Have you ever tried to understand your Electricity bill?!?
I, like many, have tried and FAILED and simply put it in the “too hard basket” until I find time to complete that University Degree into how to read my electricity bill.
Now, I am not one to give up, so I rolled up my sleeves and tackled this arduous task head on and have been pleasantly surprised at what I have uncovered.
This in my view is too good not to share and I must confess I was a little surprised that there had not been more noise about this in the media.
To explain, on July 1, the Government introduced the biggest changes to the energy market in over 10 years with the hope of removing the need for that University Degree to be able to understand and compare your electricity deal.
The changes are simple but effective in that your energy provider needs to do away with those antiquated terms such as ‘peak rate’, ‘off peak rate’, ‘tier 1 rate’, ‘tier 2 rate’ etc and replace with, wait for it, one simple term being the reference price. This means you are now able to compare your energy provider based on their reference rate and make an informed decision as to who provides the better deal.
Well, that’s how the theory goes! Now excuse me for being cynical however we all appreciate that this is a competitive space and those changes would make things, well, too simple……
So, what has transpired? A competition bubble which is good for us as consumers. Having now debunked this, here is what I suggest you should do with this nugget of gold:
Ask your energy provider what their reference rate is?
Do a quick google search of reference rates of other providers;
Look for the ancillary benefits that you can receive. I have just negotiated a new deal and note the new provider offers a discount of 5% at Coles, which on the surface doesn’t sound like much but over the course of the year can make a big difference; and
Look for the pay on time discounts and compare to the reference rate.
Once these simple steps are finished, the fun begins as you are equipped with all the ammunition to negotiate a sharp deal.
So, here’s how it has played out for me; I agreed to change Electricity providers as this was going to save our household approximately $600 per annum, add on the Coles discount and we are now on $1,500 heavier in the pocket, tick!
Whilst this was a good outcome, the nerd in me wasn’t quite finished with all the fun…… naturally, I called the incumbent and told them I had agreed to change to a new energy provider. Not surprisingly, they came to the party and provided a cheaper reference rate plus a 10% existing customer discount, resulting in a net discount from our current bill of over $1,000 per annum.
Whilst keeping the incumbent would mean I wouldn’t pick up the Coles discount, I was of course one step ahead. I agreed to change Gas to the new provider (at a cheaper rate) hence picking up the Coles Discount and secondly retained Electricity with the incumbent…… net result, over $2,000 in savings for the good guys!
My advice to you, put aside an hour, put the camouflage paint on and go to war with your energy provider……