4 energy bill myths to leave in 2020
From rates to tariffs and random fees, it’s no wonder energy bills have a reputation of being difficult to comprehend. Unfortunately, it often means many Aussies pick up a few myths on the way to understanding their energy bill.
So, if one of your goals this year is to get on top of your personal finance, we’ve jotted down four energy bill myths to be aware of.
Myth #1 - If you’re not using it, it’s not using electricity
Whether it’s your laptop, kettle or phone charger, you might think that just because you’ve switched the appliance off it’s no longer using electricity. However, research has found that forgetting to unplug appliances at the wall could be adding an extra 10% to your annual energy bill!
If you think remembering to switch off your appliances at the wall everytime might be tricky to remember each time you use it, try setting a reminder on your phone to switch off everything before heading off to bed every night.
Myth #2 - Switching won’t actually save you money
We get it, switching energy plans can sound like more effort than it's worth. But did you know that you should be reviewing your energy plan once every 12 to 18 months? According to Mozo research, the average Aussie is only reviewing their offer once every two to five years!
The good news is, switching energy plans is actually simpler than you think, especially when you’ve got Mozo’s energy comparison tool on your side. All you need to do is answer a few quick questions about your energy bill and you’ll be able sort through some of the energy plans in your postcode.
Oh, and did we mention that switching could save you big bucks? In fact, Mozo found that depending on the distribution zone, the average Aussie household could save between $200 - $300 on their annual bill.
Myth #3 - If I can’t afford to pay my bill, I could be disconnected
If there’s any proof that financial vulnerability can strike at any time, this year was the year.
Under the National Energy Retail Law, there are a number of steps a retailer must take before disconnecting a customer’s power, they include:
- sending you a bill with how much you owe and when the bill must be paid by
- if you do not pay the bill, they must then send you a reminder notice
- if you still have not paid your bill, they will then send you a disconnection notice; within this time, the retailer must also try to contact you regarding the unpaid bill.
So, while disconnecting the power is a retailer’s last resort, if you feel as though you won’t be able to pay your upcoming bill, get in touch with your retailer. They can offer you assistance like payment plans or help you apply for a hardship program.
Myth #4 - Going green won’t make a difference to my bill
Renewable energy has taken massive strides over the past few years with more Aussie households opting to either install solar panels or use GreenPower as their source of electricity.
GreenPower refers to an energy plan where a percentage of your electricity is generated from a renewable source. Your retailer will then purchase the nominated amount on your behalf and feed it back into the grid.
Aside from the environmental benefit, going green with your energy could also save you a pretty penny. Mozo analysis shows that the cheapest green electricity plans in our database were actually better value than the average electricity plan.
Households in Adelaide could save $257 a year by making the switch, followed by Sydney ($166), Canberra ($106), Brisbane ($105) and Inner Melbourne ($43).
Want even more ways to save on your energy bill next year? Then you might want to check out our energy savings tips hub, which is filled with handy tips for all year round.