Wednesday, 04 May 2016
Posted by Shubhda Khanna Nag
To cut a long story short - online energy plans are cheaper, more convenient, easier to track and like any other paperless account, better for the environment. That’s why, from the Big 3 energy providers to the new innovative breed of power companies, everyone’s trying to get your attention by offering online electricity and gas plans.
If you’re still on the fence trying to pin down the tangible savings and advantages of a virtual account, here’s a detailed look at why online energy plans make sense and who’s offering the best deals in the market.
Many energy companies like EnergyAustralia, Dodo and Momentum Energy offer upfront discounts between $25 and $100 on your first bill when you sign up online. This is a good incentive and is perfect to offset any early exit fee you might need to pay to switch your energy account before the set contract period ends. An early exit fee is generally around $20, but if you haven’t switched your energy plan in a while, it’s likely the sign up bonus will go straight into your savings wallet.
Expert tip: Introductory discounts are good incentives to switch but you still need to make sure you’ve compared energy plans based on the cheapest ongoing pricing. Mozo’s online energy comparison tool makes finding the cheapest plan easy.
Setting up a direct debit payment for your energy bill is a good idea because it makes sure you’ll never miss a payment deadline. But when it means cheaper energy costs as well, you know it’s a real win-win. You’ll find that energy providers like AGL and Origin Energy offer discounts of around 15%-18% off usage charges when you set up a direct debit account.
Expert tip: Not having to plan payments is great but that does not mean you should stop tracking your power bills altogether. Always check your gas and electricity bills carefully to see if there are any unusual spikes in usage or costs and if you think the bill is higher than you think it should be.
New energy companies like Powershop offer you greater control over your electricity plans by allowing you to pre-pay your electricity and giving you access to online tools and mobile apps to monitor how much power you’re using and what it costs. Instead of being stuck with a nasty bill shock at the end of three months, you can buy as little or as much electricity as you want, check how long it can last based on your recent usage and top up when required. You can even purchase energy for future use and budget ahead to spread costs.
Expert tip: With great power comes great responsibility. If you opt for this amount of control on your household’s energy usage make sure you’re up for checking your consumption and payments regularly to see if you’re getting the best out of your energy plan. If you’re more of a set and forget type of person, you might want to look at other options.
Use Mozo’s energy comparison tool to find the best electricity and gas plans for your home. Even if you are already on an online power plan, it’s still a good idea to see if you can do better!