a cheaper gas and electric prices all around.
So let’s explore what you need to know about maximising the savings on your energy bill.
Energy deregulation refers to the practice of removing Government regulation from the gas and electricity industry. In short, it allows multiple providers to compete for your business. For the states where deregulation has occurred, customers have the option of choosing a standing contract where the Government still sets the prices and conditions, or choose a market contract where control over pricing is handed to the energy companies.
In states where the industry is still regulated, the Government controls the pricing, which in many ways discourages competition in the market because there effectively can’t be any. Those who think the energy market should remain regulated would say it isn’t all bad, as long as the Government in that state is doing everything in their power (pun totally intended) to keep prices low.
There is still debate over the benefits of deregulation. However, we are seeing energy companies in deregulated states able to offer discounts in pricing due to competition in the market. Some states have deregulated their energy providers, and some haven’t – read on for more information.
Finding cheaper gas and electric prices in your state depends somewhat by the regulation or deregulation of the industry. For example, in Tasmania, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and parts of Queensland, the power industry remains regulated so the Government controls pricing. Whether there was one provider or twenty in those states, the pricing would remain the same.
If you are in any of the other states however, the market is deregulated. This means there’s plenty of energy retailers fighting for your business. The upside for you is their pricing needs to be competitive.
Read more below for what to consider it comes to comparing energy plans...
When you’re looking for cheaper gas and electricity plans to save you money, there’s a few factors you should be considering.
A standing contract means you stick with Government regulated price and have no lock-in contract. On the other hand, in market contracts, your pricing and conditions are set by the energy providers themselves. The benefits to a market contract are competitive pricing, discounts and special offers. However, you need to decide if you’re happy to accept a lock-in contract and possibly pay exit fees for switching energy early.
Some gas and electricity plans will use a single rate tariff, meaning you pay the same usage rate no matter what time of day it is. This is great for people who use a lot of power in peak periods as the rate is lower than a time of use tariff would be in peak time.
Time of use tariffs give different pricing depending on the time of day – more expensive in peak period, a bit less in the shoulder (between peak and off-peak), and less again in off-peak. This appeals to people who are out most of the day and use more power at night.
Your daily supply charge is a fixed rate for every day for your connection, and you pay the usage charges according to how much energy you use. Many plans offer a lower energy supply charge and higher energy usage charge or vice versa. If you don’t use much power, the lower supply charge will save you money. But if you’re a high power user, looking for cheaper usage rates is the way to go.
Gas and electricity providers au offer sign-up incentives, reduced usage rates if you pay your bill on time, and discounts for getting your bill electronically and paying by direct debit. Some discounts are conditional or have a discounted usage rate that only applies for a certain time. So make sure you read the fine print when taking advantage of discounts to really get cheaper gas and electric.
So you’ve decided the relationship with your current provider just isn’t the same anymore. They don’t take you out for dinner and they stopped sending you flowers a long time ago. It’s ok, sometimes people and companies just grow apart. So what next?
You’re in luck - switching to a cheaper gas and electric providers are easy with Billy Sumo. Just choose the plan you want, and we can direct you straight to the provider of your choice to find the energy deal best for you.
We do recommend checking the terms on your electricity bill of your current energy provider though – if you’re on a fixed-term contract they may charge an exit fee for leaving early. They say breaking up is hard to do, and it can be even harder with a locked-in contract, or at least more costly.
Finding cheaper gas and electric is made so much easier with Billy Sumo. All you need to do is head on over to our comparison page, enter your postcode and let Billy do the work for you. You can even call us on 1300 391 478 if you have any questions. The energy price comparison service is totally simple and free too. Well, it would be silly if it wasn’t, right? We’re trying to save you money here, not cost you more!