How to make the most of your retail energy plan

For most Australians, home energy is sourced from a major provider through a retail plan. These include the likes of AGL, Energy Australia and Origin Energy, which resell electricity from generating stations to power your home – keeping your house warm, your fridge on and Netflix running.

Electricity bills can be confusing at the best of times, let alone when it comes to comparing discounts or different time-of-use rates. Australians are looking for ways to better manage their bills; the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) 2019 retail energy competition review found that switching rates hit a record high of 24.4% in 2018. At the same time, the electricity landscape is shifting rapidly with more than 40 major players. While in 2018, 70% of Australians were with the big three, this is no longer the case as they look to more competitive energy solutions. Australians pay some of the highest residential electricity bills in the world; South Australia tops the list with just under $0.50 per kWh, while NSW, Queensland and Victoria are also in the world’s top 10 highest electricity prices. With prices already at a premium, it’s important to make the most of an existing plan, or switch to save, following advice from a trusted partner.

So how can you take the confusion out of electricity plans and maximise your savings?

1. Re-evaluate your plan

Most Australians can save hundreds a year by simply looking at a comparison of plans available. If you’ve been locked into a plan with the same provider for a while now, you may not even be aware of recent change to the landscape like the removal of sneaky pay-on-time discounts last year. Most retailers change their pricing for the year on July 1st. It’s worth assessing your past few electricity bills and comparing with other providers via comparison websites like Canstar or Energy Made Easy. If you find a better deal, pick up the phone and negotiate with your current provider to match their competitors, to save on your bill.

As part of its Pulse Analytics Kit, Clipsal Solar offers a retail plan check; an ongoing, independent analysis of your existing retail plan, using an extensive tariff database* to benchmark your bills against actual usage and check what is the best plan for your energy consumption.

Pulse compares energy plans for you: on average we save our customers $312 per year, by using your data to find you the best plan.

Savings based on actual data from South Australian homes using Clipsal Solar’s Pulse Analytics Kit. Study from 2020.

2. Investigate new players

In the past few years, alternative energy providers have exploded onto the market. Many of these offer a different model to the traditional quarterly billing you may be familiar with. Powershop offers a greener electricity offering, sourcing only renewable energy assets and offsetting carbon. It offers pre-purchased energy packs that cover your past, present or future bill for a set period of time, rather than a set billing period. Sumo is a bundled home utility provider, supplying electricity, natural gas and internet to homes across NSW and Victoria, meaning it’s easy to visit a one-stop-shop for your utilities. Find out if there’s a new provider that works better for your lifestyle.

3. Avoid the peak

If you’re on a “time of use” energy plan, managing the use of high-energy appliances well can lead to big savings. Most large electronics, like washing machines, dishwashers or dryers, have a timer function so they can be set to an off-peak period. Smart technology, like remote power point timers or connected devices, provide more control over when technology is turned on and in use. Clipsal Solar’s Pulse Analytics Kit, provides data insights into energy consumption at the individual circuit level so you can see from your mobile phone, just how much your air-conditioner is actually using and adjust your behaviour accordingly.

4. Tap into solar

Solar panels can help Australians not only save on electricity bills, but even make money by selling surplus back to the grid. This limits retail grid energy consumption to the night-time or overcast days; with a battery this extra energy can even be stored and used for later to maximize self-consumption. More than two million, or 21%, of Australian homes already have solar and are reaping the financial benefits while helping our environment.

Clipsal Solar are product and retail agnostic, the solutions we design and the advice we provide, we tailor to your circumstances. If you’d like to find out more on how you can reduce your energy bills with solar, call us for a free consultation: 1300 057 076

*Unfortunately, we do not have access to compare all plans or all products available in the market.

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