Aussies missing out on $500m in electricity savings, says Vinnies


Whether it’s laziness or a little knowledge on the subject, the average Aussie isn’t that keen to switch and save on their energy bill - and it’s costing us big time. 

New research from the St Vincent de Paul Society found that collectively, households are missing out on an eye-watering $500 million in energy savings by not switching to a cheaper deal. 

In fact, households across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia are paying up to $200 extra for electricity, despite previous news of prices falling

"Wholesale prices have come down significantly and there's also been changes to poles and wires prices," manager of policy and research at St Vincent de Paul Society, Gavin Dufty told the ABC in a recent interview. 

"That's washed through the electricity market, but we're really concerned that people haven't gone out there and refreshed their electricity accounts so those savings end up in people's pockets and not the pockets of the big multinationals."

Dufty explained that there are up to six million Australian households in those four states that are still on expensive contracts with their retailers. 

Most of these customers were previously on contracts, which have now expired. As a result, the retailer has rolled them onto a default offer, which generally tend to be on the pricier side. 

"When you start to get price falls, [retailers] don't quickly come back to you and say 'here's all these savings you can have', they like to let you sweat a little bit because that's more money for them,” said Dufty.

Potential savings from $100 - $200 a year across the country

The data found that South Australians in particular have the biggest opportunity to save if they were to switch immediately at $200, followed by Victoria ($190), South-East Queensland ($130) and New South Wales ($100). 

According to Australian Energy Council chief executive officer, Sarah McNamara, households shouldn’t just rely on their retailer to provide cheaper alternatives when an electricity contract ends.  

"If your contract expires, your retailer will notify you in advance of the change, and provide an opportunity to seek out a cheaper deal,” she said. "The regulations do not allow retailers to proactively move customers onto new energy deals, even if they are cheaper.”

Want to find out how much you could save by making the switch to a better offer? Head on over to our energy comparison tool to get started!

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