Minimising energy bills

We know that many people who are connected to the National Electricity Market in the eastern states and South Australia are worried about rising energy prices.

Here are some steps you can take to minimise the impact of your energy bills.

The ACCC’s role

  • We monitor electricity prices, profits, and margins
  • We help protect consumers by enforcing competition and consumer laws
  • We can take energy retailers to court if they mislead consumers
  • We do not help resolve issues between you and your energy retailer

Know your energy plan

Energy bills will increase for many Australians in the second half of 2022. It’s important to know what you can do to avoid paying more than necessary.

Make sure you understand your energy plan, as everyone’s circumstances are different.

The best way to find this information is to start by looking at your bill. This has basic information about your energy retailer and your plan. You should then contact your energy retailer directly to discuss your plan in detail.

You should also carefully read any letters or emails from your energy retailer, as they must notify you if they raise your prices.

Ask your energy retailer these questions

It’s important to ask when you’ll be affected, as your current contract may protect you from rising prices for some time.

Asking your retailer these questions will help you gather the information you need to make a decision:

  1. What kind of contract am I on and when does it expire?
  2. Are my prices going up? And if so, when and by how much?
  3. Do you have a better deal for me?

Consider looking for a better energy plan

You should consider looking for a better energy plan than the ones offered by your retailer. Finding a new plan may take longer than usual because some retailers are not currently accepting new customers.

How to find a better energy plan

The market is changing rapidly so keep up to date about your plan and the prices you’re paying.

If you’re in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania or the Australian Capital Territory we recommend that you go to Energy Made Easy to find the best energy plan for your circumstances. If you live in Victoria we recommend that you go to Victorian Energy Compare.

Have a copy of your energy bill handy when looking for a better deal, as this will make the process easier. Alternatively, you can enter basic information about your home or small business to search for a plan.

Energy Made Easy is a free and independent government energy price comparison site provided by the Australian Energy Regulator.

The Australian Energy Regulator also protects consumers by regulating energy markets.

Reduce energy consumption and save money

You can save money by reducing your energy use where possible. Here are some useful tips for reducing your energy use, provided by the Australian Energy Regulator on their Energy Made Easy website.

Help paying your energy bill

If you’re having trouble paying your bill, contact your energy retailer and let them know. They are required to have a financial hardship policy in place.

The Australian Energy Regulator provides more detailed information for customers experiencing financial hardship, including your rights and options.

If your retailer suggested you change energy suppliers

Some retailers have recently contacted customers advising that their prices will go up and suggesting that they switch provider.

If your retailer tells you that your prices will go up, make sure you ask them when they will go up and by how much. This will help you make the best decision for your circumstances. Ask your energy retailer these questions to get the best information.

If your retailer goes out of business

Changes in the energy market can result in some retailers going out of business. There are protections in place for consumers when this happens. If your retailer goes out of business:

  • You won’t be disconnected. You will automatically be transferred to a new retailer who must ensure that your power stays connected.
  • There are maximum prices that your new retailer is allowed to charge you for energy use when you are transferred to them to protect you from unreasonably high fees. However, you may not be on the cheapest plan available to you.
  • You will be contacted by your new retailer within 5 weeks of being transferred to them. You should ask them for details about your current plan and whether they can offer you a better deal.
  • You can also switch retailers if another company can offer you a cheaper plan. Visit Energy Made Easy to compare offers from all other retailers in your area.

Issues between you and your retailer

If you need help resolving a complaint between you and your energy retailer, contact your local Energy and Water Ombudsman:

New South Wales

Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW
1800 246 545

Victoria

Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria
1800 500 509

Queensland

Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland
1800 662 837

South Australia

Energy & Water Ombudsman SA
1800 665 565

Tasmania

Energy Ombudsman Tasmania
1800 001 170

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal
02 6207 1740

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