Saturday, 24 October 2015
Posted by Shubhda Khanna Nag
We’ve just had one of the coldest winters on record, but guess what? We’re all in for a sizzling summer. According to the weather bureau, Australia is going to see higher than average temperatures this season.
So before your energy bill starts soaring with the temperatures, now is the perfect time to switch to the cheapest energy plan and summer proof your house. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to switch and slash your energy bill in time for summer.
Dig out your energy contract and ask yourself a few questions - Am I on a contract? If so, when does it end? Do I need to pay an exit fee? Am I using any discount offers under my current plan? Do I owe the provider anything from the previous billing cycle? Familiarise yourself with all the finer details of your contract and if there’s something you don’t understand, give your provider a buzz and have any confusion cleared up.
Pull out your latest energy bill and spend some time understanding your usage and payment patterns. How does your family’s usage compare with the average household’s usage in your area? Another thing to consider is whether the quarterly payments are pinching your pocket and you’d rather switch to weekly or monthly instalments to spread the costs more evenly. In that case, you can ask your energy retailer about a bill smoothing option .
This is the easy part. Just punch in your postcode into Mozo’s free online energy comparison tool and get an instant list of the best energy plans in your suburb. For more accurate results, keep your last bill handy and fill in some extra details. It only takes a few seconds to compare and calculate how much you could save by switching to the cheapest energy plan.
Use Mozo’s search filters to compare the different discounts or other preferences you might have for your energy service based on your household’s needs and payment patterns. For instance, will you really pay every bill on time to avail that 17% discount or are you better off with a fixed rate? Do you want to give back to the environment and get on a renewable energy plan? You may be switching in time for summer but look for a plan that will suit you beyond just one season.
Getting a cheap plan is great, but what about customer service? Before finalising an energy retailer, read reviews by real customers like yourself to make a more informed decision. Mozo collects customer reviews on all our featured providers so you can have access to unbiased opinions.
Sign up for the new energy plan as soon as possible. It can take anything from a few days up to three months for the first bill to arrive so if you want to see the savings in time for summer, now is the time to act. Generally, your new retailer will inform your previous provider of the switch. But if you’ve set up a direct debit account with your current retailer, do remember to close it when you switch.
Switching your energy plan is only half of the battle. To lower your overall summer bill, you’ll should also think of making some changes around the house. Some of the things you can do are: use a fan instead of the aircon, install a window shade to protect your home from the sun’s heat and replace old appliances with energy-efficient models. For more wallet friendly ideas, read our savvy energy saving tips and let the savings grow.