2018 energy predictions: electricity costs to drop while Aussies ride the “power-price rollercoaster”

By Ceyda Erem ·

Household electricity prices are predicted to fall by an average of 12% by mid-2018 according to a recent energy trend analysis by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AMEC).

The analysis also projected prices to fall by 6.2% each year for the next two years due to decreasing wholesale energy prices.

Victoria is expected to experience the biggest fall in prices by 8.2% between 2018 and 2020, followed by a 7.3% drop in South Australia, 7.1% in Queensland, 6.6% in New South Wales, 6.5% in Tasmania and 6.3% in Western Australia.

However, the AEMC believes that the only way to keep these prices down is with upgrading policies and higher investment in dispatch capacities.

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“We still need governments to develop new policies so these reductions can last, consumers are riding a power-price rollercoaster driven by changes in generation. Without investment in replacement dispatchable capacity, wholesale prices will go up again and remain volatile,” said the AEMC in a recent statement.

Renewables will also be a contributor to bringing down the cost of energy, with around 4.9 gigawatts being made available between 2016-2017 and 2019-2020.

“Right now we’re seeing the whole power system transforming, so it’s going to be cleaner, with more new technologies like batteries, but we have to make sure this market transformation works.”

As renewable energy is predicted to save the day for many households over the next two years it’s no surprise that 15,225 solar panels were installed in August, potentially saving Aussies across the country $180 million in energy bills.

“For those who can afford the setup and installation costs, solar is a great way to trim your energy bill. But you can also make great savings by switching to a more competitive, better value plan in your state,” said Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont.

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In fact, although Victoria will experience the biggest predicted price fall in the next two years, Mozo data found that switching energy providers could save Victorians a further $929 on their annual bill!

“This goes to show that even if you switched energy providers this time last year, there is a good chance that there is an even better deal out there. Mozo’s analysis shows the annual savings the average household can make by switching to the cheapest energy plan in the market have increased significantly over the past 12 months,” said Lamont.

If you’re ready to cut the cost of your energy bill, why wait for the 2018 price drop and switch to a better value plan now. But if it’s been a while since you last shopped around on energy, here are Mozo’s top tips for securing a great energy plan:

Remember the big goal - while a $50 discount off your first bill is a tempting incentive to switch, you need to think long term - you’re looking to reduce your bill over a year, not indulge in temporary perks.

Think about a fixed energy plan -  depending on the provider, they may allow you to fix your energy bill for a year or two, like EnergyAustralia’s Secure Saver Plan.

Check the fine print - many providers also offer discounts for paying on time or combining policies, but you should fully understand what the discount applies to before signing the dotted line.

Consider what's best for your home - no household is the same and if you’ve got a large home with a pool running constantly, a discount off your usage may be best, whereas a smaller home with frugal energy usage may benefit from a supply charge discount.

Ready to switch and save on your energy bill? Punch some numbers into Mozo’s Energy Cost Crunch Calculator today to compare local plans in your area.

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Ceyda Erem
Ceyda Erem
Money writer

Ceyda Erem is Mozo’s authority on Energy, as well as having broader expertise as a personal finance writer. She loves to put her researching and writing talents into stories that help our readers to make more informed financial choices, whether that’s about finding the best energy deal or writing about the latest sneaky bank tricks. Ceyda has a Bachelor of Arts (major in writing) from Macquarie University.